▶️ Bend HS wins state mountain biking title; Billowitz wins individual crown


The Bend Lava Bears are celebrating a state title in mountain biking. And one of the team’s riders brought home an individual title.

“The state championship was a great race,” said sophomore Jack Billowitz. “It had a really fast start. I got the hole shot I led for most of the race. Eventually, I just made a gap up the climb and kind of held that gap.”

The event at Barnes Butte Trailhead in Prineville saw the Lava Bears best 19 other teams Sunday.

“It’s very intense competition at the head of the group, and it’s a lot of fun, though it definitely stays light,” said Billowitz. “It’s not heavy or super intense, but we just kind of have fun, and we ride the course fast with each other and try to do the best we can.”

The school says sophomore Jack Billowitz dominated the boys varsity division. Curran Jacobus came in second and Cooper Andrus finished in fourth. Clancy Karpstein finished three seconds off the podium in sixth.

“In three and a half miles, it was not only how fast you can be, but how well you can get around lapped riders as you come up on to them and being courteous as you as you pass and everything else,”  head coach Kris Karpstein said.

RELATED: 2 Bend Nordic skiers compete for Team USA in Finland

RELATED: Little Did I Know: Birth of the Central Oregon mountain biking scene

Neve Gerard took second in the girls varsity. You may remember that Central Oregon Daily profiled her in February as one of two local cross-country skiers competing for Team USA.

Linzie Harris was hit with some mechanical issues, the school said.

HS2 division boys Joe Bercot, Blake Ballard, Liam Rogers and Olin Rogers also competed.
“A lot of the races were camping together,” Karpstein said. “So we’re all hanging out, and we’re playing in the woods and doing everything else when we’re not when we’re not racing. So the kids have really done a good job becoming friends over the years.”
Billowitz says his next cycling goal is the cyclocross nationals in Louisville, Kentucky in December.
Project Bike sponsors the team, which is always looking for new members.
Senior Cooper Andrus created a formal cycling club at Bend High and encourages anyone to come out.
For more information about the Oregon Mountain Bike league you can go here.  Open to all girls and boys 6th thru 12th grade.
You can also email 

Top Local Stories