Granite Bay Grinder
Granite Bay, CA
Berkeley High Mountain Biking completed the second race of the 2019 NorCal series this past Sunday in Beautiful Granite Bay, California. With a winding course that follows the waterline of the Folsom Lake Reservoir, technically challenging rock gardens and scenic oak forest, this race really was a great venue for both riding and spectating.
Racing began bright and early with our Varsity girls sprinting out of the start schute at 9am. Undaunted by the prospect of 3 long laps, Isa and Marina pushed to bring home some big points for their team. Unfortunately, Isa broke a chain early in her race (she was sitting in the lead race group at the time) and spent the rest of the race trying to catch back up after fixing the broken chain. Isa ended 7th by the time her tire crossed the line. Marina put down consistent lap times and finished her first Varsity race ever in a solid 11th place!
Hot on the the heels of our varsity squad, our JV girls took to the course. Over the course of two laps of racing, Lizzy and Kahena both ended up on the podium and Tia (her second race ever!) finished just over a minute off of the podium. Big kudos to Sadie for finishing her 1st race ever with a strong 22nd place finish. Unfortunately, Zeya a normal podium contender had a bad crash and was forced to pull out.
Super proud of all the young women on the team, not only do you all rock it on the bike, but you also put the TEAM in teammate with your cheering and supporting your fellow athletes!
Soon after our girls finished up their heats, Freshman and Sophomore boys entered the fray. Like last time, Sophomores Kahlil and Benjamin finished just seconds apart in 2nd and 3rd. Unlike race 1, they weren’t joined by any other Yellowjackets on the podium. Shout out to Miles for finishing his first race in the top 10 and I am excited to see Miles continue to improve going forward. Showing true grit, Carter finished his first race of all time after recovering from an appendectomy only a few week ago, what a beast!
For our Freshman, Axel and Ezra both finished on the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Axel, went into race 2 hoping defend his points leader position, and was able to barely hold onto the coveted leader’s Jersey with his hard work. I am sure he’s looking towards race 3! Special mention for Henry who despite taking a wrong turn on course, was able to finish a solid and respectable 11th place!
Our JV and Varsity boys lined up at just as the heat of the day really started to take its toll. With the higher lap counts and this being the first hot race/ride of the year, many racers were not well acclimated to the higher temperatures. Cramping and dehydration were rampant with some racers having trouble getting off of there bikes after finishing. Despite the heat, Varsity racers Noah and Gabe both had their best races of the season coming in 11th and 12th respectively. Big kudos to the volunteers manning the feed-zone. Your effort in passing out nutrition and water, saved several rider’s from bonking and dropping out!
For the JV heat, Jonas entered as the points leader, but had a mechanical occur that essentially turned his bike into a single-speed during the first lap. Unfazed, Jonas pushed hard and still came in 7th place with score to settle at race 3! The rest of our JV boys did great with everyone finishing the grueling race with the exception of one.
All in all:
Coming off of a 2nd place team finish at race 1, Berkeley High came in swinging at Granite Bay. However, despite our best efforts, fate had other plans for the day with many of our racers suffering mechanicals and finishing behind where they would have otherwise. At the end of the day, we scored 4,024 points with our scorers being Lizzie (JV 530pts), Isa (Var. 523pts), Kahena (JV 512 pts), Marina (Var. 495pts), Noah (Var. 495pts), Kahlil (Soph. 490pts.), Axel (Fresh. 490pts.), and Gabe (Var. 489 pts). I am proud to note that more than 50% of our points were earned by female racers! 4,024 points bought us a close 3rd place behind Salinas with 4,095 points, and El Cerrito with 4,192 points. I am very proud of everyone who came out and raced and I am looking forward to hopefully flipping order and taking the top step as a team.