It was a great weekend for racing in Jackson, Georgia. The morning chill gave way to bright sunshine and eager racers as the Peach State Championship got underway. During our Pit Zone time on Saturday and Sunday, I challenged all our riders to reflect on how far they have come in 4 months. For perspective, all but three of our 20 riders had never participated in a bike race before this season, and to start a full practice schedule three weeks behind schedule into the season and to finish where we did was an awesome sight to see.
Freshman Boys – They all increased their times and efforts. Paul Tyndall finished 8th in the race. He has been in the top 10 all 5 races. He also finishes 8th in the State overall out of over 100+ boys who raced this season. Westin, Michael, and Trevor increased their positioning and times as well.
Sophomores – Christian Honeycutt came out of the woods on lap 1 in 15th place. We thought something was wrong with his bike because he slowed his tempo, but managed a very respectable eleventh place at Race 5. He credits it to Paul who told him to hang on to his wheel and he did! Christian has always finished low to middle of the pack, but he went all out and almost snagged a top 10, by about 20 seconds. He finishes 44th out of 65 riders in the state.
JV- Reid finished 38th out of 70 riders at Race 5. He also improved his positioning as well. Reid finishes 47th out of 94 riders in the state. The JV field has a lot of talent and he went after it every race.
Overall Jackson County had 5 Top 10 finishes in the season and finishes a respectable 7th Place in the League. The team was also the highest ranked new team in the entire state in Division I.
Pre-Season starts up again in April so please feel free to come by and ask questions if you are interested in joining our mountain bike club/family!
If you are interested in a supporter shirt for our MTB Club, the link is below. Proceeds after cost help fund our program and all monies go directly to supporting the riders. Our fundraiser ends next week and the team appreciates all the support they receive! Turnaround is 1 week from Big Frog and they will send it to the school (no need to ship to your home). https://jaxcomtb.itemorder.
MTB Race #4 Update
The MTB team had another strong showing at Heritage Park in Watkinsville. This course had over 475 feet of vertical ascent per lap (League rules limit it to 500 feet). The kids brought their climbing legs and put in the work. While it is a shorter course at 4.5 miles, the long sustained climbs consume the energy just as quickly.
Our parents really show up and show off at these races. They encourage and cheer our racers on along the race route and display a “all hands on deck” attitude.
Freshman and Sophomore boys continue to improve with Christian Honeycutt returning to racing since his injury at Allatoona.
The “tough rider” award for this race goes to Reid Patterson, Reid had a blistering first lap to where it caught everyone by surprise. He was about 5 minutes off the lead group and caused a lot of heads to turn. However, he suffered a mechanical with his drive train and had to finish the last two laps with only three gears. Naturally, they weren’t the climbing gears that one would use to get up the three sustained climbs. He finished the race, but was not last! He got a great round of applause from all those around him at the finish line. Reid rides with some intense passion and empty’s the tank at every race. Its crazy to think a small piece of bark that got lodged in his drive train was the issue. Its the small things.
We are still in 6th place and holding our ground and heading into Race #5 our final race in Jackson Georgia near Indian Springs State Park.
MTB Race #3 Update
Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7, our mountain bike team participated in race #3 down in Milledgeville. While the course was less technical this time, the heat made up the difference, however, our riders were up for it and gave it their best go.
What you see in the photo below is a rider from TrojanMTB (Lassiter HS). The photo doesn’t tell the whole story, because the LHS rider was struggling to get up the last hill before the finish line, and was visibly in the “pain cave” (a phrase we use in cycling). Abby seizing the moment, slowed her race tempo down to cheer and encourage this young woman up the hill and then passed her using proper trail etiquette after she had made sure she was ok.
Afterward, at the end of the day, this rider found Abby and thanked her for encouraging her to finish the lap and the race. The rider’s parents reached out to our team through Facebook to thank Abby and us for helping their child through that moment and coaching character. These girls raced 11 miles over some tough terrain and a high heat index. Regardless of the challenges that are thrown at the riders, sportsmanship and camaraderie always find its way to the top.
As a team, we always discuss character, and who the name on the jersey represents. It’s more than a school, but a community. There is always room on the top step of the sportsmanship podium for everyone. This was one example of what we see every weekend at these races. Everyone cheers for all the riders regardless of what team they are on.
Jackson County is still in sixth place in the team points race despite being down riders due to injury and fall break.
Race #4 is in Watkinsville at Heritage Park on October 20th (middle school) and 21st (High School). Come join us, and we will save you a seat in the Pit Zone. This will be our last “close to us” race before we head down south one more time to Jackson, Georgia (Indian Springs State Park).