Thurston Middle School eighth grader Jackson Golden grabbed the gold in his class and took the very first win for the Laguna Beach Interscholastic Mountain Bike Team in the SoCal NICA League Cruise for the Keyes race March 25 in Keyesville, Calif.
The 708 high school students and 250 middle school contestants faced stream crossings, sand pits, steep inclines, and technical descents on a seven-mile course with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet.
Jackson raced against 64 other boys and finished the two laps around the course in 26 minutes.
Two races at Vail Lake and in Tehachapi remain in the season.
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