Week #19

The final race for the 2015 season is now in the record books. With 121 total entries which include Striders and Opens, it was not a bad way to bring the curtain down.

The Rider-Of-The-Week was named and Matt Small was the recipient following his win in the 8 year old Intermediate class last week. In the interview he named Nate Small as his favorite rider.

With three Striders in the house, Savannah Grover, Hailey Clough and Hayley (with a “Y”) Blackburn all got the crowd started with their version of the “Sole Train”.

There were 5 Open classes run which are basically just for fun and some added track time. Winners in those were as follows: Jaden Kent in 6 & Under Mixed Open; Leithen McMillan in the 9-10 Mixed Open; Zack Cernak in the 11-12 Mixed Open; Chris Aldo in the 31 & Over Mixed Open and Dean Zebian in the 11-12 year old Open.

In Cruiser action it was nice to see four competitors in the Woman’s class. Although they ranged from 12 to well over 39, at least there were some racers here. Andrea Lucchesi would miss the transfer out of the motos leaving Avery Badendyck, Angela Therriault and Gina Layman to do some “scratch and claw” battle in the Main event. Avery, at only 12 years old, showed that youth can prevail and she did with a nice win. Angela was second with Gina finishing third.

It was another four riders in the next grouping. This time it would be Ian Kinny missing the transfer in the 11 year old Cruiser class. 11 year old Andrew Hurst got the job done holding off the efforts of two 9 year old riders. Jared Small and Kyle McDonnell battled hard for the second spot which eventually went to Jared.

The first “Total Points” race was for the 14 year old Cruisers. Jacob Bacis put the Custom Cycle colors across the stripe first in all three rounds. “Jumpin Jerry” Taylor was second while 12 year old Mason Blackburn was third.

The last Cruiser class was for the 46-50 aged group but in reality they ranged from 17 to 47. Just before the gate dropped the announcer said this race might be one to watch and wow was he spot on. When the gate dropped in the Main, after John Buttwell was eliminated in the qualifying rounds, it appeared that Chris Therriault came unclipped on the starting hill. Jeff Badendyck powered his way to the lead with “The Governor” Pat Mcdonnell in tow. Therriault was out of it, or was he? Chris re-clipped in and roared into turn 1. He carved his way through it and flew up the second straight. Badendyck still had a commanding lead equaling nearly half the length of the straight. By the time they reached turn 3 Chris had caught and passed McDonnell. With his sites now set on the Biker’s Edge colors of Badendyck, he was closing the gap between himself and the leader of the pack quickly. Out of turn 4 they came with Badendyck still in the lead but Chris was now within one bike length. Both riders were pushing to the high limits of their ability as they came out of the final turn it was only a half a bike lead for Jeff. Both riders were on the jammy sprinting to the line with Badendyck hanging on by the width of his front tire for the win as the crowd roared after watching the best race of the day.

The 5 & Under Novice group was a Total Points race but Ursa Juodisius became ill and couldn’t answer the bell for any moto. Jaxson Grover and Ryder Duplessie were left to battle it out. Jaxson would win all three rounds but a scary moment happened in round three when Ryder fell pretty hard at the bottom of the landing ramp on the first jump. He would eventually get up and decide to ride it out but would fall again trying to get up the next obstacle. Totally determined he finally was able to complete the lap as the crowd cheered their encouragement to this tough little guy.

It was a good turnout of 5 riders in the 6 year old Novice class and Liliana Asselin, despite a great try, would miss qualifying for today’s Main event. Oskar Kalnenieks had it all his way as he captured the win. Guy Julian, who had didn’t qualify until the final round, scored a solid second in the Main. Third went to Ollie Cleary.

In the 9 year old Novice class it was simply a bad day for Isabella Nelson. It started with a flat tire in the gate in the 11-12 mixed open class but unfortunately that was not the worst of it. In this class she qualified for today’s main event in the second round but unfortunately, during the third round of motos in the 11-12 Mixed Open, she was battling hard with Leithan McMillan when she fell hard in turn two. I heard later that her parents took her to the hospital to be checked out. So after qualifying for the 9 Novice main event, she never got to run it. Kaydence Morris didn’t either as she was eliminated in the qualifying motos leaving just two riders in this Main event. Jonah Graves would be today’s winner and Derek Linnick, in his first BMX race ever, would go home with a second place trophy. We all are hoping the best for Isabella Nelson.

In what was identified as the 7 year old Intermediate class, in reality there were 6 and 7 year old Intermediates with one 6 year old Expert mixed in. Whenever an Expert is in the mixed, all riders earn “Expert Points”. In this case the Expert rider was Aiden Grover and he did win this class. Ben Machnik was second while and always improving Leithen McMillan was third. Landon Hansen showed so good moves in the motos but just missed qualifying.

Cole Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) just missed qualifying for the 8 year old Intermediate Main event and had to watch from the sidelines as Chargin Charlie Grover nailed down another win. Jayden Rego, part of the Rhode Island contingent, scored a solid second place finish with third going to Matt Small. Matt may have been feeling the effects of a fall earlier in the day.

In 11 year old Intermediate action, Shamus Crane just missed the cut. Kyle Lyman, looking impressive and coming off a disappointing 5th place finish last week, experienced the thrill of victory today. That’s quite a turn-around. Nick Cernak was second while Mate Small finished third.

