Westlake Girls High School Mountain Bike Team 2024 North Island School Championships

Four members of the 2024 Westlake Girls High School Mountain Bike team ventured to the North Island Schools Mountain Bike Championships held in Rotorua from 16 to 19 March 2024. The four riders were divided across two categories: Talia Hosking and Stella Beale in the Under 17 Girls and Astyn and Kaylan Nasmith in the Under 14 Girls. The riders were entered in the Cross Country (XCO), Enduro and the team Cross Country Relay (XCR). Coach Mike Beale, team assistant manager, and WGHS MTB team member Taya Nasmith supported the riders for the three events across the four days. The team was also supported by all the fantastic parents who ensured the riders were superbly prepared to give their best during the championship.

WGHS Mountain Biking Team

Saturday, the first day of competition, dawned fine, if a little cool, as Kaylan and Astyn lined up on the Cross Country start line at 8:00 am. The Under 14 Girls race was two laps of the 5.5km course that mixed fast-paced single track, allowing for plenty of overtaking with technical climbs and descents requiring a range of mountain bike skills and stamina. After two fast and furious laps, the two WGHS athletes were victorious. Astyn was first, claiming the Under 14 Girls North Island Champion title for 2024. Kaylan finished strongly as the runner-up.

The weather had warmed up by the time the Under 17 Girls riders lined up for their start at midday. Talia and Stella faced the challenge of completing three laps. The riders acquitted themselves well, with Talia placing fifth and Stella eighth. 

Under 14 Girls Enduro 3rd Kaylan Nasmith.The final event on day one was the Cross Country Relay, which took place over a 2 km lap of a single track designed to promote all-in efforts from the riders over fast-flowing trails requiring both power and skills to optimise speed. Teams of two or three riders raced in a set sequence for 60 minutes. A WGHS team of Talia, Astyn and Kaylan competed in the U20 Girls category. The racing was fast and furious, with all the riders pushing themselves to their limits to achieve success for their school. After an hour’s racing, less than three minutes separated the top three Under 20 Girls’ teams, with Westlake Girls High School narrowly coming second behind Taupo-Nui-a-tia College.

Monday was the Downhill race, which allowed the WGHS team to complete a final practice of the Enduro stages in the morning and cheer on the downhill racers in the afternoon during their final runs.  The Enduro event required the riders to descend four trails in a specified order as quickly as possible. The riders are not timed on the transition between timed trails. Riders had a maximum time limit to complete all four trails. The cumulative time for the descents decides the placement within each age category. Riders are required to wear a full-face helmet for the Enduro. All the riders started together, with the age groups completing the trails in a different order to avoid congestion. After over three hours of challenging trails in the U13 Girls category, Kaylan placed third and Astyn fifth. In the U17 Girls, Talia was seventh and Stella 14th.

The final tally of podium placings for the WGHS Mountain Bike Team was The Under 14 Girl North Island Champion and runner-up, second place in the Under 20 Girls Cross Country Relay, third place in the Under 14 Girls Enduro.

Along with the other respectable placings across all categories, the team had a very successful championship. It is well-placed to defend its title for the third year over the remaining four rounds of the Auckland Schools Championships. In addition to the results on the trails, the teams received many compliments on their sportsmanship, the positive way they represented their school and how smart the girls looked on and off their bikes.

Under 20 Girls Cross Country Relay. 2nd Westlake Girls High School – Kaylan Nasmith, Talia Hosking, and Astyn Nasmith.


Main Image: Under 14 Girls Cross Country. 1st: Astyn Nasmith WGHS – U14G North Island Champion. 2nd: Kaylan Nasmith WGHS.