Week #14 July 30, 2017

So with nothing else going on this weekend, i.e. Gold Cup Qualifiers or State Qualifiers we were in line to catch a break and that’s exactly what happened. With perfect weather in store we enjoyed a really nice turnout by 2017 standards. When registration closed there were 114 riders plus another 6 in an Open for a total of 120. They came from VT, NH, NY, MA and RI to join up with some hot CT riders.

Before we started we honored 6 year old Hayley Blackburn as a rider of the week from way back on July 9th, the last time we saw her here. She gave a great interview. When asked who her favorite rider was I was expecting her to say, without hesitation, “My brother Mason.” Oh contraire, she claimed her friend and team mate Riley Richardson as her favorite rider.

There were two motos of Balance bike riders which is taken me forever to stop calling them “Stryders”. Non-the-less the first group was two 4-year olds and Parker Moriarty out ran Noah Nuener. In the next group it was four 3-year old providing some fun in the sun. This group saw “Mr. Cool”, Malachi Goggins earn the overall title with two of three moto wins. Logan Barker earned second place with Ryder Champagne and Braxton Murphy rounding out the field of diaper-dandies. No one really cared much about winning but it is a great way to kick start a nice action packed Sunday afternoon at Foothills

CRUISERS

The crazy combining in the Cruiser classes is something that I’ll never fully understand why it’s done. I understand that it now takes three riders to make up a class but, in the Cruisers, I wish they would adopt the old NBL way and let two rider motos for cruisers. The first group today was a classic example of my point. The class was titled 11-12 Girls Cruisers and featured 5 riders. In reality, there was a 46 year old and a 50 year old Woman racing against three other girls ages 6-11. So, one of the older ladies, “Big-Air” Marianne Sklarsky, backed off and let everyone else qualify for the main event. 11 year old Isabella Nelson, who has been off fighting the crusades, or at least chasing some National points, came back strong and won today. Gina Layman, who started a very eventful day for the Layman family with a scary crash in practice, finished second with third going to Riley Richardson. Hayley Blackburn was fourth.

The next class was for the 13 year old but again, there was a mixed bag of ages ranging from 6-13 years old. With “Flash” 13 year old Logan Demerski qualifying out of the motos first, the second round saw 10 year old Brandon Houle make the cut. That left round three to be between two team mates from Warped BMX racing for one spot. Through the generosity of 13 year old Mason Blackburn, 6 year old Ryder Richardson made the cut while Mason did not. Logan would win the main event with Brandon and Ryder second and third.

Next up was the 16-year old three rider total points shoot out between a 14, 15 and 16 year old. “Thundermidget” Alex Kuehn won round one and disappeared. He was gone for the day after that. Dave Albert won the next two with JT Kelleher second giving Albert the overall win for the day.

The last class was the 21-25 gang of three but, yet again, there was a rider 19 years old in the mix. In this case it mattered little as 19 year old Chris Therriault scored a perfect with three wins. Ryan Bogli was second all day with Steve Healey third.

NOVICES

There was a pretty good turnout of Novices today with the first group being the 5 & under gang. After the three qualifying rounds, Matt Daniels, in only his second time out, missed the transfer into the main event. Danny Talbot used a great pass in turn 1 to take the lead and then it was “catch me if you can”. No one could and he held off “Smilin” Rylan Spence for the nice win making it four in a row at Foothills. Mason Murphy, after beginning the season on a Stryder bike, finished third.

In the 7 year old grouping, 6 year old Hunter Heath crashed in turn 1 in the last qualifying round killing his chances to make today’s main event. This was only Hunter’s second trip here and we hope this Whip City regular gives us another shot. Aiden LeBlanc used the entire track before pulling off a pass for the lead and the win right at the finish line. Brody Kesl was second with Willow Hicksl third.

The biggest class of the day was the 7 rider 9-year old bunch. Matt Klouman was in the house making his racing debut a not so memorable one for this Thomaston kid. In the first qualifying round he went down very hard after tangling with another Thomaston rider Brody Gerrick. Matt got the worst of it and could not finish the first round. He tried as hard as he dared in the next two but the effects of the crash was evident and he would not make the main event on his first day. Tyler Dupont also crashed in that first round but he would be ok as was Gerrick. In the big main event it was all Izaya Frazier going coast to coast for the win. Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products) was second while third went to Brody Gerrick.

Matt Klouman and Brody Gerrick both go down hard in round one. Matt holding his back.
Both would get out there and
continue racing

The 10-year old class was a 3-rider total points race and this was a clean sweep for Cody Baker. This was Cody’s first race here and it sure was a great experience for him. David Labarge was back for the second time this year and scored a solid second place award while third went to Zack Adams.

