Almost 2,000 students competing in state cycling championships in Waterloo
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Nearly 2,000 high schoolers are in Waterloo this weekend for the state cycling championships.
This is the 10th championship since Wisconsin joined the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, or NICA.
Renee Griswold, the executive director for the Wisconsin chapter, said the league has grown since its founding. It originally started with just a few people, and now has 90 teams throughout the state.
“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger because it’s so much fun,” Griswold said. “Nobody rides the bench in NICA, it’s completely participatory. If you want to do it you can do it. It’s really a judgement free zone. It’s all about doing the best that you can for your own self and living by our core values and it just draws people in.”
Griswald said she loves being a part of NICA, and championship weekend is the highlight of the year.
“NICA gives me something new to do every day, and it gives something new for the athletes too,” Griswald said. “Every single time you ride it’s a new experience. Every interaction with a student athlete is a new experience. It challenges me and I watch it challenge athletes. I think trying something new is really the essence of what I love about NICA.”
The weekend kicks off with a night adventure ride through the trails on Friday, giving the bikers a “spooky Halloween feel,” according to Griswald. On Saturday, the athletes can practice for the race and experience the trails ahead of time. And Sunday is race day, with a crowning of the state champions in the afternoon.
All of the events will take place at Trek Trails in Waterloo. Anyone is able to watch for free.
“Come hike around, see what the kids are up to,” Griswald said. “It’s really fun---you’ll be super excited to be here.”
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