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B.C. bronze for QMS mountain bikers

Queen Margaret’s School’s Hector Monro was the king of the hill following the BC School Sports High School Championships May 22-24 in Squamish, earning the title of provincial champion and taking the King of the Mountain award, too.

Fresh off winning the junior expert male race at the Mount Prevost enduro in mid May, Munro’s performance was part of a bronze medal effort put forth by the QMS team, an incredible achievement for a ‘A’ school.

Part of a small but mighty seven-member mountain bike team that journeyed to Squamish for this year’s provincials, Monro and his squad showcased why they are becoming the team to watch moving forward.

More than 470 riders from almost every high school in BC attended event but the QMS riders stood out.

“Most of our riders have competed in some type of enduro racing on Vancouver Island this season,” said coach Dave Picard. “However, having the cross country (XC) race on the first day of the competition was big. Most of our athletes were out of their element in the fast-paced race. Some simply had fun with it, while others pushed hard and the results showed it.”

The XC race, a requirement at the B.C. championships, challenges riders in Grades 8–12 to complete 12-16 kilometers of undulating and tricky mountainous terrain. All seven Royals completed the course with solid times, yet Monro stood out by earning fifth in the bantam boys class, while teammate Raymond Carr placed ninth.

It was the enduro race on Day 2 that had other schools taking notice of the QMS riders, however. Heavy rainfall overnight made for tough conditions but the QMS riders were up for the challenge.

“Our riders have been training on some of the finest trails in B.C.,” said coach Han He.

Senior riders Ethan Picard and Jasmine Bessens raced first; junior riders Jordan He, Maggie Preston and Charlie Cole were next, and bantam riders Monro and Carr wrapped up the team event.

“Everyone felt good about their efforts and were very tired after,” Picard said. “Due to the races being timed through transponders, no one truly knew where they had finished. We had to wait until everyone was done and all the results were in.”

It was worth the wait.

At award time the QMS bantam boys filled the podium. Monro earned the title of provincial champion with teammate Carr taking second place. Monro’s triumph also included earning the title of “King of the Mountain” which is awarded to the top rider with the best times in both the XC and enduro events.

“It was great to see QMS on top of that podium,” said Picard.

In the senior girls class Jasmine Bessens finished in fourth place, missing the podium by a mere two seconds.

“Jasmine has improved so much this season, through her dedication to training she was so close,” said Picard. “Everyone on the team pushed hard and with an extremely high level of competition, they did well, placing in the top 25 per cent of their classes.”

Coach He predicts QMS will continue to be a strong contender at the provincial level moving forward.

“These are strong results for a small team competing against mountain bike powerhouses from Whistler and Pemberton and on their local trails.”