Week #18, August 27, 2017

So it was not a bad turnout in lieu of the fact that the Rhode Island State Championship was today along with the last race at Wakefield BMX up in Massachusetts. We still enjoyed 102 riders split into 23 action-packed motos plus another 3 that entered an Open class.

Before we started, Pat Martin was named our Rider-Of-The-Week but he was elsewhere today and we will hold onto his award until he next visits us.

I extend a huge thank-you to John Bardunias for filling in for me in the tower for the first round of motos allowing me to take some pictures. John sits in over at New Palz and was really good.

We started off with three rounds of Balance Bike racers and there were three riders today and all were 3-years old. Malachi Goggins, who looked a little out of place just before we started, soon became “Mr. Cool” again once his mom ran down with his sun glasses. With the cool shades on he swept all three rounds of motos. Cole Lyman, sporting his Warped BMX racing colors, pushed his way to a second place finish while “Buritto”, Ryder Champagne, was hot and ran to a third place finish.

CRUISERS

The Point classes started off with the 13-14 Girls Cruiser group and these four riders were made up with two 11-year olds and one 14-year old and one 39 plus year old who was making her first ever BMX race. Steinen Hurtado, who has three children racing here today, joined the fun and said she had a great time even though she missed qualifying for the main event. 14-year old Avery Badendyck put this one in the win column for her impressive year. 11-year old Marissa Lyman still maintains a 173 point lead in the season long chase for the top Girls Cruiser podium position with her second place finish. 11-year old Anislee Bardunias finished third flying the Hostile BMX flag.

The 14 year old Cruiser class was 5 riders strong and it was 9-year old Mary Sloan not making the cut today despite a great try racing the much older guys. “The Natural” Baley Levine, wearing the now familiar Warped BMX colors, got the job down today while his teammate, Mason Vansteenbergen pushed him hard all day and finished second. JT Kelleher was right in the mix also and grabbed the third spot.

The last Cruiser class was the one titled “26-30” but, in reality, had four riders in it ranging from 19-61 years old. It was wonderful to see “Chargin Charlie" Fieldson in the house all the way from Oneida New York. “Mr. Stylin” is an old friend of mine and was making only his second trip ever to Foothills. He did not transfer but that appeared to be by his own choice. Well Played Charlie! The main event saw Chris Therriault, flying the colors of Stylin Racing, the team which Charlie is the long-time manager of, put those colors on the top spot on the podium with a nice win. Tyler Cortis, making his first 2017 visit to Foothills on a Cruiser, was fast with a solid hard fought second place finish. Gina Layman, put her Potter Plates / SE Racing colors into the third spot.

NOVICES

The 5 & Under class was large with six riders mixing it up for the five spots in the main event starting grid. The youngest rider, Kristopher Meinel, fell in round one and appeared to be a little tentative after that and would miss the transfer into the main. This 3-year old was younger than some of the Balance Bike riders! Liam Noe, out of Sherman CT., was making his first trip to Foothills a pleasant experience as he went home with a first place trophy. This second generation racer has some really good skills and we hope we see him again real soon. Eddie Delaware looked the best we have seen him and earned a very nice second place finish. Chloe Murphy, who raced a couple of time last year as a Balance biker before moving up late in the season, earned a third place finish today.

The 7-year old class was the first of only five Total Points races today. This would be a classic. In round one, Brody Kesl looked like it might be a sweep today as he got the win with Kunsang Hurtado and Payton Bardunias in tow. But in round two, Brody would self destruct down in turn 4 while in the lead. Kunsang would stop to check on him as Peyton went on by for a win. So going into round three, all three riders were tied with 4 points each. Round three would result in it being the official order of finish for the day. It went Kesl, Pulaski and Hurtado 1-2-3.

The 9-year old group saw Colin Balboni miss the cut in his first trip here ever from West Springfield. James Wolf earned his second 2017 Foothills win with a great effort. Izaya Frazier was second while Kayla Barker (Creative racing Products) remained on-hold with 9 Novice wins with today’s third place finish.

The 11-year old class was a Total Points event. Nick Smith, making only his second trip here from Southhampton, made it two out of two with another win today. Nick would sweep the motos for a “perfect”. Dave “Farm Boy” LaBarge and Chris Pederson traded second place finishes and round three would determine the second spot on today’s podium. It would go to LaBarge. Chris Pederson has a new bike now and looked much quicker on it despite a wreck in practice.

The last class was the one that seems lately to be living up to the title I gave it but rarely use so many years ago. It was the 36-40 Novice class or “The Legion of Doom”. After Anthony Carneglia, in only his second trip here missed the cut, the main event was set. When the gate dropped they were all close going over the first obstacle when disaster struck. Mike Balboni and Chris Champagne got tangled up and went down hard. Both would get up and appear to be ok. This is not the first time for Chris who seems to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Al Pietrosimone made his debut here at Foothills a good one with a solid win after being the first one to qualify today. Trevor Toney finished second just in front of Nick Giordano.

INTERMEDIATES

The 7-year old gang of four saw the youngest in the bunch, 5-year old “Smilin” Rylan Spence miss the cut despite a great try and cheers of “Go Ry Ry” heard from the crowd. His big brother Sawyer, would get the job done and race to a win. Right behind him was Jackson Murphy. Max Meinel was third across the stripe.

Landon Hansen, who has made great strides this year in his skill level by making 7 out of 9 main events, would just miss today in the 8 year old division. He battled hard in the third qualifying round but was edged out by a determined Cooper Matlasz. Kubrik Tarrant, one of those Superstars from Bethel Supercross, showed some mad skills today and earned a victory. Jackson Gietek, who edged him out for the top spot in the first qualifying round, had to settle for second in the main event. Cooper Matlasz was third.

