Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series Set to Debut

The Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series will kick off this Saturday, January 22nd.
The Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series will kick off this Saturday, January 22nd.
 FOLSOM, California - The West’s first dedicated USA Cycling mountain bike racing series for school-age kids, the Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series, debuts this weekend at Granite Bay, California. The new series will kick off its first season with an ice-breaker short track cross country race on National Short Track Course in the Granite Bay Recreation Area.
 
Upwards of 150 high school and middle school racers are expected to be on hand to race including area standouts Shayna Powless of Roseville High, reigning X-Terra National Champion and 2 time Nor Cal Varsity Champion, Woodcreek High School’s Jimmy Winne, Nevada Union’s Jeremiah Newman and Steven Baldock, Maren Cosens of Oakridge, and the outstanding duo of Sam Wamhoff and Kyle Luther of Folsom High.
 
High school mountain bike racing is experiencing major growth and a group of ten schools have worked together to have a racing series to compete in for 2011, the Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series. These high school teams operate independently and race all over Northern California. Nevada Union was the first high school in the area to have a team in 2000 and was soon joined by Rocklin High School.
 
Short Track racing is also relatively new to high school mountain bike racing.
Kyle Luther, of Folsom High School, will be competing this weekend in the opening race of the Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series.
Kyle Luther, of Folsom High School, will be competing this weekend in the opening race of the Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series.
The Sierra Nevada High School Cycling Series is attempting to work within the limited size of many venues by bringing short track cross country mountain bike races to high school and middle school teams. Five to six mile single track loops with plenty of staging area and parking are scarce even in the Sierra foothills. Short Track can be run on existing cyclocross courses and some of the more technical cross country running courses already near most large high schools.
 
Asked about the growth of high school cycling, Folsom High’s Team Director and the Sierra Series Organizer, Jason McMillen, had this to say: “As an example, there are about 18,000 kids signed up to play soccer in this part of Northern California, would ten percent of them choose to race mountain bikes instead if it were available? It is an active movement sport with very little standing around. We have the cool places to ride and a cycling culture from Davis to Folsom and up to Auburn and Nevada City” With numbers in his favor already, he urged local promoters to host races just for high school kids and the Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series was born. He then added, “Logistically it is possible to have thousands of kids involved in the sport especially if we have lots of smaller school on school races and a just few large regional races.
Amanda Winne, a Cat 2 racer from Woodcreek High School, looks up the trail to the competition ahead.
Amanda Winne, a Cat 2 racer from Woodcreek High School, looks up the trail to the competition ahead.
A series using USA Cycling (USAC)support and rules allows for national ranking points and independent officials. USAC gives the Series a similar stature to California Interscholastic Federation(CIF)and is the framework that can make it all come to life for the long run.”
 
Recognizing the need to get as many kids involved in cycling, two of the largest area bike shops, Bicycles Plus of Folsom and Bicycle Emporium of Auburn jumped in immediately to help make the series happen and are the prime sponsors. The two promoters involved, Mark Shaw and Bill Driskill of TBF Racing and Brian Joder of Bicycling Events, have also enthusiastically taken this leap of faith to support a new generation of bike racers.
 
Sierra Nevada High School Racing Series Contact Information: Jason McMillen, Organizer 916-804-7240 organizer@sierranevadamtb.org Series website www.sierranevadamtb.org


This Article Published January 20, 2011 For more information contact:
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