Six NICA Student-Athletes Receive Sparkle On Scholarship

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ORINDA, California (May 5, 2023) — The National Interscholastic Cycling Association is excited to announce six recipients of the annual Sparkle On Scholarship. In partnership with professional cyclist Kate Courtney, SCOTT, Syncros, SRAM, and Rockshox, the Sparkle On Scholarship recognizes graduating NICA student-athletes who have demonstrated academic and athletic excellence while giving back to the cycling community.

Sara Ellem, Neruda Diaz, Carter Lantz, Hannah Puttcamp, Chloe Sims, and Hayley Yoslov will each receive $6,500, a SCOTT Spark Comp Bike, and mentoring with Kate Courtney during their first year of college.

Photo courtesy Kate Courtney

The cohort of Sparkle On Scholars is distinguished by their unique contributions to the sport of mountain biking, the cycling community as a whole, and the joy and determination they show in pursuit of their goals.

“I am honored and excited to announce the 2023 Class of Sparkle On Scholars,” said Courtney. “With nearly 200 applications from NICA student-athletes across the country, it was a very challenging selection process but one that left me optimistic about the future of our sport.”

Courtney is a professional mountain bike racer for the Scott-SRAM MTB Racing Team. Kate is the 2023 Pan American Elite XCO and XCC Continental Champion, 2019 Elite XCO World Cup Overall Champion, and the 2018 Elite XCO World Champion.

“Collectively, this year’s scholarship recipients truly embody the core values of NICA; inclusivity, strong minds, bodies, and character,” added Courtney. “In the cycling world, they are leaders in their communities – accomplished racers, trail builders, trail access advocates, GRiT mentors, team captains, youth coaches and more. Off the bike, they are intelligent and articulate students with diverse interests, but a shared desire to continue contributing to the cycling community as they transition to college.”

NICA is proud to work with such a passionate partner to grow the next generation of cyclists.

Julian Wagner, Global Bike Marketing Lead at SCOTT Sports, added, “At SCOTT, not only do we aim to help the riders of today, but also the riders of tomorrow. Through the Sparkle On Scholarship, we’re thrilled to contribute to these students’ future success both on and off the bike. We look forward to seeing where the ride takes them!”

When student-athletes have a strong support system, it is amazing what more they can accomplish,” said NICA President Amanda Carey. “ NICA is incredibly grateful for Kate’s mentorship and support of these outstanding student-athletes and the pursuit of their future goals.

  • Sara Ellem – West Virginia League
  • Neruda Diaz – NorCal League
  • Carter Lantz – NorCal League
  • Hannah Puttcamp – Pennsylvania League
  • Chloe Sims – Kentucky League
  • Hayley Yoslov – NorCal League
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