A hearty congratulations to everyone for a job well done, and an emotional weekend at Boggs as Coach Paul announces his retirement after nearly a decade of coaching Drake MTB since the inception of the team. Coaches report and race reports below, and visit our Facebook for lots of other photos and stories!
COACH’S RACE REPORT
Bogg’s Mountain, Race 5 2013, NorCal League Championship
Boggs Mountain State Demonstration Forest has, for many years, has been one of my favorite destinations for mountain biking related activities. Even before I got involved with Drake MTB this was a place where we would spend many a beautiful day marveling at the tall pines and flowing single track that was pretty much void of traffic and politics.
In our 4th event for 2013, “Ride At The Raceway” 4/7/13 at Laguna Seca, Drake MTB put in a powerful performance resulting in a tie with Salinas High for the #1 spot going into the NorCal final later in the month, then the State Championship in May. Congratulations to everyone on excelling despite some extra challenges!!
The first thing that comes to mind from this weekends race is “Against All Odds”. It seems that every race this season has been an unbelievable show of determination and strength from an incredible group of riders who continually give each race their best shot.
I was reminded yet again of the respect and awesome status our Team has, from an unlikely source, in my conversation with Coach Robert from Salinas. When congratulating him on what appeared to be a race winning performance, he was not too certain of their victory and said, ” You guys are Champions and Champions always find a way to win.”
Although it turned out that they did indeed come in first, given the circumstances, we really came up big at this race. Going in we knew it was going to be a tough race as we were going to have to pick up a lot of slack from the absence of Leah Lindt-White, Lucas Newcomb, Eleanor Waterhouse and Galen Pogoncheff, all of them big point earners for the Team, so here is how it played out.
Once again the sun was shining on Drake MTB as we entered our first full League race of the season on Sunday, March 24 2013.
Having the split League races the first two times was a bit confusing in relation to getting a real feel for where we were with the entire League. Over 700 riders representing 55 High Schools is a tall order not only for the Teams but for the NorCal League as well and my hat goes off to the League for pulling this race off in a very professional manner. What was really incredible was the fact that Drake MTB pulled out yet another win on a day we struggled a little. The placement results were down a bit given the larger fields but the point distribution between the increased number of schools spread things out a bit.
Our second race of the season was yet another beautiful day. The wonderful, yet somewhat bizarre weather pattern this year has caused us to cancel only one practice this season and left us with two beautiful race days.
This race brought us a new venue for the first time in a couple of years. The course started near the Folsom City Zoo and wrapped around a baseball field and a rodeo arena before dipping into the “Sherwood Forest” for a bit of technical woop-ti-doos before climbing up on the ridge next to Folsom Prison with stunning views of the American River before dipping back down to the levee and up to the ball field. Super fun and super fast.
Race #1 for 2013 is history and Drake MTB rocked Granite Bay! Coach Paul’s race report is here, as is one from Allie Stanley. A special congratulations to the Girls squad on everyone finishing Top 10 in their categories!
It was a beautiful early Spring weekend at Folsom Lake as we rolled the mighty Drake MTB trailer into the Pit Zone at 7:30. I had a great feeling about the day that started the night before when we had the largest turn out for a Team dinner at Buca di Beppo ever. Now that is saying something seeing as how this is the smallest team we have had since starting this tradition. The parent volunteers and friends of Drake MTB had the awesome Drake MTB Pit Zone setup in no time as we unloaded our newly organized trailer and got the grills and stove cranked up.
Team Celebrates at NorCal Finals (Photo: Marin IJ)
The Drake Mountain Bike Team successfully defended out NorCal Championship title this weekend by defeating the competitive teams of Redwood and Salinas and eleven other Division 1 teams at Stafford Lake in Novato on Sunday May 6th.