Today seemed to be a Foothills first time for a number of riders and the next group was the same. This was the 13 year old class and Landon Holcomb, riding out of Granby, gave it a good try but just missed making the transfer out of the qualifying motos. Chris Gonyer, a two time winner here this year, made it three wins in three trips from Chicopee here today. He held off Evan Kryger who made his 2017 debut here today with the third spot going to Noah Toney. For Chris it was a very big win as it was his last as a Novice. Welcome to the Intermediate class Chris, well done!

INTERMEDIATES

The first group was the four rider 6 year old group. This was pretty sad as the success of one 4-year old rider will now hurt him for awhile as Joey Dietz, who recently moved up to the Intermediate rank, is probably the only 4 year old Intermediate in the state. Because of that, he was put into the 6 year old class. 5-year old Devon Hurley suffered the same fate a few weeks back and it became a battle between these two for the last qualifying position. It would go to Devon. The main event saw Logan Moriarty, who was only here once before in 2017 when he recorded a win on July 2nd, repeat that performance today. He was unbeatable just as his father once was here at Foothills so many years ago now. Warped BMX team member Ryder Richardson, made his trip here from Vermont worth it with a solid second place finish with Noah Toney third.

The 7-year old grouping was a three rider total points shootout and it was just that. In round one “Lemon Drop” Evan Sauer held off Sawyer Spence. In round two Sawyer returned the favor. The third round would determine the winner for the day and it looked good for Sawyer as he had the lead heading for turn #2. Evan dove to the inside and passed him as they went up the third straight. In turn three is was Sawyer with the same move and he had the lead up the back straight. It stayed that way until turn #5 when Evan dove to the inside. They were nearly side by side up the short-chute to the finish line with Sawyer winning by inches. Evan was second and Hayley “The Comet” Blackburn would finish third. Hayley is only 6 and has been constantly put in classes where she is the youngest without complaint.

It was also a total points race for the 8 year olds and it was the same situation for Natalie Kent as she was the youngest again and also never seems to mind. She was third today behind the perfect sweep for Clive Moscuzza and Kevin Baker’s second place finish.

The good news for both Hayley and Natalie is that they earn third place “Girl points” which is 63 compared to 33 for third place “Intermediate points” per USABMX rules when a Girl races out of class.

The 10-year old class was six riders strong and the battle for the qualifying spots was hot. Riley Richardson was the one rider who would not transfer out of the motos and it had to be a long ride back to Vermont for her. The main event saw Kevin Kelleher make it three Foothills wins in a row with yet another impressive run for this kid who just moved into the Intermediate class earlier this year. Cole Barker (Creative Racing Products) put in his best effort of the year and was impressive with this second place finish. Third went to Wes Hamel (Family Pride Racing).

In the 11 year old class it was Full Circle for this bunch. I mean Full Circle Bike Shop as that is who “The Undertaker” rides for. He led the procession all the way around in all three motos of this total points race. This was win #18 for this Worthington Massachusetts rider. Watch out you Experts, the Undertaker is about to move into your ranks. Can you dig it? TJ Skog put the family pride colors into the second spot while “Hot-Rod” Johnny Tomboly was back and finished third. Johnny has been playing lacrosse and his school team made the state finals. It was great to see him again.

In 13 year old competition it was Shamus crane odd rider out despite a really good try. He hasn’t been here for the last three weeks as he’s been off chasing Gold Cup and district points. We’ve been seeing a lot of C-Yaa frames colors lately and we couldn’t be happier. Today it was a big turnout of these factory riders. Tyler Kendig got the job done in this class by winning the main event. Aidan Drenen settled for second while Sean Adams was third.

The next group was certainly memorable. This was a three rider total points shootout for the 14 year olds. Last week Jorn Layman was the only Intermediate rider in a 5 rider 14 Expert class and he won it for win #19 in his career as an Intermediate. With high expectations this week he did not disappoint. After winning the first two rounds, he became the newest Expert in the country as he swept the field for win #20. I don’t know who was happier, Jorn or his mom but it was smiles everywhere as this popular rider has finally moved up. Joe James, from Baltic Ct was second while Kyle Wilhelm finished third.

Jorn Layman crosses the finish line for the
last time as an Intermediate

It was a nice turnout for the 17-18 year olds with 5 riders but when looking closer at the lineup it featured two 38 year old Novices. One of them, Chris Champagne, was eliminated in the motos. This Overhaul racer is still suffering the effects of a broken hand earlier this year. Artoli Dodge sponsored Team Edge colors were at the top of the podium after this one with Dan Heideger standing tall. Brandon Daniels held off a good effort from Tim Baker for the second spot.

