Interscholastic Cycling April 2014 Recap

  
  


USA Cycling works with several interscholastic leagues that allow athletes to compete for their schools in the tradition of collegiate cycling. Each league is unique with different disciplines during different seasons but all focus on allowing students to participate in a sport that until recently was not available within a school structure. Read the following recaps from our league directors to find out more about their league and the current racing seasons. If you are interested in starting a league in your area, or getting involved with an existing one please feel free to contact USA Cycling's Interscholastic and Club Development Coordinator Emily Palmer or one of the league directors below. 


Texas High School Cycling League: 8th Annual Scholastic Road Series

By: Andrew Armstrong, Texas High School League Director
 
Texas is currently three-fourths of the way through their annual scholastic road series
competition.  Three weekends are
Eric Fulton, a Novice racer from Wichita Falls shows off his team kit.
Eric Fulton, a Novice racer from Wichita Falls shows off his team kit.
completed with just the series finale state championships remaining May 10th-11th in Houston.  To date, 57 student-athletes have participated, which is an increase from this time last year.  There are also several new solo student athletes from schools new to scholastic racing.  They are excited about bringing scholastic cycling to their school and community.  Perhaps the main story line, though, is the team from Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, which is the first varsity cycling team in Texas and has had as many as 20 student-athletes showing up to races in a school bus. The growing Wichita Falls ISD team is also proving to be quite a force.

Current Co-ed Team Standings
 
Jesuit College Prep of Dallas has dominated the overall boys standings this year but as a boys school they must rely on this dominance to carry them in the co-ed combined standings too.  Meanwhile, Wichita Falls ISD has used a balanced approach with both boy and girl competitors to close the gap and is just 3 points shy of Jesuit.   The Hockaday School rounds out the top three with a consistent showing from its all girls team.  All top three spots could change at the final weekend of racing in Houston as it is still anyone’s championship to claim.

With the Varsity boys, Jesuit College Prep shows its dominance with Thomas Baert and Hugo Scala Jr. taking 1st and 3rd respectivly, and Bryan Boydstun of Wichita Falls ISD rounding out the podium.
Jesuit College Prep is also represented on the overall Junior Varsity podium with Dalton Walters and Evan Bausbacher once again 1st and 3rd, and Hunter Hinton taking 2nd for Wetherford High School. On the girls side Hockaday took 1st and 3rd with Sarah Startz and Maggie Whitaker, while Pegga Mosavi from KOR Education High School took 2nd. 

Upcoming 2014 Scholastic State Championships
 
The Texas scholastic state championship road race is Saturday May 10th in Coldspring, TX north of Houston and then the state championship crit is that Sunday May 11th at the Houston Grand Crit in downtown Houston, TX.  These state championship events also serve as the series finale for the 2014 road series where all individual and team points are worth double, meaning there can still be plenty of movement atop the leader board of each competition.  

 

Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series

By: Peter Hufnagel, Virginia High School League Director
 
Riders from Armstrong High School congratulate each other after the race.
Riders from Armstrong High School congratulate each other after the race.

USA Cycling’s fastest-growing interscholastic mountain bike race series nearly doubled in size this spring and in fall 2014 will begin running a NICA league due to its amazing growth over the years as well as continuing to host the USA Cycling races in the spring. The Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series (VAHS MTB) has had over 130 individual participants in its first three races of the season. With Elementary, JV, and Varsity categories, the Series offers competitive racing for a wide-range of junior mountain bikers throughout the state. The season kicked off in Virginia’s state capital, Richmond (also the host of 2015 World Championships), on Tuesday, April 1. The evening event attracted both public high school teams and independent schools. “It is remarkable how many new teams have been created this season and the quality of the teams is impressive,” commented race director Peter Hufnagel. “We have a diverse group of student-athletes from prep schools as well as inner-city public schools participating.” With an experienced team of race promoters behind the Series, events have the look and feel of a high-level mountain bike event. “We want the venues to provide a ‘Friday Night Lights’ feel for athletes and spectators,” commented USA-Cycling official and race promoter Jason Hopkins. “These racers are incredible athletes and the venues and production value of the events should appropriately reflect their talents
and commitment to the sport.” The talent that Hopkins refers to includes some of the most-decorated USA Cycling athletes. The winner of the opening boys varsity race was former US National Road Race and Criterium National Champion Adam Croft. He was followed closely by Mid-Atlantic standouts G. Schulz, Tyler Smith, Jonathan Plunkett, Derek Elliott, and recently signed road professional Jake King. In the girls race, all-around cyclist Mason Hopkins narrowly beat Northern Virginia rider Elizabeth Shaw. Both Shaw and Hopkins race for a composite team that includes a number of the top riders who do not have cycling teams at their schools.
 
