Monday, March 11, 2013

Carving Canyons - Riverside - Race #2

The St. Francis GOLDEN KNIGHTS Mountain Bike Team
“Carving Canyons Race”, Riverside CA – March 10, 2013

Under beautiful blue skies with snow-capped mountains in the background, the St. Francis High School Mountain Bike Team competed in the 2nd race of the SoCal League High School Mountain Bike Series at Sycamore Canyon Park in Riverside, CA on March 10th. Rolling, twisty, trails through meadows and boulder-strewn terrain made for an exciting day of racing. For the second straight race, a large team of 21 riders represented the Golden Knights in a race featuring over 350 high school students from all over Southern California.

46 riders lined up to compete in the Freshman Division 1 class race. Representing the Golden Knights were George Orloff, Andrew Palaski, Andrew Schiller, and Michael Vega. This strong freshman group improved over their first race results, including another top-10 finish. Andrew Shiller came in 8th, Michael Vega in 15th, George Orloff in 18th, and Andrew Palaski in 25th.

Five riders from St. Francis represented the Golden Knights in the Sophomore Division 1 class. A large accident at the start of the race took down Golden Knights Alex Marshall and Skyler Payne. Both riders battled back, with Marshall finishing in 25th and Payne, riding on a broken rear wheel for 15 miles, coming from dead last to pass 19 riders to finish in 12th! Skyler’s battle was one of the most inspiring efforts ever in the 5 year history of the St. Francis mountain bike team. Remi Roth and Nathaniel Blakely both had their best race results ever finishing in 8th and 9th place, and Owen Shain ran the final 2 miles with a broken bike to finish in 26th. These sophomores won’t quit!

The JV Division 1 race saw the largest field of the day with 53 riders. The Golden Knights were a significant contributor with 10 riders lining up for the afternoon race start. Austin Hamilton almost had the Golden Knights first podium of the day and finished in a well-earned 6th place. Daniel Balsam and Michael Togneri rode in together in 16th and 17th, with Matt Kubly not that far behind in 26th. Will Towne was the next Golden Knight in 31st, Carl Demolder battled an illness to finish in 33rd, Hunter Nalley finished in 35th, Keenan Koch in 38th, Kenny Larsen in 40th, and Chris Perez finished a hot race in 50th.  

St. Francis junior Sean Bird and senior Scott Marshall represented the Golden Knights in the 4-lap Varsity race. Bird jumped into a fast group of 10 Varsity riders on the first lap and led the group for 2 laps in a break that splintered the field. Bird hung on during a blistering last lap to finish in 7th. Scott Marshall worked hard all day and made 2 passes on the last lap to get his personal best Varsity finish to date of 20th.

The Golden Knights again showed grit, courage, and perseverance to have all 21 riders complete their race. 13 of the 21 improved on their results from race # 1 by dedicating themselves to hard work over the last two weeks of training.

The Golden Knights head to race # 3 in Lake Perris in two weeks, and with the team hitting its stride at the middle of the season, they should be able to come away with some podium finishes.
The Golden Knights mountain bike team is 100% volunteer managed and coached and is very grateful for all of the support they have received from the parents, alumni, and their generous sponsors, including: Design Imports, Hollandays, Merchants Building Maintenance, Mountain Pine Shutters, Strategic Law Partners, Nu-Hope, Kevin Martin/UBS, Stratz & Company, Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers, Lucas Horsfall Murphy & Pindroh, Lantern CycleWorks, Montrose Bike Shop, Crescenta Valley Insurance, and Church and Larsen.  GO KNIGHTS!

Photos courtesy of Brother Chris. Thank you!

Owen Shain ran the final 2 miles with a broken chain - but finished! 
Sean Bird - Varsity

Andrew Palaski and George Orloff - Freshman

Kenny Larsen - JV

Alumni Matt Misetich and Christian Breitschwerdt out to support their team!

The Guys - Post Race

Remi Roth had his best result ever - a well deserved 8th place!

Skyler Payne rode 15 miles on a broken rear wheel to finish 12th!

Austin Hamilton - 6th in JV

Incredible riding through boulders

Sean Bird leading a Varsity train through the boulders

Hunter Nalley - JV

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