Pedal Power at St. John’s Prep

In the first year as a varsity sport at St. John’s, mountain bike racing has picked up as much momentum as the “fat tired” bikes careening down a muddy trail. It is a sport growing in popularity because anyone can try it if they have an adventurous spirit and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty – ok, maybe really dirty.


Head coach Parker Heath and assistant coach Vin Miserandino led the Prep team of 13 athletes to win the New England High School Championship in June. The team not only won the series, but also won the overall team standings in each of the six races, and team captain Jackson Heath ’17 won all six varsity races. This is no small feat with a program in its inaugural year.


To be eligible to compete in the NEHSCA 6 Race Series, schools must compete as coed teams. While the fall league allows for a single gender team, the rules in NEHSCA require each team to have results from both boys and girls at each race event. This is when team co-captain Jackson Heath jumped into action and reached out to Kaia Schmid from Marblehead. Kaia is an extreme sports enthusiast and a nationally ranked mogul skier trying to make the US Ski Team. Her father, Kurt Schmid, is a pro mountain bike racer and introduced her to cycling at an early age.


“While we've both known and ridden with Kaia for years, my son Jackson gets the credit for recruiting her onto the team this spring. Although she had already raced competitively in other cycling disciplines, she had little mountain biking experience before joining the boys at the Prep. Before she came to her first practice, Coach Miserandino and I made it clear that even though she did not attend the Prep, she would be part of the team in every way,” Coach Heath said. “From day one, her athletic ability earned respect from us all; she was terrifically fast right away (faster than many of the boys) and she was a quick study learning to ride in the woods.  Her determination, discipline, and drive was an example for the whole team to emulate.”


Read the full article here:



Back to News