This weekend was probably the biggest and most popular National event within driving distance, which USABMX is going to hold this year. It’s the weekend for the “Stars and Stripes” National event at the famous South Park track just outside of Pittsburgh PA. Surely it will have an effect of the amount of riders that our weekend local tracks will attract.
The other side of that coin is the fact that this would be our annual Bob Warnicke Scholarship Fund race and it offers double district points to everyone who can make their main event. So maybe we could attract riders who do not normally frequent Foothills who are chasing those elusive District Points.
When registration closed at 11:30 the entry list included riders from MA., CT., NY., NH.,RI., and even one from AZ. Add to that Katie Hansen from Denmark and we had 103 entries split into 28 motos.
In opening ceremonies 5 year old Rylan Spence was given the Rider-Of-The-Week award that we had been saving for him since his efforts on June 18th. He named Devon Hurley as his favorite rider. We found out why later in the day after Devon’s impressive day.
For last week we presented 13 year old Tyler Farwell with the Rider-Of-The-Week award. This rider from Griswald said he has only raced here and at Falcon BMX in Meriden. He has won the last three weeks here. When asked to name a rider as his favorite, he said he didn’t know anyone. He simply drew a blank.
Although there were only 4 Balance Bike potential future BMXers, they were fun to watch as they scooted around their portion of the track. Two year old Logan Barker raced 3 year old Malachi Goggins and laughed all the way around to his victory.
In the four year old class it was two veterans going at it as Rigdzin Hurtado and Cheyenne (Mookie) Orlandi showed us how it’s done. Rigdzin crossed the stripe first.
There were a lot of 3-rider total points races today and the first points class was one of them. The 21-30 Woman’s Cruiser group saw Gina Layman, sponsored now by Potter Number Plates but wearing her pour SE blue colors, win round one. In the second round it was the “Insane Dane” Katie Hansen, showing us how she races in Denmark as she came out on top. The tie-breaking third round would also go to Katie as did the overall win. Gina was second with Amanda Orlandi finishing third. With Gina’s second place finish, she moves within 7 points of the top spot in the season long battle for the top Female Cruiser class rider. It was really nice having Katie visit us again this year. If she is an example of how nice the people of Denmark are, what a great place to visit that country would be.
Katie Hansen from Denmark
The 13 year old Cruiser class was also a 3-rider total point’s event and this time it would be three different ages in the mix as well. 14 year old Team Overhaul rider Logan Demerski had it all his way as “Flash” scored a “perfect” with three moto wins. Second went to 10 year old Team Toxic” rider Max Marshall while third went to 9 year old Alex Marshall who also rides for Team Toxic based out of New York.
In the 31-35 year old class there were 5 riders battling for the four positions available in the main event. After the three qualifying rounds it was Tommy Healey missing the cut as JT Kelleher edged him out in the last qualifier. In the main event, Cliff Benoit never looked better here as he got his machine out front early and stayed there. “Ludacliff” nailed down his third Foothills Cruiser win this season in 5 tries after zero wins here last year. Everyone agrees he is much improved! Tim Brown did make him work for it as he put his Artoli Dodge sponsored Team Edge colors on the second spot on the podium while third went to JT Kelleher. It appeared that “Rabbit” Jeff Orlandi either slipped a pedal or came unclipped causing him to be mired in the fourth spot.
Back to a 3-rider total points shootout in the 46-50 year old group and it would quickly become a 2-rider battle. In the first round, Falcon BMX’s Butch Feitel’s racing machine let out a loud “Clack” as he exited turn two. Butch would look down a few times before he tried pushing on the crank arm again. As he cruised towards the finish line the sound happened again and he actually spewed some bike parts on the track. The "Rocket Man" was done for the day with mechanical problems. Jeff Badendyck repeated as today’s winner just as he did two weeks ago. “Deadeye” Kevin Marchildon, was second.
The first group was the 5 & Under class where one rider is undefeated here this year. Devon Hurley has 7 wins in a row going into this event and also a couple down in Bethel. Today was his big opportunity and he came though big-time. Devon won all three rounds of this 3-rider event and became the newest Intermediate ranked rider in the country as he crossed the stripe. “Smilin” Rylan Spence was second with the third spot going to Pete Pereira.
Congratulations to Devon Hurley, undefeated through the Novice ranks and now an Intermediate.
The 7 year old class was yet another of many Total points 3-rider races. This one saw Conor Christofori make his first ever race at Foothills memorable as this Westfield rider got the job done in all three rounds. Brody Kesl settled for second while 6 year old Evan Wadman finished third.
There were 5 riders registered in the 9 year old division and today’s hard luck guy was Dave Woodruff as he just could not get himself into a qualifying position in the motos. The main event saw Silas Hurtado win for the 8th time in 8 tries here this season. This soon to be Intermediate racer was unbeatable in the main after Taylor Einarsen got him in the first qualifying round. Taylor would finish second in the main with third going to Kayla Barker (Creative Racing Products).
The 11 year old gang of 4 saw “Mad” Maddy Philbrick just miss the transfer into today’s main event despite a great try. Tyler Bouteiller raced to victory in the main event with Tenzin Hurtado in tow right behind him. Dave Labarge was third in his first visit here.
Tyler Farwell aced a “perfect” in the 3-rider 14 year old class with three wins. Pat Martin edged out Kyle Wilhelm for the second spot.
