LIBERTY – On Sunday, June 5, the Galena Growlers Composite NICA mountain bike team traveled down to Liberty to compete in New York’s National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) State Championships, the last race of a five-race spring season. The team finished in a solid eighth place on the day, while ending the season seventh overall in the team championship out of the 22 registered NICA teams.
The morning started off with the middle school girls’ races. The Growlers have no middle school girls, but would love to have some sixth grade to eighth grade girls join next year.
The two JV girls, Emma Brooks and Madison Lawrence were next up in their four-lap race. The high school race course was almost five miles, with about 600 feet of climbing per lap. Both Emma and Madison had great races. Emma finished in ninth place while Madison ended up in 12th. Emma completed three laps while Madison completed two on the day.
In the afternoon, the middle school boys led off followed by the high school boys. The Growlers had three middle schoolers racing. Their race course was roughly 3.5 miles in length. In the 7th grade boys’ race, Amon Oliver finished in 12th place as Andrew Lawrence finished in 19th. Eighth grader Alex Dennis came in 25th after completing two of three laps.
Following the middle school boys’ races, The Growlers’ eight high school racers were ready to race. The first up was the JV boys’ race. The Growlers had five riders in this race. All five finished the four-lap race. Norwich junior Drew Brooks took the win, marking his third race win in a row.
The next JV rider was Downsville senior Steven Brown coming in 14th followed by Norwich Junior Grayson Boyer in 18th. Norwich’s two seniors, twin brothers, Andrew and Dan Thompson took 23rd and 24th respectively.
The next race featured the sophomore boys, where Unadilla Valley’s Charlie Sheldon finished in 22nd place in his three-lap race. The final race of the day was the three-lap freshman boys’ race, where the Growlers had Unadilla Valley’s Alex Kemnah racing to a ninth place finish followed by Norwich’s Braedon Baker in 10th.
The Growlers placed eighth as a team to close out the day. The team used the Boy-Girl-Girl-Boy scoring combination with a total of 2,078 points.
Once the racing was complete, NICA NY overall season stats were compiled. The team ended the season in seventh place with 9,530 points overall. This is the team’s best finish since joining NICA.
Drew Brooks was the lone Growlers’ season podium winner. He finished first overall in the JV boys’ category. It was a nail-biter down to the last race, where the best scores of four of five races are used for overall points and if a rider raced in all five races, a bonus of 25 points is added to their season ending points total.
Drew missed one race, so all year long he was battling no points scored and knowing he couldn’t drop any of the other races with either getting sick or a DNF. Drew beat out Pleasantville’s Ewen MacDonald (who finished in fourth on the day with 569 points scored) by six points for the overall season championship when the scoring was settled. Drew was also named the Evening Sun / Pennysaver racer of the day for his overall performance.
The Skylla Engineering racer of the day was senior Steven Brooks for his 14th place finish in the four-lap JV boys’ race.
The Prime General Contracting racer of the day was Alex Dennis for his two-lap effort in the eighth grade boys’ race.
The Preferred Mutual racer of the day was Amon Oliver for his 12th place finish in the seventh grade boys’ race.
The R.E. Brooks Construction racer of the day was Madison Lawrence for her 12th place finish in the JV girls’ race.
The RSD Motorsports racer of the day was Emma Brooks for her ninth place in the JV girls’ race.
The Action Cyclery LLC racer of the day was Alex Kemnah for his ninth place finish in the freshman boys’ race.
The In-Motion Designs Inc racer of the day was the entire team for finishing seventh on the season out of 22 registered NICA Teams.
-Information provided by Rob Baker, the Head Coach of the Galena Growlers Composite Mountain Bike Team