Marshall County High School junior Carson Beckett is among 25 cross-country riders chosen to compete at the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, scheduled for Sept. 2-7 in Hafjell, Norway.
Beckett is reigning state varsity boys champion in the Tennessee High School Cycling League and was a winner Aug. 10 at Tullahoma, Tennessee, in the first race of a four-race series that makes up this year’s Tennessee Mountain Bike season.
But his credentials as a rider go far beyond the high school level.
Beckett earned an invitation to compete in Norway based on his many achievements in amateur cycling. He joins three riders who earned automatic bids to the team and one other at-large invitee.
According to the USA Cycling press release, “Beckett’s bronze at the 2014 Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships and seventh-place result at the U.S. Cup Pro Series stop in [Burlington, Vermont] were enough to leverage him into a discretionary selection.”
Participating in the 18-under junior division will be Neilson Powless, Roseville, California; Sean Bennett, El Cerrito, California; and Landen Beckner, Helena, Montana, and the second discretionary selection, Garrett Gerchar, Boulder, Colorado.
“Out of five kids, he’s the only 17-year-old that got picked,” said Steve Beckett, the rider’s dad and coach of the Marshall County team. “The race class he’s in is the 17- to 18-year-old class. Those guys will all be moving up, so it’s a huge experience for him. The competition level is just super stout at that level.”
Beckett will leave on Aug. 30 and fly to Oslo, Norway, then travel with the USA team to Hafjell.
Participation in the Norway event will not conflict with the MC team’s bid to repeat its sweep of championships in the Tennessee Cycling League in 2013. Race No. 2 of the four-race series is scheduled for Sept. 21 at Herb Parsons Mountain Bike Trail near Memphis.
Also named by USA Cycling were riders in the Elite Men, Elite Women, U23 Men, U23 Women and Juniors Women cross-country teams, plus 16 members of Elite Men, Elite Women, Juniors Men and Juniors Women classes in downhill.
Along with Beckett, Jessica Tillson and Justice Beal were winners at Tullahoma in girls varsity and JV boys classes, and Audrey Grizzard and Jackson Beal won in freshman girls and boys divisions.