So after an extremely long winter, spring and the BMX season has finally arrived. Today’s race signified the opening of our 20th season. It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by since that original opening day so many years ago.
Opening day is usually a disaster with new registrations and all the inevitable renewals. This year, USABMX has employed a system where there are no forms to fill out and the information gets loaded directly into the computer. It proved to add a little extra burden on the girls in the registration building but with a delayed start of only 30 minutes, this should be considered a successful opening.
This year we threw in the option for riders to participate in some “Open” racing. With 20 riders opting to do that, it pushed the moto count up to 37 with 6 of them being the Opens.
The one glitch that we had was after the motos were posted we added two strider riders into the system and that became moto #1 as far as the announcer’s sheets and the staging sheets were concerned. The riders didn’t have the opportunity to understand that this pushed the moto numbers back one. The announcers struggled with that all day.
There were two Striders and they are always fun to watch. 3 Year old Molly Hile and 2 year old Jaxson Grover didn’t disappoint and really got the crowd going. Jaxson would be first across the stripe in all three rounds even though he went off onto the wrong fairway in one round.
So the winners in the Open classes were Jack Santilli in the 6 & Under Mixed Open; Zander Hicks in the 9-10 Mixed Open; Charlie Grover in the 31 & Over Mixed open; Robbie Webb in the 9-10 Open; Fin Milton in the 11-12 Open and Anthony Lucchesi in the 15-16 Open.
The 21-25 Girls Cruiser class enjoyed a 5 rider registration with actual ages ranging from 11 years old up to 43 years old. All the way from Schenectady New York, the Sagendorf sisters made a rare Foothills appearance and certainly left a positive impression of their skills. Jena Sagendorf, now 16 years old, easily transferred out in the first round and then won the main event. In the second round, 11 year old Avery Badendyck would transfer and also finish second in the main while Desiree Sagendorf finished third.
The 8 year old Cruiser class featured some hot “Total Points” racing as Aiden Badendyck and Mason Jacquier traded moto wins in the first two rounds. In round three Aiden got out in front early and, although challenged hard by Mason, would not give up the lead. Aiden would be our winner this day with Mason second and third went to Zach Tuohy.
It was also “Total Points” racing in the 12 year old Cruiser class and it was a clean sweep of the motos for Alex Kuehn (12 years old). Sam Degrange (9 years old) was second while the third spot went to Derek Fantano (10 years old).
In the 15 Cruiser “Total Points” class Josh Walsh did not show leaving the battle to rage between Dave Albert and Burton Campney. “The Beast” Dave Albert held off the Vermont ride of Burton Campney in all three rounds to earn the overall win.
Five riders were in the 26-30 year old Cruiser class and it got pretty scary in the first round when Chris Therriault must have plugged in “Finish Line” into his on-board GPS. As he exited turn two his bike went straight towards the finish line and crashed head on into the retaining fence at the top of the berm. Chris was Ok and won the second round to transfer into the main. Jeff Badendyck had transferred out in round one and Ryan Bogli and Fred Roy made it from round three. The Main event win went to Therriault with Roy and Badendyck second and third.
The 5 & Under Novice class was a three rider group with all riders just 4 years old. With Aiden Grover winning the first and second round, he looked like a shoe-in to ace a perfect. Matt Horjatschon thought otherwise and took the lead right out of the gate. Down the front straight and up the second straight he was flying. Unfortunately he literally went flying when he hit the big double and wrecked allowing Aiden to cruise to his perfect for the day. Matt did salvage a second in that moto as Kayla Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) wrecked in the second turn allowing Matt to remount and pass her.
Officially it was Aiden, Matt and Kayla for the record books.
In 6 year old Novice action Danny Smith got to sit for awhile as he was first to transfer out of this 5 rider class. Brian Neff sponsored Cole Barker was the transferred rider in the second round while Elena Curtis and Charlie Grover qualified out of round three. It was a good effort by Mary Sloan who just missed qualifying for the main. Cole Barker, also sponsored by brian Neff P.E., Charlie Grover and Dan Smith were the top three in the main.
