Victory at Vail Race, Temecula CA – April 15, 2012
The St. Francis High School mountain bike team competed in the fourth event of the six-race SoCal league series at Vail Lake in Temecula, CA on April 15th. Great weather and perfect trail conditions made for an exciting race.
Rain showers on Friday and Saturday cleared the dusty trails at the Vail Lake course to create a very tacky and fast track. To make the course even more challenging, the SoCal league added a ½ mile pavement start and additional single-track climbing. The new course would really benefit strong, technical riders.
In the Freshman Division 1 class, Golden Knight riders Austin Hamilton and Skyler Payne again showed their great form on the course with a solid 5th and 6th place respectively. Austin’s 5th place was his third podium finish of the year. Philip Saulny just missed a top-10 finish with a strong 11th place. Working hard and continuing to improve were Remi Roth in 16th, Nathaniel Blakely in 19th, and Nick Bedford in 25th.
Daniel Balsam continued to impress the Sophomore Division 1 class, battling with the leaders for all 3 laps and finishing with a strong 3rd place finish, earning him his 3rd podium finish of the year. Hunter Nalley fought hard all day for a respectable 16th, and Will Towne had his best finish of the year finishing in 20th.
The weather and racing heated up at in the afternoon for the JV and Varsity riders. The biggest battles and heartache occurred during the JV race. While battling for the lead on the 2nd of their 3 lap race, JV racer Sean Bird crashed hard after a mechanical problem with his bike. Sean fixed his bike on course and like all of our tough Golden Knights do, completed the race to finish in 25th. Scott Marshall worked hard for a 10th place finish, his second top-10 of the year. Close behind Marshall was Connor Haas with a very strong race and 13th place. Matt Kubly worked hard for 15th, while Carl Demolder worked through leg cramps to soldier on for 20th. Like Bird, Cameron Aubert’s strong race was sidetracked with a crash. Cameron disappointingly watched riders race by as he got back on and finished in a very respectable 21st. In the Varsity race, Christian Breitschwerdt worked hard for 24th. Matt Misetich came back from two week break off of the bike due to injuries and persevered for 26th.
After a tough day of racing, some of the Golden Knights seemed disappointed with the outcome of their races. Coach Bird emphasized to them that racing is comprised of many different emotions and moments – all of which will help build character and strength.
The Golden Knights head to the mountains for their final league race in Lake Arrowhead on May 6th, and then will compete against the NorCal league at the State Championships in Los Olivos on May 20th.
The Golden Knights mountain bike team are very grateful for the support that they have received from the school and administration, along with their sponsors: Design Imports, Hollandays, VCA Arden Animal Hospital, Merchants Building Maintenance, Bell Helmets, Mountain Pine Shutters, Strategic Law Partners, Nu-Hope, Kevin Martin/UBS, Stratz & Company, Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers, City National Bank, and JoBesh International.