This is the last Race of the 2016 regular point’s season. It was under near perfect conditions with early fall air and crystal clear skies. 29 motos and 112 entries is not a bad way to end it.
The Rider-Of- The-Week Presentation went to 5 year old Novice racer Evan Wadman from Norfolk Ct. He has been racing for six weeks and won the first week and then again last week. He named “Smilin Rylan” Spence as his favorite rider.
The National Anthem featured a parade lap with last year’s class champions participating. Gina Layman in Woman’s Cruiser; Kayla Barker Novice; Marissa Lyman and Trevor Cooper Track Champions in Girls and Experts.
Before I start I want to extend a huge thank you to Gina and Jagur Layman for stepping up to the microphone so that I could go out and take photos. Both were awesome!
We had six Balance Bike Riders split into 3 motos. They all were fun to watch although a little out of control.
The first points class was the 26-30 Woman’s Cruiser class. 13 year old Avery Badendyck had little trouble winning this 3-rider Main Event. Gina Layman looked strong with a second place effort and Christine Schiavone, from Ontario Canada finished third.
The 17-20 Cruiser class was next and this was a 3-rider Total Points event. With Chris Therriault and Dave Albert, 18 and 15 years old going hard, it was Chris all day long scoring a “perfect”. Albert was a very close second with 13 year old Mason Blackburn in the third spot.
In 46-50 Cruiser action, Bill Stephens was eliminated in the qualifying rounds. The 3-rider Main event saw Jeff Badendyck and Pat McDonnell conduct a fierce battle to win this one. Mike Savage, now the oldest guy in this mix kept in the mix but could not quite get himself into a position to overtake one of these guy. Badendyck held off “The Govenor” Pat Mcdonnell by inches at the stripe.
Our reining Rider-Of-The-Week, 5 year old Evan Wadman, made it two weeks in a row by winning the 5 & Under Novice Main event. Kunsang Hurtado missed qualifying. Evan’s favorite rider, “Smilin Rylan” Spence was second while Chloe Murphy was third.
In the 7 year old Novice grouping it was Brianna Kent just missing the transfer out of the motos as Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) earned the last available spot in the Main. Kubrick Tarrant earned the victory and it was his 10th and last win as a Novice rider. He rode right into the Intermediate ranking and was immediately named Rider-Of-The-Week for this race. Kubrick said his dad, Jay Tarrant was his favorite racer. He races in Cyclecross competition for Cannondale. Jackson Murphy finished second in today’s Main with Kayla third.
The 8-year old Novice class was a heartbreaker for one rider. Hunter Mccracken, in only his fourth race ever and first at Foothills, was first to qualify for the 4-rider Main event. But in the Main, he looked like a shoe-in with a comfortable lead thru the rhythm section only to have his chain pop in turn five. As he helplessly tried to strider-bike his way to the finish line, James Wolf grabbed the victory with a pass half way up the short-chute. Hunter did salvage a second place finish with third going to Silas Hurtado. Dave Woodruff just missed qualifying despite a nice try.
With 5-riders registered in the 10-year old Novice group, the qualifying moto rounds were pretty intense. When the dust settled it was Zach Adams sitting on the sidelines for the Main. Although second to qualify, “Mad” Maddy Philbrick put it all together for this Main event and captured an impressive win. She will be the top 10-year old Novice rider for this year. Tenzin Hurtado nailed down a solid second place finish with Derek Linnick placing third.
The only Total Points race in the Novice classes was for the 13-year old gang. Sean Adams swept the three motos for his tenth and last win as a Novice. Congratulations to Sean and well wishes in the Intermediate class. Joe James finished second today with Gavin Berube third.
The last Novice grouping was the 41-45 guys with five riders going for the four positions in the Main event starting grid. Mark Reale, for the first time in quite awhile, missed the last transfer spot and had to watch from the sidelines. In the Main it was “Maccrankin” Butch Maccracken from start to finish. He was a racer in CT. back in the 1990’s and came back only four weeks ago when his son Hunter wanted to give it a try. The way he rode, a self-upgrade to the Intermediate class might provide a better competitive environment for him. He looked like a grey-hound in a weeny-dog race. Chris Poirier scored a second place finish while third went to Keith Murphy.
The first Intermediate class was the 6-year olds and it was a four rider group. Haley Blackburn apparently pulled out of the competition giving the remaining three riders a free ride into the Main event. Natalie Kent was uncatchable as she was the best in class this day. Sawyer Spence finished in the second spot while third went to Devin Poirier.
It was Total Points again for the 7 year old Intermediates and yet another win for Jayden Kent. This was win #19 for him and is one short of earning his Expert Ranking. This win gives him the title of being the top gun in the Intermediate classes this year at Foothills. Breton Provencal and Guy Julian were second and third.
It was another Total Points race for the 9-year old Intermediates with Josue Bruno getting the job done times three! Wes Hamel, who looks even faster in that new shirt, was second while Cole Barker (Creative Racing Products) was third.