In 12 year old Intermediate racing action Connor Nelson was probably traveling to the hospital with his sister Isabella and missed the cut for this Main event. JT Kelleher needed a win today and that’s exactly what he did. With Craig Begnoche’s (46 & Over Intermediate) Main event coming up soon, Craig was only 17 points behind JT for the Overall Intermediate Track Championship. Making it tougher on JT, Craig would be earning “Expert Points” today. So with JT’s win, and the third place finish of Craig in a few moments. JT would only lose 10 points of his lead. JT is our overall Intermediate Champion by a slim 7 points! Zach Cernak would finish second today with Mason Blackburn third.

The 16 year old Intermediate class was a Total Points event. Round one went to Justin Mark while round two went to Jake Layman. In the shown-down round Jake kept the heat turned up but could not find a way around Justin. Overall it would be Justin, Jake and Alex Nelson in his first race ever.
In the 19-27 Intermediate class, 17 year old Expert Chris Therriault was in the mixed bringing Expert Points for everyone. Chris easily won this class but it was a nice effort by second place finisher Shawn Mack. “Flyin Ryan” Rappa was third.

In the 28-35 Intermediate class, Abe Hansen was the only Novice in this three rider Total Points race so he would earn Intermediate points. Abe would finish third behind our winner Norm Gauvin and second place finisher Chris Morris. It took the third round to break the tie between Norm and Chris.

In 46 & Over Intermediate action as previously mentioned, there was an Expert in the mix causing the distribution of Expert Points to all who qualified for the Main Event. Jeff Badendyck, the Expert, got he job down while flashing some on-track style. Glenn Woodward held off the efforts of Craig Begnoche for the second spot. Had Craig finished second he would have won the overall Intermediate Championship. I bet if you ask Craig, he knew exactly what the situation was and it ended exactly as he wanted it to. He is a class act! Pete Martone was the rider eliminated in the qualifying motos.

In the 9 year old Girls class there was actually only one 9 year old Girl as the other two riders in this Total Points race were 7 years old. Sophia Machnik, who we rarely see, easily got the win in all three rounds. Elena Curtis and Saule Juodisius traded second place finishes in the first two rounds but the “Lil Ripper”, Elena Curtis would beat Saule in round three for second place overall. This was Elena’s first race at Foothills clipped in.
It was also a mixed group of ages in the three rider 14 year old Girls class. 14 year old Hannah Blanquart won it with 13 year old Kirsten McDonnell second and 11 year old Genevieve Asselin third. Sophia was named Rider-Of-The-Week" for her efforts today. She named Nick Cernak as her favorite rider.

In the 31 & Over Woman’s class Melissa Morris missed the transfer into the four rider Main event. It figured to be a two rider break-away between Angela Therriault and Essie Martone and it kinda was for a moment anyway. Angela had a very slight lead heading into turn #1 when Essie bailed front-side first onto the asphalt entering the turn right behind Angela. Everyone held their breath as Essie rolled over but lay on her back. She would eventually get up and complete the circuit and appeared to even have a smile on her face. Officially the top three would be Angela, Kathryn Mack and Gina Layman.

It was a great turnout in the 9 year old Expert class with 6 riders going for it. The only Intermediate rider in this mix was Kayden Smith and despite a valiant effort, he would be eliminated in the battle rounds. Trevor Cooper was on fire and unbeatable as he finished the season with the win. He is our reining Male Track Champion and now has repeated the feat for the second consecutive year. Jared Small scored a solid second place finish with third going to Kyle McDonnell.

Dylan Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) Just missed qualifying for the 11 year old Expert Main event. He would watch his buddies from the sidelines as Andrew Hurst was too fast for anyone this day. Andrew nailed down the Main event win with Garret Cooper second and Aidan Biello third.

Matt Webb swept the 12 year old Expert Total Points class today with team mate Kai Escobar second and Avery Badendyck third.

The 14 year old Expert gang featured 5 riders going for bragging rights. Chris Aldo, drew tough duty as he was the only Intermediate in the mix and failed to qualify. Matt Rowe was hot and unstoppable as he powered his way to victory. Jagur Layman sure made him work for it and enjoyed a solid second place finish. “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor was third.

The Mod-Squad, 16 Expert, was next and this was another impressive lineup. Josh Perrier was the odd man out after the motos. In the Main Event Anthony Lucchesi turned up the heat and cruised to the victory. Ethan Begnoche was second while “The Machine” Dean Zebian was third.

The last Main and last race for the season belonged to the 28-35 Expert gang. It was a three rider Total Points shootout between Charlie Grover, Chris Giacomazzo and “Stone-Cold” Steve Scibelli.
Chris easily earned the win but it was a great battle for the second spot. Charlie, after falling in round one, came back to finish second in the Main event. “Stone Cold” would finish third.

A big thanks to Todd Pfeffer for filling in announcing in round one and “The Voice of Whip City” Steve Scibelli in round three.

Most of all thanks to the nearly 800 different riders who participated in our weekly racing series this season. We feel privileged that you all gave us a visit. We hope that the memories that you have of Foothills BMX will be as pleasant as the memories that you provided us.

We look forward to 2016 and wish everyone a great off-season. Undoubtedly I’ll see some of you on the ski slopes.

THANK YOU ALL.

Complete finish report