GIRLS


The class identified as “11 Girls” was actually made up of a 9 year old, a 10 year old and an 11 year old. The oldest, Isabella Nelson, who we haven’t seen since mid June, was back and picked up right where she left off with win. ¬†Maddy Skog (Family Pride Racing) was second while third went to Lyra Moscuzza.

It was total points racing also in the 15-16 year old division and Maya Brown earned her 5th Foothills win of the year adding to her lead in the track championship point’s chase. Gianna Dietz scored a second while finishing third was Kirsten McDonnell.


EXPERTS

The 9 year old class had 4 really good riders going for it and the main event got a little scary when Hunter MacCracken went down in the second straight. He was seen walking around after so I assume the best. Jayden Kent, missed his last chance to qualify when he failed to show up for the last chance qualifier. MacCracken would end up third in the main but it was Matt Meagher (C-Yaa Factory rider) showing how its down with an impressive win. Justin Donahue (Racer Army) was second.

In 10 year old Expert action this three rider total points shootout was really really good. Brandon Houle go the win in round one with Noah Andersen second and Shawn Biello third. Round two was again Brandon but it was Shawn second and Noah third. In round three Brandon had all kinds of trouble and finished third. Noah and Shawn were virtually side by side at the stripe and it would go to Noah. Brandon would still salvage the top spot with 5 points while Noah’s 6 points was good enough to edge out Shawn (7 points) for second.

It was really tough duty for new Expert Kayden Smith in the 11 year old class as there were three other riders who have a ton of experience. Kayden would be forced to watch from the sidelines but it won’t be long before he is right in the mix. “Superfly” Trevor Cooper has all but sewed up the Track championship with another impressive win in his quest for a third title. Ryan Kendig, who wrecked in practice, came back with a second while third went to Kyle McDonnell.

In 12 year old action it was all Dylan Barker (Creative Racing Products) finally putting it all together for his first 2017 Foothills win after 10 tries. This was a total points event and Dylan enjoyed a sweep. Zander Hicks, who we’ve only seen once before in 2017 was second while third went to Aidan Biello. Aidan was just touching the gate as he is suffering from a broken arm suffered at one of the State Qualifiers a couple of weeks ago. Tough ending to the season for our reining track champion.

The 13 year old class was stacked and it could go to anyone of these four. Connor Mannion, here from New Hampshire, was the rider missing today’s cut. “Flash” Logan Demerski was the strongest this day and those Overhaul racing team colors were up front all day including the main event. Adin Philbrick pushed him hard all the way around and earned second place while Mason Blackburn was third.

The 15 year old class was shaping up to be a classic three rider total points race but “Thundermidget” Alex Kuehn left the building after winning round one. Leaving just two riders it was Hunter Zeiner and JT Kelleher left to battle it out. “Butter” Hunter Zeiner was the overall winner with JT second.

The “Mod Squad” 16 Expert was hot with three riders going hard for three rounds of total point’s action. Jagur Layman outraced Matt Rowe in round one with Dave Albert third. In round two it was Albert Rowe and Layman after Jagur came unclipped. So Jagur would need to win round three to have any chance at the top spot on the podium. As they headed into the second turn, Albert had the lead and Jagur dove to the inside had to bail to avoid the classic T-Bone. He left some serious DNA in the turn but would be ok. The overall finish was Albert, Rowe and Layman.

The 19-27 gang was interesting after nearly losing half the field in the opening round. Ryan Bogli was running in the third spot of this 5-rider moto and in the middle of turn one grabbed a hand full of brake nearly sucking Chris Therriault and Steve Healey up his tail pipe. Somehow they got by him without wrecking as Anthony Luchessi was the one rider qualifying from that round. Steve Healey, the only Intermediate rider in the mix would miss the cut. In the main event it was again Luchessi with the win. Chris Therriault was a close second while third went to Lewis Cianfarani. Anthony is now 9 days away from leaving for the University of Kentucky. If we don’t see him before he leaves, we wish him the best.

The last points class of the day was the 36-40 group of 5 riders. Lisa Mannion, drawing some very tough duty was the rider missing the transfer. She is a C-Yaa factory rider from New Hampshire and it’s great to see her and the entire gang here so often this year. The main event saw Ralph MacCracken (Factory Yess Northeast) hold off “Fast Fred” Roy for the win. Tommy Healey, the only Intermediate in the group, earned some serious Expert points with a third place finish. It was good to see Fred for only the second time this year.

The only Open class of the day was 6 riders strong and Brandon Daniels was top gun in that one.

Before I close I want to extend a huge thank you to Jason Lyman for the awesome job he did in cutting the grass at the facility. It looked awesome today.

Complete finish report