Interscholastic Cycling May 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. 

Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series

By: Peter Hufnagel, Virginia High School League Director
 
Autumn Bartels celebrates her series win.
Autumn Bartels celebrates her series win.

Round 4 of the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series was held on the rocky trails in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The venue has become a bit of a legend within the series, for it has the most technically challenging course and often leads to changes in the overall standings. Interestingly, the race has only been won in the Varsity Boys category by a local Harrisonburg rider on the Rocktown Team. Home-court advantage in this case means knowing every rock and root on the course and all the fastest lines. After narrowly taking the leaders jersey from Kyle Plunkett (Eastcoasters) at Miller School of Albemarle, Adam Croft (Pure XC) was eager to stamp his authority on the Series by winning a second race in the Boys Varsity event. Jake King (Miller School of Albemarle) was also hoping for another win after he rode away with a convincing victory on his home course at the previous race. However, regular podium finisher and veteran racer in the series, Derek Elliott (Rocktown), proved again that locals rule in Harrisonburg. With a big hometown crowd cheering and a local news station filming, Elliott launched an attack at the gun and never looked back. His technical skills and strong riding proved unmatchable by the other fifty riders in the Varsity field. He extended his lead over chasers, every lap and crossed the line ecstatic to keep the Rocktown team tradition of winning at home going another year. Behind Elliott, Croft finished ahead of King, G Shulz, Tyler Smith, Chris Derby, Ben Casella, Ryan Cullen, and Plunkett. Justin Mitchell (Woodberry Forest) had a breakthrough race to finish 3rd place. 
 
In the Girls Varsity race, Mason Hopkins (Pure XC) was eager to earn back the Leaders Jersey from teammate Elizabeth Shaw. Familiar with the Rocktown trails, Hopkins attacked early in the second lap and put in a sizable lead over Shaw. Not far behind, Shaw worked hard to limit her loses on the technical trails and kept Hopkins within a minute until the final lap. In the final lap, Hopkins put it into a higher gear and stretched her lead to over two minutes by the finish. She won the race and the Leaders Jersey. 
 
The JV Boys race was dominated by the technical prowess of
baggy-short-wearing mountain biker Josh Craig (unattached). He
A race start during round four of the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series.
A race start during round four of the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series.
floated over the technical terrain with the grace of a seasoned downhiller. Even some of the Varsity riders couldn't match the lap times of Craig. He won the JV race in commanding fashion over the Series leader Aaron Workowski (Eastcoasters). Charlottesville rider and regular on the Virginia race circuit, Charlie Ormsby (BRC), finished an impressive third place in one of his strongest rides of the season. Cameron Mader, who like Craig, makes technical rock gardens look like a paved sidewalks with his skills, finished an impressive fourth; Dane Chandler (Eastcoasters) had a strong ride to round out the podium. 
 
The dual between the Girardi sisters (Pure XC) continued in the Girls JV race. Going into the race, Mia held a small lead over Ellie in the Series competition. However, Ellie entered the race with confidence after her win the previous race at Miller School of Albemarle. Both riders are strong technical riders and were comfortable on the challenging Harrisonburg course. After riding a few seconds apart in the first lap, Ellie attacked on second lap and opened small lead. She held it to the finish and moved within a few points of taking the Leaders Jersey back from her sister. 
 
The Elementary race was the largest in the Series' history. Sixteen elementary school riders, including seven girls, conquered the rockgardens and roots. Robert Berry (Eastcoasters) narrowly finished ahead Austin Payne (BRC) as second week in a row. Closely behind the duo, Ryan Little (BRC) sprinted ahead of Spencer Line (Bike Factory). Consistent and strong riding earned Tyler Corliss (Williamsburg) the final podium spot. 
 
Autumn Bartels (Williamsburg) continued to excel in the girls Elementary category. After a mechanical early in the race, Bartels kept her composure and finished seventh overall and first among the girls. Ellie Hoskins (Cutaway Girls) and Ella House (Cutaway Girls) were not far behind. Lucia Hoskins (Cutaway Girls) and Mia Block rounded out the podium by narrowly outsprinting the strong Katrina Tremaglio.  

 

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

 By: Andrew Armstrong, Texas High School League Director

Alejandro Joglar and Dalton Walters (Jesuit Dallas) lead Hakon Hanesahd (Seven Lakes) and the rest of the field in the JV Road Race.
Alejandro Joglar and Dalton Walters (Jesuit Dallas) lead Hakon Hanesahd (Seven Lakes) and the rest of the field in the JV Road Race.

From May 10-11 over 50 middle and high school student athletes competed in the 8th annual Texas Road Series Finale and State Championships. Students came from across Texas to compete in the Coldspring Road Race and the Houston Grand Criterium. The state road race, criterium and series overall championships were all on the line and competition was intense.

With three category offerings for boys and two for girls competitors were on par with each other making for good, close racing in fields. Jesuit College Prep Dallas won the coed combined team overall series championship but Wichita Falls ISD had the chance to take it away over the course of the final weekend. The largest field of the weekend was the novice boy's category and with over twenty competitors it will end up being one of the largest Junior fields of similar ability at any Texas race all year.

All told there were nine races over four race weekends with 84 different student athletes representing 40 different schools, including a number of home school students. In fact the top three finiehers in the boys' varsity criterium made it a home school podium sweep. Additionally the league had a female participation rate of 16.5% overall.  For full overall team standings and individual varsity results as well as more details on the league please visit the league's website

In the fall the league will continue with the scholastic mountain bike series joining with the Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association races in Texas. To be part of the exciting scene of scholastic cycling in Texas feel free to email Andrew Armstrong, Texas league director. 

Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program: Root66/ CCAP High School MTB Series

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

 
Riders participate in a mock criterium during a CCAP Tuesday Night Clinic.
Riders participate in a mock criterium during a CCAP Tuesday Night Clinic.
The Root66/ CCAP High School MTB Series of four races finished up Sunday, May 18th. Again, this was a very close race for the overall omniums in both the team and individual categories for the series. Bristol came home with the overall team title by a mere eight points over Watkinson, followed by Berlin to round out the top three. 

The individual omnium award went to Lane Maher (Bristol) with 470 points. John Pavolich (Watkinson) and Robbie Desmarais (Bristol) were tied with 450 points and Jared Barlow (Watkinson) was not far behind with 448 points. Sarah Bosco (Berlin) took the girl's title for the series. The Team Participation award went to Hartford's Watkinson High School.

A huge thanks goes out to the race series promoters and supporters of the Hop Brook Dam MTB Race, the Winding Trails Fat Tire Classic, Race the Wrock and Bikers Edge WInsted Woods mountain bike races. Individuals like Jill and Chris Logan from the Root66 Series and Craig Kennedy from Createx Colors, were instumental in launching the first
CCAP High School Mountain Bike Series. With their help the CCAP has been able to bring
in larger fields for the junior races.
CCAP Travel Team riders huddle before the start of a race.
CCAP Travel Team riders huddle before the start of a race.
On the road the CCAP Junior Travel Team had a great trip to New Jersey over the Memorial Day weekend for the three-day Tour of Somerville Cycling Classic. Besides having a fantastic learning experience, the riders had great results invluding second places finishes for riders Brian Suto and Ian Whaley.

The CCAP Tuesday Night Training Series is in full swing with the high school/junior clinics and mock races. Averaging 15-20 riders each week, CCAP is providing a true racing experience on a weekly basis. There is also a weekly training ride for the CCAP Junior Travel Team and CCAP Club Members which continues to enforce race tactics and drills while building team camaraderie. 

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