Most of the team riders peaked at the perfect time and recorded personal best places for the season. All but one of the points earning members were on the podium for the day including Freshman Allie Jo Stanley 5th, Freshman Carson Benjamin 2nd (also won the top freshman boy for the year), Freshman Ben Enbom 4th, Sophomore Nicolette Lax 4th, Junior Leah Lind-White 3rd, Senior Libby Caldwell 6th, Junior Lucas Newcomb 4th, and Senior Mackenzie Stanley, who had her best finish of the year, winning the very competitive Varsity Girls group! Some of these categories have 60-80 riders in them!
Drake is now the 6x NorCal High School Mountain Bike League Champions! Great job to the whole team!
Now we’re off to the State Championships in two weeks (5/20/12) to take on the Southern California teams for the California State Championship. We go very confident that we’ll defend our title and make it four State Championships for the team!
Thanks to all those who came out to support the team, it meant a lot to the students.
~ Roll Pirates!!!!
Thanks to Pedal Born Pictures for the great video!
Well that was one heck of a weekend! I am just now getting myself back together from the exileration of it all. Looks like “Having fun and doing your best” was a good idea seeing as how despite a couple of hiccups, that was our best race of the season. I don’t have specifics as yet while waiting for the results posting, but I do believe there were something like 19 season bests or equivelants including a couple of first time podium standers, congradulations Ben and Nicolette!
Laguna Seca Podium 4/1/2012
Even though they are painful, those Fish-Els really paid off. You have all worked hard at practice and it is really showing at the races. If we can keep this up and catch a break in the misfortune of some of our top riders, we may be able to come back against Redwood. They had a Drake MTB kind of day and we will really need to be on our game to catch them. This is one of the closest 1-2-3 season battles I have been through but this is a typical Drake MTB kind of year where we come on strong at the end of the season. Again, I am very proud of you and inspired by your enthusiasm.
We will be having practice on Tuesdays going forward starting tomorrow. All practices during the week will be at 4PM. Be sure and check the calendar if you have any questions. We will also be having practice this Sunday which happens to be Easter. The Church of Drake MTB will be open at 9AM with our traditional EasterTube hunt with perhaps a few goodies thrown in as well.
We only have less than 2 weeks to get ready for Boggs so there will be an extra dose of single track in the weeks to come as well as some more climbing in preparation for “The Wall” at Boggs. We will also be takling a poll for the Spring Break week prior to Boggs to see how many want to practice or ride on their own or who will even be in town that week.
Howdy! Now that the dust has settled, turns out we actually placed 3rd in Race 2 and are still 1st overall, barely! Way to go Pirates! ~ Coach Paul
From Coach Dan
Howdy all, while the NorCal team point totals did not equal that of our first race, here are some stats that will please the Pirates:
23 of 36 racers at Race #2 had their personal best performances of the season — fabulous!
The average score per rider at Race #1 was 363.92. At Race #2 it was 370.97 — outstanding! A 7-point increase average is great progress!
ALL the frosh girls, frosh boys, and soph girls who did Race #1 improved their performance in Race #2 – amazing!
Best overall improvement over Race #1 goes to Sterling Guy with 24 places (35th to 11th) — Superhuman!
Congrats to Oliver Morgen! His 10th and 452 points put him on the list of NorCal Team point scorers!!! – Way to go, Oliver!
Think about your own highlights…we’d love to hear from you! Roll Pirates! ~ Coach Dan
From Coach Jeff:
It was a rough weekend with the weather, but a successful weekend on the course for the Drake Mountain Bike Team. Each race the points from the top eight riders from each team are added together to determine the team results for the day. At our second race of the season, held in Monterey, the team, just like true Pirates, weathered the major rain storms, painful hail, and biting wind to add another successful day to their season. Thanks to the top riders of Lucas Newcomb, Miles Lim, Mackenzie Stanley, Libby Caldwell, Leah Lind-White, Oliver Morgen, Carson Benjamin, and Allie Jo Stanley, the team would once again move closer to a 4th state championship for 2012. Great job Pirates! And thanks to the parents and coaches, who, as Sam McLaughlin put it, built a “fortress in the pits,” for the team to stay dry and warm. Roll Pirates!