The 12-year old Intermediate class saw Shamus Crane just missing the transfer into today’s Main event. Judging by what happened in it, it might have been a good thing. As Jake Nichols and “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves were speeding up the second straight side by side, they locked handlebars and both went down in a cloud of Foothills dust. Sometimes if you can’t be good you gotta be lucky and it was a little bit of both for Kayden Smith. He avoided the carnage and cruised to an easy victory. Both of the fallen riders were able to get up and ride to the finish line although it looked like Jake was still hurting as he rode by the tower. Officially it was Smith, Graves and Arnold 1-2 and 3.
There were two Girls classes with the first being the 3-rider 13 year old group. 13-year old Avery Badendyck easily swept all three rounds. 10 year old Marissa Lyman, was second while third went to 11 year old Samantha Sperrazza. Marissa Lyman has repeated as our female Track Champion.
In the last Girls class it was titled “15-16 Girls” where, in reality, it was made up of two 14 year old Girls, one 15 year old Girls and one 15 year old Novice Girl. Kirsten McDonnell, after such an impressive finish last week, had the tables turned this week and missed qualifying for the Main event. Hannah Blanquart (15 year old Girl) got the job done by leading coast to coast. Ashley Jasensky (14 year old Girl) was second while Maya Brown (15 year old Novice) was third. Again this week, Maya earns Intermediate points by USABMX rules for racing the higher proficiency Girls. Maya is our top Novice rider this year.
The always exciting 9-year old Expert class was just that again today even though it was just a 3-rider Total Points event. Round one saw Cole Melillo nail down the win with Noah Andersen and Nate Giroux second and third. Round two was totally different as “Nasty” Nate earned the win with Cole and Noah second and third. So going into the final round it was Cole leading Nate by one point with Noah trailing by 2. In the final round Cole nailed it with Nate and Noah in tow. Officially the finishing order overall was Cole, Nate and Noah.
The 10-year old Expert group was also a 3-rider shootout. This time it would be Kyle McDonnel and Trevor Cooper trading moto wins as R.J. Reale was in the third spot. The tie-breaking third round would see Kyle edge out the reining track champion Trevor Cooper for the overall win. R.J. was third.
The 12 year old Expert class was one that could bring goose-bumps to anyone who was paying attention. The gate was held while we announced that one rider, Aidan Biello, was dedicating this Main event to his grandfather who had recently entered a Hospice Program. All of our hearts immediately became a little heavier. This Main event would be a three rider event after Dylan Barker (Creative Racing Products) missed the cut. Aidan was the only 11-year old with the other two being 12. When the gate dropped it was Garret Cooper exploding to the lead early on. All the way around to the back straight it was Garret with Aidan about two lengths behind him and Kyle Lyman a little further behind the two. As they entered turn four, Garret obviously pulled up and went very high in the turn allowing Aidan to slip underneath and lead the pack the rest of the way to the stripe. Aidan, no matter where he finished in this Main event, officially becomes the 2016 Foothills BMX Male Track Champion. Regarding the race it was Garret and Kyle finishing second and third. Our hearts ache a bit for the Biello family.
In 13-year old Expert action it was a great pass in the rhythm section that insured a win for one of these guys. After Jorn Layman (Colby Direct and SE Bikes) missed the transfer in the qualifying rounds, this was a pretty hot Main event. With Lou Massoni leading all the way thru turn 4, Baley Levine got the inside line in the rhythm section and passed Lou entering turn 5. That was all she wrote and “The Natural” Baley Levine captured a big one. Lou was second with the third spot going to Adin Philbrick.
The biggest class of the day was the 15-year old Expert class. Simply put, it was stacked! With Dave “The Beast” Albert, riding out of the Standard Northeast Army Racing Stables, along with his teammate Jagur Layman (Colby Direct and Standard Bikes) were the favorites going in and they certainly did not disappoint. It was a very tight pack down the front chute as they all sped to try to get the inside line. The hole-shot would go to “The Beast” with Jagur in tow. Right on Jagur was Matt Rowe, who had been mathematically eliminated in the Track Championship race the week before. I believe this group may have turned in the fastest lap time of the day as they were flying all the way. At the stripe it was that same order of Albert, Layman and Rowe. Jacob Stephens was the odd man out in the qualifying rounds.
The 17-18 Expert “Chain-Gang” was also loaded but, unfortunately, Anthony Lucchesi, registered to race, did not make it to the gate in any round allowing a free pass to the main event for the other 3 riders. Chris Therriault went at it pretty hard with Dean “The Machine” Zebian and it took a nifty pass on the back stretch to get by the hard-charging Evolution X Rider. At the stripe it was Therriault, Zebian and Hathaway.
The last class of the day was the 46 & Over Expert class. This class also had a 39 year old Woman in the mix but Christine Shiavone, who is from Ontario Canada, was the rider not making the transfer out of the motos. Jeff Badendyck had this one all his way as he led from start to finish. “The Mysterious” Mike Savage was second with the third spot going to “Stone-Cold” Steve Scibelli.
The four Open classes were won by Sawyer Spence in the 6 & Under group; Cole Melillo in the 7-8 gang; Josue Bruno in 11-12 action and Dean Zebian finished it out winning the 15-16 class.
Well, for me, season #23 is now in the record books. It’s been 25 years since we started Foothills BMX and it’s been a wonderful experience. The good Lord willing, I’ll be back for the 24th season. Have a fun fall season everyone and a great off season. See you in the spring.
Plaskett – OUT!
Complete finish report