WEEK #11

So after not racing at the facility last week, it was good to get back on our home turf. Knowing that about 1/3 of our riders come from Massachusetts each week, with a Massachusetts State Qualifier at Wakefield BMX, it stands to reason that we would take a big hit in rider count today. In reality, it wasn’t too bad. 95 entries in the point classes with 26 of them selecting the open classes as well, the total entry list was 121 resulting in 30 motos.

This was our Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Race in honor of the son of one of our founding fathers. Dan died at age 35 exactly 5 years ago today as I sit here and write this report. Ethan Begnoche was this year’s recipient of the Memorial Trophy.

Playing catch-up on Rider of the Week awards, Ollie Cleary was honored for his efforts on June 14th. He named Kayla Barker as his favorite rider.
Gage Levine was honored for his efforts on July 10th. He named his brother Baley Levine as his favorite rider.

When the action started it was with the two Strider Riders that were here. Hayley Blackburn and Brandi Wilkinson. Brandi got a little stage fright in the first round and decided to remove herself from the starting grid. She did “run” in round two and three and had a big smile on her face in the final two rounds. “The Comet”, Haley Blackburn, ran hard for the win.

In the Open classes, our winners were – Brady Carlson in 7-8 Mixed; Kyle Lyman in 11-12 Mixed; Brandon Daniels in 15-16 Mixed; Chris Morris in 31 & Over Mixed; and Ethan Begnoche in 15-16 Open. With the humidity levels at the most oppressive of the year, getting riders motivated enough to even run the Opens was a challenge.

In the Point classes the 11 year old Cruiser class actually had two 11 year olds and two 7 year olds. I hope someday that USABMX sees the light and decides it’s ok to have a 2 rider Cruiser class rather than combine 7 year olds and 11 year olds. As expected, one of the younger riders would not make the transfer and it was Mary Sloan. Kyle Kuehn and Mason Blackburn, the two 11 year olds finished 1-2 while Chris Hess finished third. This is the first time Chris has race here. He is from New York.

13 and 14 year olds were combined in the 14 year old Cruiser class and it was Kaylynn Cortis having to sit out the Main event after not qualifying I through the motos. The “Thunder Midget”, Alex Kuehn got the job done but Jacob Bacis kept the heat turned up an Alex all the way around. Third went to “The Dominator” Dom Rossi. This was the second Cruiser win for Alex here this season.

In 41-45 Cruiser action it was Fred Roy making it look easy as he cruised to his 5th 2015 win. John Buttmell, showing great improvement of late, was second with Dan Kolodziej third in only his second time on the big wheels here. Dan Cortis gave it a good try but failed to transfer out of the qualifying rounds.

The largest group of the day was the 6 year old Novice class. With Jayden Kent, Jacob Allen and Guy Julian, all winning a qualifying round, the 7 rider main event was a good one. Liliana Asselin just missed making the cut. Jayden Kent roared to a big win in this impressive Main event with Jacob Allen, after crashing in the first round, enjoyed a nice come-back second place finish in the Main. Third went to Oskar Kalnenieks in only his first time here.

In the 7 year old Novice class it would be the first of the Total Points races and the first group that would be totally dominated by one rider. “Lil Ripper”, Elena Curtis was unstoppable as she swept the motos with the first “perfect” of the day. Brady Ronaldson hung in there for a second while Kaydence Morris was third.

The next group was the 9 year old Novice class and it would be another Total Points event. This time it would be Gary Winters turning in the “Perfect” as he also swept the motos. Samantha Sperrazza was second with third going to Ian Asselin.

In the 11 year old Novice class the bad day for the Cortis Racing clan continued with Shyanne missing the transfer into the Main event just as two other family members had done earlier. After winning round one Jake Nichols came back well rested and won the Main event for his first Foothills win. Jana Wilkinson was second and Shamus Crane, coming back after an earlier wreck, was third.

The 14 year old Novice class saw “The Dominator” Domenic Rossi, outscored Gage Levine in this Total Points shoot-out. Gage wreck in round one but came back to win round two putting him only one point behind Rossi going into the final round. Domenic took no chances and out raced him in round three for the overall win. This was his first Foothills win. Connor Nelson, only 12 year old, was third.

The feature of the 8 year old Intermediate class was the number of riders entered with seven. Battling hard through the motos, Cole Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) was the rider eliminated despite a great effort. Looking at the lineup, Shawn Biello had to be the favorite with 19 career Intermediate wins in the record books. When the gate dropped it was Shawn blasting out of the gate to take the lead into turn number one. As the freight train sped up the second straight, Shawn came unclipped just as he dove into turn two. Chris Hess got along side of him as Connor O’Keefe nearly bumped his rear wheel while Shawn was frantically trying to clip in again. Up and over the table top, Shawn finally got back on the jammie and started to pull away. As he came out of the last turn and headed for the finish line, his mom was the first person there to congratulate him on becoming the newest Expert in the country. Chris Hess settled for a second while third went to Connor.