The first group was for the 7 year olds and it was memorable indeed especially for one rider. Jackson Gietek, who has been crushing the competition in the Novice class, self-upgraded to the Intermediate class at the start of this day. Maybe a little intimidated he had one last chance to qualify in the final qualifying moto. As he sat in the last transfer position heading down the final straight, he let up with the finish line in sight. Much to his surprise, 6 year old Hayley Blackburn, who has shown in the past that she will never quit trying, stayed on the jammie down the final straight and passed Jackson two feet before the stripe and grabbed the last transfer spot. One can only imagine the feelings that Jax had on that long ride back to his home in Tolland. A lesson learned is all that can be said. In the main event Matt Horjatschon put his Northeastern Air Systems colors on the top spot on the podium with an impressive win. Team Edge’s Sawyer Spence earned a solid second while third went to “Lemon Drop” Evan Sauer.
The 10 year old group saw Kegan Wills miss the cut in only his second time here. This rider from Shelton has got some skills but his unfamiliarity with Foothills hurt him today. In the main event it was “The Undertaker”, Jonah Graves, power his way to the victory. A much improved Kevin Kelleher was second while third went to Cole Barker riding for Team Family Pride.
Ramp-Farm Racing were the colors of the winner in the 11 year old 3-rider group. Kayden Smith was top gun in the class today with wins in all three rounds. Marek Stasioski held off TJ Skog (Family Pride) for the second spot.
It was a little more competitive in the 14 year old 3-rider grouping with Gold-Cup #1 Ben Kaplanis (Team Warped) winning two of the three rounds of motos. Jorn Layman (Se Bikes / Potter Plates) was second with Sean Adams finishing third.
There was one Novice rider in the mix in the 28-35 Intermediate class where, in reality, the ages ranged from 17-40 in the 4 rider grouping. 40 year old Novice Pat martin missed the cut quite understandably. 17 year old Ethan Escobar put his Custom Cycles vintage colors in the winner’s circle. 17 year old Dan Heideger (Team Edge Gold-Cup #2) was second while third went to 30 year old Tommy Healey (Overhaul racing).
The 9 year old class was a total point’s race made up of 3 long haired rockets. Team Family Pride was well represented here with the Skog twins doing battle with Mary Sloan. It was a sweep of the motos for Madison Skog. Mary Sloan was second all day long with Finley Skog third.
IT was the same scenario in the 3-rider 14 year old class as Avery Badendyck with the sweep. It was Team Warped colors stereo-style as her team mate Ashley Jasensky was second all day long with Autumn Snow finishing third.
Amanda Rock, in only her third trip here this year, just missed the transfer into today’s 21-30 year old Woman’s main event as Lisa Mannion (Cyaa Frames) would just beat her to the stripe in the last qualifying round. In the main event it was all Brianna Delamare, who we last saw almost exactly one year ago, showing off her Gold-Cup #1 plate with an impressive win. I guess it takes double district points to get this Rhode Island rider to come to Foothills. Emily Fullerton pushed her hard but could not find a way around and would settle for second while third went to Lisa Mannion.
The 10 year old class was pretty Toxic! Max Amrshall (Toxic Racing) was the fastest in the group this day and earned another win. Prior to today we had only seen him twice this year but today was his first Foothills win. Hunter MacCracken (Factory Yess Northeast) was second while Alex Marshall (Toxic) was third.
It was a great turnout in the 12 year old class although there were two 11-year olds in the mix. Reining Track champion, Aidan Biello could not get himself into a transfer position for only the second time this year and had to watch from the sidelines. Sam Degrange, once a regular here but only seen once before today this season, had a great run in the main for the win. Trevor Cooper, 2-time former Track Champ held on for second while “The Westfield Warrior” Anthony Bartolo was third.
The 13 year old class was four riders deep and one had to be eliminated in the qualifying rounds. This time it was Gordon Johnson, who races here only sporadically, missed the cut. “Flash” Logan Demerski (Overhaul Racing) made it three 2017 Foothills wins in four tries with today’s impressive effort. Connor Mannion (Cyaa Frames) was second while the third spot went to Adin Philbrick.
On May 14th Kai Escobar suffered a terrible crash here and ended up with a broken collarbone. Today he made his return to racing and he defeated the horse that threw him. Kai won two out of three motos in this total point’s event for the overall title in the 14 year old Expert class. “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor was close behind for second while JT Kelleher was third.
In 19-27 action we had the pleasure of seeing a rare appearance by Jena Sagendorf. Jena is 19 years old and has been racing since she was 6. She is originally from Schenectady New York but is now living in Phoenix Arizona. Recently she became a certified coach for USABMX as well. Today she chose to race against the Experts and made a good showing. In the third qualifying round she got past Brian Ortiz to qualify for today’s 3-rider main event. I think that 25 year old Brian was being generous but it was great to see her make it in. In the main Potter Plates Jagur Layman would be the uncatchable one yet again. Matt Rowe earned the second spot with Jena third.
FEATURED RACE OF THE DAY
The 41-45 year old class was nothing short of fantastic with two racks and 9 riders battling for bragging rights and some double point glory. After Kyomi McCray, all the way from the Bronx, missed making the transfer, the 8-rider main event was ready to go. Zack Gietek took the lead in turn one and led up the second straight with the hot breath of Jeff Badendyck all over his back. Ralph MacCracken was in the mix although a distant third as they dove into turn #2. Up the third straight Badendyck kept the heat turned up and dove to the inside of Zack in turn #3 and powered his way to the point up the back straight. By the time they hit turn #4 MacCracken got on the inside of Zack and took over the second spot. As they crossed the stripe it was Badendyck, MacCracken, Gietek and Mike Duke the top four. It was great to see Mike Duke from the Bronx who I haven’t seen in about 20 years. He was a regular on the CT circuit back in the day.
In the two Open classes it was Evan Saur winning the 7-8 group and Shane Johnson the 13-14 group.
Complete finish report