Get to know: Lia Westermann
2x Enduro National Champ - Dual Slalom National Champ - Utah High School Cycling League Athlete.
Lia participated in the Utah High School Cycling League for four years, racing Freshman, Junior varsity, and Varsity for the last two years. Lia was a part of the Salt Lake City Composite Team, with coaches Drew Jordan, Ellen Guthrie (her mother) and Kenton Peters. While participating in the League, Lia also had the chance to race Nationally and Internationally representing Summit Bike Club and Guthrie Bike Shop. Among those years participating in the High School League, she was able to participate in USA Cycling's Pro XCT's, Mountain Bike Nationals (XC, Short Track, Enduro, Dual Slalom, Downhill), Scott Enduro Cup series, and the Enduro World Series in Aspen and Crankworx Whistler.
We had the opportunity to ask Lia a few questions!
UTHSCL: How did you get into Cycling and when did you start?
Lia: I got into cycling from my parents and I started riding bikes when I was about eight years old. I loved it from the beginning! Later on, I started to get more and more into racing bikes and I carried this on all through high school
UTHSCL: Which professional athlete do you most look up to as a role model? Why?
Lia: I most look up to Kristin Armstrong as a role model because she is a professional road bike racer and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, but she is also a medical doctor and has children. It is one thing to be a professional cyclist because that is already hard work, but it is another thing to do that and have a profession and a family to look after.
I also look up to Rachel Atherton because of all the hard work she puts into her downhill racing and the positive message she sends to younger girls who bike as well.
UTHSCL: What is your favorite memory while on the bike?
Lia: My favorite memory on the bike was my first ever bike race that I did in Hurricane, Utah. I was so nervous before the start! During that race, I soon learned to love the feeling on the bike and being able to push myself as hard as I wanted.
UTHSCL: What was your favorite thing about being a part of your local HS team?
Lia: My favorite thing about being a part of Salt Lake City Composite (my local HS team) was the atmosphere. I loved making new friends on the team and meeting new people who also had a love for riding bikes. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and it was nice to also mentor the younger girls on the team as I got into my junior and senior years in high school.
UTHSCL: Who were your coaches? How did he/she impact you?
Lia: My coaches were Drew Jordan, Kenton Peters, and my mom. They all taught me to not only be a better mountain biker, but to also be considerate on the trail and to teach younger kids what I had learned throughout my high school mountain bike experience. They are all amazing mountain bikers and head coaches, and they had such a lasting and positive impact on me!
UTHSCL: What was your favorite High School Race? Why?
Lia: My favorite high school race was at Snowbasin; however, I also loved racing in Moab and St. George. I loved the fall colors up at Snowbasin and it was so pretty to ride and race bikes up there! The race course was exciting because it was so smooth, fast, and steep.
UTHSCL: On the bike, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Lia: In the next five years I see myself traveling and racing internationally and locally. After racing in the High School League and racing cross country for a couple years, I started to transition over to more gravity events such as downhill, enduro, and dual slalom. I see myself racing at USA cycling Nationals, in the Enduro World Series, and in local enduro races in the United States.
I also see myself volunteering to work at the Bicycle Collective and to coach young riders which I did this past school year and last summer. I loved seeing the kids’ faces light up as they rode their bikes, and I loved helping people out in general throughout the bicycle community!
UTHSCL: What are your other hobbies?
Lia: My other hobbies include skiing, running, reading, frequently checking Pinkbike, and hanging out with friends.
UTHSCL: For a Career, what do you see yourself getting into?
Lia: I see myself getting into medicine or engineering. My favorite subjects in school are science and mathematics, so I would love to go in that direction.
UTHSCL: If you could thank one person right now that helped you get to where you are, who would it be? Why?
Lia: I would thank my coaches from my high school team as mentioned before; however, I would mostly thank my mom for letting me race across the country to do what I love and for supporting me all the way!