LONG ISLAND – The Galena Growlers first race of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) New York Spring 2021 season occurred over this past weekend at the Cathedral Pines County Park, in Middle Island, NY on Long Island.
The team, out of its 22 riders, had 7 riders make the trip to compete. Due to COVID, the racers were split between the Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers. In the past, all races were on Sunday.
Now, due to COVID, to keep the numbers low, the Middle School kids raced on Saturday with the High School races taking place on Sunday.
All racers raced the same 3.5-mile course, mainly flat, twisty, rooty single-track course with the number of laps being the variable differentiating the races. The 6th grade boys raced for 2 laps, 8th grade boys ended up racing t laps, while the Freshmen, Sophomore and JV boys raced 4 laps. The varsity kids raced 5 laps – brutal.
One key aspect of NICA is that every course is different – with Race 1 on Long Island being flat – with race 5 at the Windham Mountain Resort being brutally hilly. Every rider has their strengths – so you never know from race to race who will do what.
On Saturday, all our three Middle School kids started and finished their respective races. We had one rider make the Podium – Braedon Baker of Plymouth, taking 4th place in the 8th grade boys ~10.5-mile race. Top 5 make the podium!! Braedon played soccer for Norwich over at Windsor Friday night, made the drive down early Saturday morning, then raced. Riding on “soccer legs” he will be right up there vying for the 2nd or 3rd place I’m sure - 5th place was well back of the pack. Both of our 6th grade riders, Andrew Lawrence and Amon Oliver had strong “first time NICA” races.
On Sunday, all our 4 High School kids started and all finished. Again, the Growlers had one rider make the podium – Norwich’s Drew Brooks taking 2nd place (by half a wheel) in the Sophomore boy’s race. Drew dropped a chain on lap 2, losing over 30 seconds to fix the issue, and finished 40 seconds back of 1st place. It would have been a completely different race if he had not had the chain issue that is for sure. In the Freshman race, Collin Behrmann of Norwich finished in 15th place. He had a great race! The other Growler riders, Steven Brown of Downsville, and Grayson Boyer of Norwich both had strong races in the JV category, finished 12th and 14th respectively. For Brown, this was also his first time NICA race.
We recognize our major Team Sponsors by recognizing “Riders of the Race” for them.
Preferred Mutual Rider of the Race: Drew Brooks
Principle Design Engineering Rider of the Race: Braedon Baker
In Motion Designs Rider of the Race: Steven Brown
T-Squared Rider of the Race: Amon Oliver
Magro’s Rider of the Race: Grayson Boyer
RSD Motorsports Rider of the Race: Collin Behrmann
Wilson Funeral Home Rider of the Race: Andrew Lawrence
Chenango County Law Enforcement Association Rider of the Race: Braedon Baker
Skylla Engineeing Rider of the Race: Drew Brooks
Action Cyclery Rider of the Race: Grayson Boyer
Chobani Rider of the Race: Steven Brown
All riders (both Middle and High School) compete individually for points thru the season and overall top rider in each of the categories at seasons end. Only High School scores as a team. Team scoring is the best points total from a 4-person team and whichever combination of BBBG, BBGG, or BGGG gives your team the most points, you go with. B = Boy and G = Girl. Since the Growlers competed with no girl racers, our team used the BBBG scoring taking zero points (out of 550 possible) in the G position. The Growlers finished, as a team in 10th place.
Whenever we get to a race, where all riders race, with no bike technicals or crashes forcing a dreaded “Did Not Finish” is a great race weekend. The Growlers had just that – a great weekend!! The Growlers now prepare for Race #2 that will take place down at Lippman Park, southeast of Liberty in Wawarsing, NY to be held the weekend of May 1-2. Race 3 will take place over in Oneonta (May 15-16), Race 4 hosted here in Norwich by the Growlers (May 22-23) and then another 2-week gap to Race 5, the State Championships, over in Windham (June 5-6).
6th grade boys
Andrew Lawrence – 9th – 434 points
Amon Oliver – 10th – 437 points
8th grade boys
Braedon Baker – 4th – 472 points
Collin Behrmann – 15th – 396 points
Drew Brooks – 2nd – 490 points
Steven Brown – 12th – 454 points
Grayson Boyer – 14th – 442 points