Galena Growlers Compete At Walnut Mountain
Published: May 12th, 2023

Galena Growlers compete at Walnut Mountain The Galena Growlers huddled together before racing. (Submitted photo)

LIBERTY - On Sunday, May 7, the Galena Growlers Middle/High School mountain bike team traveled down to Walnut Mountain in Liberty, NY for the Hill Hugger XC event. This was the second of five National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) New York League mountain bike races for the 2023 Spring Season.

“Race 2 was one heck of a day of races. The Growlers brought home two podiums on the day, experienced a did not finish, and ended up in seventh place overall,” Head Coach Rob Baker said. “The weather was great, the trails were tough and technical (and wet in places with all the rain we’ve had over the last week), and it was a great day of racing for nearly 200 kids from 20 teams all over the state!”

The Galena Growlers took nine racers down to Liberty, where eight of nine finished. These nine rode against teams with 30, 50, or some with even 60 plus kids riding. Baker hopes to get more local youth involved with his Growlers.

Baker said at least three kids crashed one or more times, but is proud to have one of the sixth grade boys make the podium for the very first time. Malakai Hagenbuch finished in second place.

The Growlers remain in seventh place overall on the season heading into race three.

“I love the tough, gritty efforts all these kids put in! It’s tough out there for two or three laps at the middle school level (totaling six or nine miles) and for the three, four, or five laps for the high school kids (nine, 12, or 15 miles) over a tough, hilly course,” Baker said. “Our kids were prepared where the hillside mimics nicely our home trails up in the Norwich Rock Quarry.”

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If you see a Growler out riding around town – give them a shout – or a honk. Help us get #MoreKidsOnBikes. If you want to know more about the Galena Growlers, contact Head Coach Rob Baker at

Also to note is that on Saturday the Growlers went down for the Girls Riding Together (GRiT) ride and course pre-ride. Two of our three Growler girls participated in the all-girls GRiT ride.

The Growlers will next be in action in two weeks (May 21st) in the ‘Race The Farm” up at the Tildon Hill Farm in Vernon, NY. Come on up to the farm and see what NICA’s all about – 6th to 12th grade boys and girls racing mountain bikes! If you want to learn more about NICA NY, check out the web site:

-Information from the Galena Growlers


Middle School

6th grade Boys - Malakai Hagenbuch (#5006) podiumed in 2nd place

6th grade Girls - McKenzie Hagenbuch (#6009) in 9th place

8th grade Boys - Amon Oliver (#1007) in 10th place

High School

Freshman Boys - Alex Dennis (#602) finishing in 22nd place.

Sophomore Boys – (#422) Braedon Baker, finishing in 14th place in a strong class.

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JV Boys – (#803) Charlie Sheldon bringing home a strong 23rd place finish.

JV Girls- Emma Brooks (#302) taking 9th place JV Girls

- Madison Breckenridge (#316) did not finish (Crash).