(Douglas County) The 2016 season was the first for the Alexandria Mountaineers high school cycling team. With 11 student athletes and 10 coaches, it was clear that something good was about to happen. With plenty of leadership from the cycling community in the Alexandria area and all of that coaching, AAHS students are in a position to start making a name for themselves in the sport. One name that is part of the driving force is Shawn Thelen. He is the team's head coach. His vintage bike collection alone would be a reason to give him a listen; but his passion for getting kids on bikes makes him a good choice for this young club.
The following video story follows Shawn at the newest mountain bike trails being constructed at the Kensington Rune Stone Park.
The high school season technically kicks off Thursday, May 4th at 7:00pm at the AAHS "nest" where parents and athletes planning to be on the 2017 Alexandria Mountaineers team will meet with coaches to talk about the upcoming season. Assistant coach Jeff Pokorny is in charge of the training and conditioning program. He will help outline much of the expectations and opportunities of the upcoming summer.
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) was founded in 2009. They are the force and structure behind the high school program. Thelen says they have made it easy to get kids involved. In fact he says that scholarships exist for nearly every part of the fees and costs associated with the sport. Students and parents with financial concerns about the sport are encouraged to ask about the scholarships. Thelen says that the state association is conducting races for all ages during the summer months and kids who sign up for the high school program are allowed to enter those races free of charge. The season begin in July, but high school competition doesn't begin until school starts in the fall.
To learn more about the program you are encouraged to attend the meeting Thursday night (May 4th).
Thelen says that all of the work being done at both Kensington Rune Stone Park and Brophy Park will be a huge asset to not only the student athletes, but the whole community. The teams also trained at Andes Tower Hills as they prepared for the 2016 season.