The biggest class of the day was the 7 year old Novice group of 8 riders. Owen Annonson and Andrew Beach from round one; Noah Anderson and Brady Carlson from round 2 and Kevin Kelleher, Mac Zdziarski and Maurice Brazie from round 3 were the qualifiers. It was a tough day for Libby Hile but she showed some skills that should allow her to enjoy many main events real soon. In this main event it would be Owen Annonson showing the group how it’s done. Second went to Andrew Beach while third went to Mac Zdziarski.
It would be “Total Points” action for the 8 year old Novice class. Ricard Castaldi (Ted and Nancy sponsorship) won all three rounds with Asher Smith second and Vinny Orlandi third.
In 9 year old Novice racing action Leah Fox would be the only rider not making the three rider main event. Leah raced off and on last year so hopefully she will stay with it this year as she comes from a family with a solid BMX history. Brooke Klemonski had no problems in beating the field in the main event with Jana Wilkinson second and third went to Rhode Island’s Erin Myers.
It was also 4 riders in the 11 year old Novice group with Jack Vanhorn just missing the cut. The main saw Joziah “Speedy” Gonzalez earning the win. Brendan Healy second while Alex Orlov was third.
The 6 year old Intermediate class was solid as anyone could have won it. After two rounds both Dan Myers (wow what a wreck in practice) and Jack Santilli had enjoyed a moto win. Jack's third place finish in round two kept him one point behind Dan. Dan aced the third round making the official days results as First for Dan, second for Jack and third for Robbie Solsbury.
It was 5 riders in the 8 year old Intermediate class and “Hot Rod” Johnny Tomboly wasted no time in qualifying out of round one. Riley Hile joined him after round two while the round three qualifiers were Zach Tuohy and Shawn Biello. Nate Giroux sealed his fate with a big wreck in the first turn. We all hope he is Ok. Riley Hile won this main event with the second spot earned by Johnny Tomboly and Shawn Biello salvaged a third.
Another good sized group was the 9 year old Intermediate gang with five riders. Pierce Curtis, who is recovering from a nasty virus that kept him out of school for three days last week, did not make the main. It certainly was a great try by “Fierce Pierce”. Aiden Bielo was first out from round one. Ethan Hine from round two and Zander Hicks and Dylan Barker (Brian Neff) from round three made up the starting grid for the main event. Aidan captured the win with second going to Dylan and Zander finished third.
The 10 year old Intermediate class was a “Total Points” event with Mason Blackburn, Rylan Carlson and Tom Lucchesi going for the glory. Rylan was putting on some sweet moves in turn three but lost his perfect in the third round when Tom held him off. Tom won that battle but the war was won by Rylan. Rylan, Tom and Mason were the official finishing order.
In the “Total Points” 12 year old Intermediate class Josh Faunce aced a perfect with a sweep of the motos. Second overall went to Jorn Layman while third was John Kelleher.
The 14 year old Intermediate class saw Noah Klemonski struggling a bit and just missed making the main. This class was actually mixed with 13 and 14 year olds both Novice and Intermediate. 13 year old Intermediate Burton Campney, made the long ride from Vermont worth the trip as he captured the win. 14 year old Lewis Cianfarani was second and Mike Wilkinson (14 yr old Novice) aced an impressive 3rd.
In 9 year old Girls action it would be “Total Points” racing for these three ladies. Azra Milton won all three rounds with Callie Atchison second and Lily Dwan third. Gotta say it was great to see Lily so much improved this year. She looked fantastic!
Another rider looking more aggressive than I’ve ever seen her was Ashley Jasensky in the 11 year old Girls class. This was also a “Total Points” race and she and friend Avery Badendyck traded moto wins in the first two rounds. Avery would make it two of three after she won round three for the overall win. Ashley was second and Brianna Sulikowski finished third in only her second trip to Foothills.
It looked like the 14 year old Girls “Total Points” race would be a classic test of skills with Mackenzie Atchison, Hailee Lemke and reigning track champion Kyly Milton going for it. In the first round these three were bunched in a very tight group as the sped toward turn one. There was a crash and Kyly went down very hard and twisted in a very awkward way. (See photo section). Kyly was done for the day but, most importantly we hope she is ok. Mackenzie went on to win all three rounds with Hailee (The Comet) second.