JV and Elementary races are equally competitive and allow younger and less-experienced riders to race shorter events on the same course. USA Cycling National Championship podium finisher, Autumn Bartels, won the girls elementary race, and avid junior racer, Robert Berry, took the win on the boys side.
 

Riders listen to pre-race instructions at the start of a race during the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series.
Riders listen to pre-race instructions at the start of a race during the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series.

Round 2 of the Series was held in Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday, April 12. Roanoke’s cycling community revived the trails in the scenic Explore Park for the race. In Roanoke, local rider Jonathan Plunkett took the win and the leaders jersey in an aggressive late-race attack. He was followed by Derek Elliott and then by an elite pack including Tyler Smith, G. Schulz, and Adam Croft. What was remarkable about the second race was the amount of teamwork that took place. “The teamwork in the race was similar to what one would see in an NRC road race,” Andrea Dvorak, US National Team rider and guest MC for the race, remarked. “One of the great things about interscholastic mountain bike racing is that these riders are riding for both individual results and team results.” In the girls race, Elizabeth Shaw attacked early and held her lead to the finish, winning the race and the leaders jersey.
 
Round 3 of the series took place at Miller School of Albemarle, which is home to one of the world’s best-supported high school cycling programs. The stunning 1,600-acre campus has nearly 10-miles of student-built single-track, and the cycling program is directed by former US National Team member and professional cyclist, Andy Guptill.
The Tuesday-night race attracted a large number of spectators and media attention. In dramatic fashion, Jake King (Miller School) won the varsity race and helped his team secure the overall team victory on its home course. Finishing second place, Adam Croft won the leaders jersey back. 


Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program: 1st Annual Spring Racing Series

By: Karen Franzen, Conneticut High School League Co-Director

March and April 2014 brings the inaugural high school racing league for CT spearheaded by the CT Cycling Advancement Program (CCAP).  Working in conjunction with Aki Sato, promoter of the long standing Bethel Spring Series p/b Outdoor Sports Center, four races of that were designated as a separate high school series for CCAP registered school athlethes.  Those racing for their schools earned individual points as well as points for their
respective schools.  The scoring is formatted within the same guidelines
as the collegiate scoring. 
The start of the interscholastic race at the first event of the inaugural CCAP series!
The start of the interscholastic race at the first event of the inaugural CCAP series!
The short course, criterium format of the race allowed the field to separate into smaller groups, all whilst keeping the racers close together. Racers of different experience levels and strength categories were able to constantly try their hand at a variety of tactics. Whether a tactic succeeded or not, there was always another group ahead or behind that the racers could join. The environment proved to be educational as well as inspirational and welcoming.
 
CCAP is also working with the Root66 Race series in four CT races for the mountain bike races.  As with the Bethel Series, CCAP registered schools can earn individual points during the four races which lead to over-all school points for the series.  As seen in the photo, the attendance for the Hop Brook MTB race on April 13 was outstanding!  CCAP wishes to thank the following races and promoters for their support of a youth cycling initiative taking place in the state of CT.   Aki Sato from the Bethel Spring Series, Jill Logan & Craig Kennedy-Root66 Series with the Hop Brook Dam MTB Race, Fat Tire Classic, Race the Wrock and Biker's Edge Winsted Woods races.


For more information on Interscholastic Cycling and the leagues featured here, contact USA Cycling's Interscholastic and Club Development Coordinator Emily Palmer at epalmer@usacycling.org or 719.434.4202

In addition more information can be found under the Junior and Interscholastic section of the USA Cycling website. 


This Article Published May 9, 2014 For more information contact:
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