Former Virginia Track Champion Dies In Biking Accident

Zoe Clay, a former indoor and outdoor track and field champion and a multiple-time top six finisher in cross country for Western Albemarle High School, died on Sunday, October 8, following an accident during the King & Queen of the Watershed, a mountain biking race held at Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

She was 23. 

Clay was a 2018 graduate of Western Albemarle High School and a graduate of Wake Forest, where she also competed for the Demon Deacons over her four-year career with the program. Clay ran at two ACC Cross Country Championships. 

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A GoFundMe account has been set up to help take care of medical and funeral expenses for Zoe Clay. Link.

In high school, Clay was a multiple-sport star in cross country and track and field. She was a VHSL Class 3 runner-up in 2017, a sixth-place finisher in 2016 and a fifth-place finisher in 2015. Indoors, she won two state Class 3A titles in the 1,600m and 3,200m over her senior season and won an outdoor title as a sophomore in 2016 in the 3,200m. 

In recent years after graduating from Wake Forest, Clay had taken up mountain biking, where she immediately flew up the ranks and was considered an up-and-coming cyclist. 

She crashed her bike on October 8 near a "looping mountain bike trail near Bur-Mil Park on Sunday afternoon," The Winston-Salem Journal reported, adding "Her injuries were extensive." 

The newspaper reported that Clay had competed in cyclocross races -- a multi-skill cycling race -- in Belgium. 

A group of four women set up a GoFundMe following her death. "This fundraiser was started and is managed by 4 women cyclists who called ourselves Zoe Clay's 'bike moms.,'" the fund read. "With Zoe, the 5 of us rode as a group we called 'Bike Mafia,' finding solidarity and community in the context of a very male sport." 

The account has reached over $75,000 and has received 788 donations. 

Any extra funds "will be donated, likely to a nonprofit in support of youth -- especially girls and young women's -- cycling," the page read. 

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