In 10 year old Intermediate racing action it would be another Total Points race. With Trevor Nielson doing battle with two 9 year olds, age does make a difference and Trevor earned a win. Kayden Smith and RJ Reale really had a great battle for the second spot which eventually went to Kayden.

Sometimes the most dreaded thing that happens in BMX racing is a birthday. It pushes a rider up into the next age group. That’s what happened to “Fierce Pierce’ Curtis as he celebrated his 11th this week. As the youngest in this group and really feeling the humidity, Pierce gave it his best shot but missed this transfer into today’s Main. Mason Blackburn, after going winless here this year, made it two in a row with a great effort holding off Rylan Carlson at the stripe. Ryan was second with Kyle Lyman finishing third.

In 12 year old Intermediate action, Travis Cortis broke the streak of Team Cortis racers missing their Main events as he would hold off a charging Jorn Layman for the last available spot in the Main. “The Natural” Baley Levine, got the job done with JT Kelleher holding off Travis Cortis for the second spot.

The 15 year old Intermediate class was a Total Points race with two Experts, and a Novice rider grouped together. At a major proficiency level disadvantage, Novice rider Brandon Daniels, despite his third place overall finish, will earn “Intermediate Points” for his efforts. Tommy Gladstone, with two of three moto wins, earned the victory with Matt Rowe second.

The 28-35 Expert class was, in reality, a total points race between an Expert, an Intermediate and a Novice. Chris Pfeffer, the only Expert in the mix, had little difficulty in winning the class. Chris Morris, the Intermediate ranked rider was second and earns “Expert Points’ while Novice Abe Hansen, earns third place “Intermediate Points” for his efforts.

Pippa Sweet, who’s first Foothills win was the Friday night Foothills at Falcon race, earned her second win today in the 7 year old Girls Total points race. Mary Sloan was second while Kyrie Coddington-Sweet was third.

11 year old Genevieve Asselin held off 10 year old Azra Milton for her Total points win in the 11 year old Girls class. 9 year old Marissa Lyman was third but gains 63 points on Ashley Jasensky for the track championship as Ashley is in Florida. Marissa now trails her by only 44 points.

It was a nice group of 5 riders racing in the 15-16 Girls class today. Kyly Milton, trying to regain her skills after racing only sporadically in the last year, missed making the transfer. Autumn Joslin, in only her second trip for New York this year, got the impressive win. Jayna Roy nailed down a second place finish while Hannah Blanquart salvaged a third.

The 8 year old expert gang was only three riders strong so it was Total Points racing and it was fun to watch. Noah Anderson, sure likes calling the second half of any moto as his own.  He would pass and hold off Koleton Kolodzieg repeatedly with Robbie Solsbury finishing a close third.

Another big class was the 10 year old Expert class with 7 riders going for it. Three weeks ago our point’s leader for the Male Track championship was Garret Cooper. After missing two weeks due to a bout with Lyme disease, Garret was back in the house but still feeling the effects coupled with the most oppressive humidity of the year, Garret missed making it out of his motos. This is one tough kid to even be out there and our hats go off to his inspirational effort. Robbie Webb earned today’s trip to victory lane while Aidan Biello was second. Third went to Dylan Barker (Brian Neff P.E.)

The 12 year old Expert class saw the youngest rider in this 6 rider shootout get eliminated in the motos as 11 year old Kyle Kuehn just missed the transfer. Matt Webb earned his second 2105 Foothills win. Fin Milton, looking like he is rediscovering his skills, finished second while third went to Jaden Dahners, on vacation all the way from the west coast.

The last three class of the day were all Total points races. In 13 Expert action it was Alex Kuehn, Jacob Bacis and Joe Martin finishing 1-2-3.

The Mod Squad, 16 Expert, featured only one Expert and Ethen Begnoche made it look easy with the win. Jake Layman and Dakota Cortis, both Intermediate ranked riders would finish second and third and earn Expert points.

The 46 & over Expoert class was the same deal with only one Expert racing and fred Roy dominated. Intermediates Craig Begnoche and Jason Gladstone were second and third and again, earn Expert points.

That’s it for this week, please remember that due to the National event in Kingston New York next weekend, there is no racing at Foothills or at Falcon.

The last two state qualifiers are coming up soon with Bethel Supercross hosting one on July 29th and here at foothills on Aug 2.

Complete finish report