The 9-year old class was a Total Points race and “The Hammer’ made it look easy. Family Pride’s Wes Hamel would sweep to a perfect with three moto wins. Silas Hurtado was second while Taylor Einarsen was third.
Taylor had all kinds of problems today when he had a near flat tire in the staging area. His moto was skipped while air was added to his very soft front tire in the second round of action. He made it to turn three before the tire went totally flat again. Just one of those days.

The 11 year old class was loaded with five riders going for the gold. Cole barker (Creative Racing Products) had made 11 of 13 main events going into today but unfortunately this would be the third time he missed out. He is definitely much improved and should not let today discourage him. There was a lot on the line in this one as “The Undertaker” Jonah Graves, had 19 career Intermediate wins going into it. One more and he is Expert. Jonah was first to qualify so it looked promising for him but, if he did it, it would not be easy. In the main Jonah would start in the far outside in gate 8 while TJ Skog would start on the advantageous inside in gate 2. As they sped around the track it was TJ leading the way for Family Pride Racing. The second half of the track and Jonah was all over him. Out of the final turn they were side by side and TJ would win by inches as they crossed the stripe. Jonah (Full Circle Bike Shop) would have to wait for another race to move up. Third went to Lucas Holda.

The 13-year old class was Interesting as there were Two Novices in the mix. Noah Toney and Emily Aldo were doing battle with two Intermediates for the 3 main event spots. Emily really gave it her all but just came up short in qualifying. Dom Balboni, the third rider here today from the Balboni racing stables, would win the main event in his debut race at Foothills. Noah Toney was a close second while third went to Shamus Crane (Family Pride).

GIRLS

One of the most intense and determined riders I have seen here is Pippa Sweet. When I zoom in on her face in photos she has the eye of the tigress going on. Today was no different as this lady would dominate the 9-year old Girls class. Natalie Kent, who suffered a bike accident at a neighbor’s house this past week and banged up her mouth a little bit, missed making the transfer today. Family Prides Madison Skog was second behind Pippa today with third going to Finley Skog.

Pippa Sweet - The Eye of the Tigress

The 15-16 year old class saw Avery Badendyck easily get the job done in this Total Points race. Former Track Champ Ashley Jasensky, earned a second place finish on this her birthday. Ashley is 15 going on 19 it looks like. Kirsten McDonnell earned a third place award.

EXPERTS

The first class was the last Total Points race of the day and it was titled 10 year old Expert. The only 10-year old was Noah Andersen and he did what he should have done and that was to dominate and sweep the motos. 8-year old Jaden Kent was strong and finished second pretty close to Noah. Third went to 9 year old Mary Sloan.

In 11 year old action there were two Girls in the mix of 5 riders. Anislee Bardunias would just miss the cut as Mary Sloan would earn the final transfer spot to the main. Trevor Cooper, 2-time former Track Champ, continued his winner ways and put another win in the record books. With today’s win, Trevor has earned his third Track Championship as his lead is mathematically insurmountable. Congratulations to “Superfly”. Kyle McDonnell was second wearing some hot looking goggles that Chris Therriault admired tremendously. Kayden Smith finished third.

The 12-year olds were a gang of four riders and it would be Peyton Pulaski the rider eliminated in the qualifying rounds. The “Westfield Warrior”, Anthony Bartolo was the dominator in this one as he won the main event. Dylan Barker (Creative Racing Products) was not far behind while Ryder Vansteenbergen.

The “Mod-Squad”, 16 Expert, saw Chris Aldo the odd man out after the qualifying rounds. Jagur Layman, fresh off of vacation, looked really strong as did Matt Rowe. These two hot-rods really went hard and it would be Jagur earning the victory on this day. Matt was a close second while third went to “Butter” Hunter Zeiner.

The 19-27 class was large with 6 riders strong and it was wild and wholly if not a little strange. Jeff Albert was first to qualify in spite of Anthony DelVento being the favorite. Anthony broke a pedal in practice and was trying to patch things up for the qualifying rounds. He would come unclipped in that first round contributing to the success of Albert. DelVento did qualify out in the second round. Round three was hard fought and as they headed into the final turn, it looked like Joshua Santiago and Jake Layman would be the guys grabbing the last two spots. It looked that way until Layman, possibly getting "brake-checked", hit his own brakes momentarily to avoid disaster which allowed Brandon Daniels to speed by him for the last spot. In the main, I was looking forward to see how the battle between Albert and Delvento would go but, Albert had already left the building. That was the strange part as again, he was first to qualify. Anthony Delvento found the right combination of mismatched pedal and held off Chris Therriault for the main event win. Chris was second while third went to Josh Santiago.

The largest class of the day was the 28-35 class with 7 riders seeking Sunday Glory. Ron Couch, who hasn’t raced in 5 five years, came back and signed up as Expert. He looked good in practice and it seemed the only issue might be his endurance. In the second round, he and Danielle Jolicoeur got tangled up and not in a good way. Both went down in flames. Danielle was first to get up and was ok. Ron took a bit longer and did not make the third round. Last night I called him and he is OK but sore with a cut nose, a split lip and a little dizziness. A little bit of ice worked wonders last night. In the main event it was “The Marvelous One” Matt Markie holding off Zack Gietek in a classic 2-rider break away. Danielle Jolicoeur, in maybe her best ride at Foothills this year in such a stacked class, was third.

Danielle Jolicoeur and Ron Couch
would wreck but Be OK.


The only Open class was the 7-8 group of three and was won by Kubrik Tarrant.

Complete finish report