JC Mountain Bike Club Team

Good morning Panther family,

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.

Recaps of Race #5
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.

On the Freshman Girls Side
All three girls continue to get faster and improve their times. Abby Fox was first to the line for JaxCo followed by Katelyn Howard and Kaylee Crase. We are all impressed with these young women and how they represent our school.  Kaylee finishes 17th Katelyn 18th and Abby 19th in the State. Look out for these girls next year, they are already working on a winter/spring plan. Kaylee was our only girl to finish all 5 races successfully. This is no easy feat as you have to stay healthy and injury free. Only a handful of riders were able to successfully do this and Kaylee was our only female to do so. 
Abby was one of two girls in their entire state of Georgia to receive the NICA Spirit Award. This is awarded to a rider who demonstrates the core principles of Strong mind, body, and spirit as a rider, and demonstrates positive character to other riders. She was nominated for her sportsmanship at Race 3.

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. 
If you see any of our riders in the school, please congratulate them on a great first season. I am always looking for help and any support we can provide to our riders.  I would love to have another faculty member help out if they like. All you need is a bike, helmet, and good attitude!  Next year, the league is projecting over 1,000 riders!

 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.com/sale 

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.

Paul Tyndall decided to go all out on this race and entered the woods in 4th place, but sadly went “endo” (end over the handlebars) but recovered and managed a respectable 8th place. This is his 4th top 10 finish this year. Paul is such a humble kid about his results so if you see him, please congratulate him. He is humble about his results, but by no means complacent. The kid is hungry for a podium and has only been racing for 2 years.
For the first time all season, all three of our girls were able to finish the race. They did great and finished strong. Abby, Katelyn, and Kaylee had strong showings. The sisterhood in mountain biking is strong and watching these girls go after it being completely new to this sport is awesome.

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.

Our Freshman rider Paul Tyndall continues to show great performance in a Freshman field that is stacked with another top 10 finish in 10th place.
The biggest “win” of the day came from our rider Abby Fox.

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.

JCCHS Mountain Bike Team

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).

MTB Race #2 Update

The JC Mountain Bike Club Team had another great Race Weekend at Allatoona. Not much climbing, but technical single track trail and a fast 6 miles.
Freshmen Update
Paul Tyndall despite having a busted wheel and breaking spokes on course managed a 7th place finished in a field that is stacked deep with now 100 boys.
All of our Freshmen Boys and Girls finished higher with the girls highlight being –Kaylee Crase who moved up 4 positions and beat several sophomores to the line.
All of the freshmen boys moved up several slots and are positioning themselves higher up in the team points race.
Our JV riders Reid Patterson and newcomer Grady Faint made some serious moves in the race.
Grady starting in the dead last position in a field of 70 JV boys finished 12th! The JV Boys do three laps (18 miles)
Reid moved up 15 spots to finish 45th.
For more information about the JC Mountain Bike Club Team, contact Zachary Taylor (ztaylor@jcss.us).