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Santa Cruz’s Jacob Albrecht, who races as an independent rider, won the boys varsity race in the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League’s second South Conference event of the season at Fort Ord near Monterey over the weekend.

Albrecht, the defending NorCal champion completed five laps on the five-mile course in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 14 seconds, according to preliminary results posted on the league’s website. He was followed by fellow Santa Cruzan Chance Tiner [Independent], who finished in 1:25:27. Felton’s Tom Foxx also placed in the top five of the varsity race, taking fourth in 1:26:21, the same time as third-place finisher Alex Chamberlin [Monte Vista High School].

Other winners from Santa Cruz County were as follows: Kyle Petersen [Kirby Santa Cruz], who went 15 miles in 1:10:46 in the sophomore boys race for Division 2; Maddie Ortenblad [Independent], who went 15 miles in 1:23:48 in the JV girls race; Steffen Andersen [Santa Cruz COMP], who went 20 miles in 1:08:22 in the boys JV race for Division 2; and Emily Forsberg [Santa Cruz COMP], who went 10 miles in 1:00:37 in the girls frosh race.

All results in this report are from the league’s website, which only had preliminary results at the time of publication. No team results were available.

Marin Catholic’s Taylor Smith captures the win

Santa Cruz High student and Santa Cruz Composite rider Jacob Albrecht followed up his first NorCal High School Mountain Bike League win of the season with a second-place finish in the Boggs Mountain Classic on Sunday.

Marin Catholic’s Taylor Smith won the 24.8-mile boys varsity race in 1 hour, 46 minutes, 14 seconds, according to results on the NorCal website. Albrecht followed a mere three seconds later. Salinas’ Bryan Duke, the overall standings leader, placed third in 1:46:41.

Duke now has 2,162 points in the standings, Albrecht has 2,144, and independent rider Brandon Dillard is in third with 1,938.

The sole other Santa Cruz County rider at the varsity level, Tobin Ortenblad — the defending state champ — placed eighth after getting held up by a crash near the start and suffering a penalty. He finished in 1:56:58.

In the standings, Ortenblad is ranked 18th with 1,553 points.

The 18.6-mile girls varsity race was won by the Branson Bulls’ Kate Courtney, who crossed the finish line in 1:34:50.

Santa Cruz County did have two winners Sunday, though. They were Aptos High’s Steffen Andersen, who dominated the boys frosh race in 1:04:06, and the SCC’s Tom Foxx, who won the soph boys race in 1:33:02 with almost a full-minute lead over the next closest competitor. The distance in the frosh race was 12.4 miles and the distance in the soph race was 18.6 miles.

The next NorCal High School Mountain Bike League event is the NorCal Championships, which are scheduled for May 6.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter @CGullTweets

Santa Cruz High student and Santa Cruz Composite rider Jacob Albrecht pulled away from the boys varsity pack on the final climb of the Laguna Seca Grand Prix, dubbed “Hurl Hill,” and held on for the win on Sunday.

The race, at the Laguna Seca Recreational Area in Monterey, was the third NorCal High School Mountain Biking League event and the one with the toughest hills this season.

Albrecht finished the approximately 25-mile trek in 1 hour, 32 minutes, 57 seconds. He was followed by Marin Catholic’s Tyler Smith [1:33:04, second] and Salinas’ Bryan Duke [1:33:14, third].

Independent rider and Pacific Collegiate School student Tobin Ortenblad, the defending state high school mountain biking champion, placed fourth [1:33:23], and the Branson Bulls’ Eliel Anttila rounded out the top five [1:36:02].

Albrecht’s victory boosted his points in the standings; although, he’s still in second behind Duke, who won the first two races of the season. The margin between them narrowed, with Albrecht having 1,604 points to Duke’s 1,631.

Albrecht wasn’t the only mountain biker from Santa Cruz County to bring home a win. Tom Fox [SCC] won the sophomore boys’ 15-mile Division 2 race and Aptos High’s Steffen Andersen won the frosh boys’ 10-mile Division 2 race.

Fox’s win came with a decent lead over runner-up and teammate Chance Tiner. He crossed the finish line in 1:02:15 to Tiner’s 1:03:10. Andersen, though, eked his out, edging Santa Cruz Mountains Composite rider Joe Van Pykeren by two seconds, 41:04-41:06.

The girls varsity race was won by Josie Nordrum of Redwood High [1:24:15]. She leads the girls standings with 1,621 points.

In the team standings, Redwood High is leading in Division 1 with 11,533 points. The Georgiana Bruce Kirby team is the sole Santa Cruz County squad in Division 1 and is currently in 12th place out of 14 teams with 8,744 points. In Division 2, the Spartans High School Mountain Bike Composite leads with 6,071 points and the top Santa Cruz County squad is the SCC, in eighth of 32 teams with 4,532 points.

The next NCHSMBL event is scheduled for April 15 at the Boggs Mountain Demonstration Forest in Cobb.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

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