In 17-20 year old Girls action it was Carlie Arnoild suffering the heartbreak of not making the transfer. It certainly was not for lack of effort. Jena Sagendorf was our main event winner with Angela Therriault and Jayna Roy finishing second and third.
In the 8 year old Expert class there were four riders vying for three positions in the main event. Trevor Cooper from round one; Joe Santilli from round two and Mason Jacquier from round three set the starting field. Aiden Badendyck, just missing the cut, had to sit and watch. What he saw was Trevor Cooper hold off Joe Santilli and Mason Jacquier for the win.
The battle was for second place in the 9 year old Expert “Total Points” race as Robbie Webb easily won the class. Both Garret Cooper and Sam DeGrange traded second place finishes but it would be Sam edging Garret in round three for second place overall.
A couple of good sized Expert classes were coming up with the first being a 5 rider 11 year old group. Jordan Campney, another rider from Vermont, was the hard luck guy who missed the cut. After traveling so far for a local race that had to be disappointing. We loved having the family here and look forward to future visits. Matt Webb, who wrecked pretty hard in the early Open motos, sat out round one here but came back and earned his transfer by winning round two. He joined Fin Milton who qualified from round one and they watched Derek Fantano and Kyle Kuen earn the last two transfer spots. Matt was definitely back as he won the main. Second went to Fin while third went to Derek.
It was also a five rider field in the 12 year old Expert division. In this one it was Jagur Layman who was odd-man out despite a good try. Alex Kuehn from round one; “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor from round two and Joe Martin and Ethan Russell-Ward from the third round made up the main event line-up. Kuehn came out on toip with Martin and Taylor rounding out the top three.
In 13 year old Expert action, it was a “Total Points” situation for these three guys. Tommy Gladstone and “The Beast” Dave Albert were tied going into round three as both had one a moto. Matt Rowe, today’s third place finisher, had a ring side seat to watch the battle develop in front of him. Dave Albert held off Tommy for the overall title.
The 15 Expert group was another Expert class 5 riders strong. Scott Thomson was the non-qualifier here in spite of some awesome riding skills. Josh Walsh, Anthony Lucchesi, Ethen Begnoche and Jeremy Estrella were in the gate at the start of the main event. It was Lucchesi at the stripe with Ethan Begnoche second and Walsh third.
In 17-18 Expert racing it would be another “Total Points” race. Chris Pannullo, reigning track champ, easily won the first two round keeping Chris Therriault and Chris Pfeffer behind him. In round three Pannullo got the worst Expert start of the day and was running third coming out of turn one. He passed Pfeffer on the second straight and the pursuit of Therriault was on. All the way around Therriault was holding him off. If the track was 5 feet shorter it would have been Therriault ruining Pannullo’s perfect. At the Stripe it was Pannullo by a spoke or two. Overall it was Pannullo, Therriault and Pfeffer.
Ben Atchison had little problems in the three rider 28-35 Expert class. Ben Atchison, Charlie Grover and Jeff Orlandi were the finishing order in all three rounds.
Finally it was the 46 & over Expert class featuring 5 riders who’s total age equaled 235! It was a mixed bag of Experts, Intermediates and Novices. Jeff Badendyck (Expert) was first to qualify. From round two it was Glenn Woodward (Intermediate) and round three saw Jason Gladstone (Inter) and Fred Roy (Expert) make the cut. Craig Begnoche (Novice) had to sit and watch the last main of the day. Jeff Badendyck held off a very hard charge from Fred Roy for the win. Third went to glen Woodward.
So all in all it was a good day with just a few minor glitches that we will work on. Counting the Opens and the Cruisers, our entry list included 29 riders from Massachusetts, 2 from Vermont, 10 from Rhode Island and 15 from New York. With a total of 145 entries, more than 1/3 of our entries were from out of state!
We hope you all enjoyed the day and that you will make Foothills a regular stop on your BMX travels.
Complete finish report