VERNON – On Sunday, May 21, the Galena Growlers composite middle/high school mountain bike team traveled to the Tilden Farm in Vernon, NY for the ‘Race the Farm’ cross country mountain bike race. This race is the third of five National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) New York League mountain bike races for the 2023 spring season.
Head Coach Rob Baker said, “Race 3 was a really fun, close-by event. The Growlers brought home three podiums on the day, experienced a DNF, and overall ended up in seventh place out of 20 teams in the race. The weather started off wet and rainy, but turned sunny and warm, which dried the course for the afternoon races. It was muddy and greasy for all the girls in the morning. The course was pretty flat, lots of turns and twists. It was a great day of racing for the 221 kids from the 20 league teams from all over the state.”
The Growlers sent 11 riders up to Vernon, where three were racing for the first time this year. 10 of the 11 Growlers finished. Sixth grader McKenzie Hagenbuch made the podium for the first time in the girls race in fourth place. Sophomore Braedon Baker took his first fifth place podium finish for the boys. Drew Brooks, the Growlers lone varsity boy racer, grabbed another podium, third straight podium finish, with a fifth place finish, racing five laps on the four mile course.
“All the kids had great races today – with a few first-time racers! It’s tough out there for two or three laps at the middle school level (eight or 12 miles) and for the three, four of five laps for the high school kids (12, 16, or 20 miles) over a tough, twisty four-mile course,” Baker said.
The Growlers ended the day in seventh place. The team’s four scorers totaling 1933 points were Drew Brooks with 539 points, Emma Brooks with 496 points, Braedon Baker with 464 points, and Alex Kemnah with 434 points.
The Growlers now prepare for Race four called the Hyde Bay Cross Country Race, held at Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown, NY on June 4. Following the fourth race, there’s only one week until the State Championships taking place June 11 at McCauley Mountain in Old Forge.
“ We’ll be doing lots of hill riding preparing for these next two hilly and challenging race courses. It’s NICA New York’s 10th anniversary this year and we’re looking forward to the celebration of those 10 years after our last race,” Baker said.
If you see a Growler out riding around town – give them a shout – or a honk! Help us get #MoreKidsOnBikes. If you have a child interested in mountain biking, and want to know more about the Galena Growlers, contact Head Coach Rob Baker at GalenaGrowlers@gmail.com. If you want to learn more about NICA NY, check out the website: https://newyorkmtb.org/, where you can also view the 2023 race schedule.
Full Race Results:
6th grade Boys
Malakai Hagenbuch (#5006) podiumed in eighth place.
John Gracey (#5013) in his first race of the year finishing in 12th place.
6th grade Girls:
McKenzie Hagenbuch (#6009) in fourth place
Margaret Kemnah (#6013) in ninth place in her first race.
8th grade Boys – Amon Oliver (#1007) in sixth place
Freshman Boys – Alex Dennis (#602) finishing in 25th place.
(#422) Braedon Baker, finishing in fifth place.
(#428) Alex Kemnah, finishing in ninth place.
JV Boys – (#803) Charlie Sheldon raced three of four laps, DNF.
JV Girls - Emma Brooks (#302) with a strong sixth place finish.
Varsity Boys- Drew Brooks (#100) took a podium finish in fifth place at the completion of a grueling five- lap 20-mile race.
-Information from Galena Growlers’ Head Coach Rob Baker