WEEK #18

So, back after a week off for the State Championship Race in Meriden last week, this would be a double points race. Counting Striders and 3 Open motos, the total entry list was 124. They came from all over including 35 from Massachusetts, 19 from Rhode Island, 5 from New York and even 1 from New Jersey.

At our last race Nate Small earned his tenth Novice win moving him up to the Intermediate ranks. For that effort he was named our Rider-Of-The-Week. Nate said after he got involved with BMX he got his friend Shamus Crane involved also. He said his favorite rider was his brother Jared.

We enjoyed 5 Strider riders today and Haley Blackburn, Jolene Cole and Savannah Wood went at it in Moto 1 while Savannah Grover and Nolan Barnett (Both 2 years old) battled in moto 2.

The winners in the three Open classes were Adin (Hot-Pants) Philbrick in 11-12 Mixed Open; Craig Begnoche in the 21-25 Mixed Open and Aidan Biello in the 9-10 Open.

With the Cruiser points race featuring competition between two riders only 21 points between them, it would be interesting to see If Alex Kuehn could hold off second place Sam DeGrange.

The 15-16 Girls Cruiser class was first off the gate and Avery Badendyck made it look pretty easy as she “cruised” to victory lane. Emily Fullerton was second with Gina Layman finishing third.

So here comes the four rider 10 year old cruiser class. In the first qualifying round where we were looking to transfer one rider onto the very important Main event the lineup was pretty impressive. Sam DeGrange would start on the pole (gate #1), Then right to left it was Jared Small, Mason Jacquier and Aiden Badendyck all the way over in gate #8. Down the front chute they sped and upon entering turn #1 Sam had a small lead. Out of nowhere his front tire simply washed out and down he went in front of the freight train bearing down right behind him. Mason plowed into the wreckage and took off over his handlebars resembling Superman. Jared slammed on the binders and intentionally laid it down to miss the carnage in front of him. With three riders sprawled on the track, Aiden picked his way through the yard sale unscathed and grabbed the only transfer spot in that round. As the riders slowly picked themselves up the last would be Sam. He bike was visibly damaged and he would eventually walk away for the crash scene. Unfortunately Sam was done on Cruiser for the day, killing his shot at the Cruiser title for this year. Mason, after shaking the effects of his fall, won the Main event with Jared second and Aiden third.

Alex Kuehn had to watch the wreck while in the gate for the next moto which is probably the most nerve wracking thing that happens sometimes in BMX racing. Alex was first to qualify in his 10 year old Cruiser class and eventually won the main event while his brother Kyle had to watch from the sidelines after missing the qualification to the Main. Second went to Sean Strate while Mason Blackburn earned a third. Alex now has an insurmountable lead of over 200 points with just one week to go.

A rare Foothills appearance by Brennan Struthers in the 26-30 year old Cruiser total points event. Brennen would ace a perfect with Corbin Lavertu second and 14 year old Jumpin Jerry Taylor third.

The 41-45 Cruiser class was also for total points and Jeff Badendyck would be the second rider today to earn a “perfect”. John Buttwell was second and not too far behind Jeff. Third went to John Ouellette.

This time of the year it’s not unusual to see the number of Novice riders dwindling. Some have moved up to the next level while others, sadly, have packed it in pursuing another sport. With only 13 Novice riders in the house, they were split into three groups. The first was the 5 & under group where four riders were going for the three Main event positions. Elena Vernon, in her first trip here just missed qualifying for the big show. Jaden Barnett, a Rhode Island rider racing here for only the second time, did the same thing as he did two weeks ago. He put another win in the record books. Scott Cole, also from the Ocean State was second with Jax Grover third.

The 6 year old Novice class was a decent size group with 6 riders locked and loaded for some late summer glory. Through the battle rounds Liliana Asselin would miss the cut. That may be a poor choice of words as she fell in practice and cut her palm a little bit. Didn’t look serious but must have been uncomfortable trying to grip the handlebar.  The “O-SHOW”, Oskar Kalnenieks has been on a roll lately (no pun intended) and nailed down another impressive win. This kid shows a lot of determination. Ollie Cleary also was impressive with a second place finish and Kayla Barker (Brian Neff P.E.) was third.

The last Novice group was the 9 year old bunch and it was a total point’s race. Jonah Graves, Rider-Of-The-Week on August 30th, continues his quest towards the Intermediate ranking with a nice win. Shawn Cole was second and Ian Asselin went home with a third place award.

In 7 year old Intermediate action there were four riders going for it with one being an Expert. When that happens all riders making the Main event earn “Expert” points. Aiden Grover was the Expert and he would win the Main event. “Rocky” McMillan was second showing his skills under the training of Josh Wedge. Third today was Jaden Kent, who recently moved up to the Intermediate class.

The 8 year old Group for Intermediates was another total points situation. It would see Matt Small win the first two rounds then cruise to a second place in the final round but earning enough points to enjoy a first place finish overall. Charlie Grover finished second ahead of Cole Barker (Brian Neff P.E.).

There were 4 riders in the 9 year old Intermediate class and Kayden Smith appeared to not be into racing today as he seemed to be just going through the motions. Maybe he was injured or simply didn’t feel well. Anyway, he would not qualify for the Main event which was dominated by Kane McMillan. “Hot-Rod” Johnny Tomboly gave a good effort and was second with Mateo Vernon third.

The biggest class of the day was the 11 year old Intermediate class with 8 riders in the mix. Unfortunately that mix would include two Novice riders and it would be one of them not making the transfer out of the motos. Shamus Crane sure was trying and gave a strong effort. Dom Chaput was today’s “Top Gun” and Hayden Provencal was a close second. Both of these riders were well rested have qualified from round one. Third in today’s Main went to Liam Knott.

In 12 year old Intermediate action it was good to see Jorn Layman here. Jorn, who suffered a broken arm at the Gold cup qualifier in New York, could only touch the gate essentially assuring everyone in the group would transfer into the Main event. Adin Philbrick, who will probably always wear those hot blue colored shorts forever now, nailed down today’s Main event win. JT Kelleher was close behind him for second place while third would go to Mason Blackburn.  

The 13 year old Intermediate clas was also a four rider group. Tim Robinson would be the rider to go home empty-handed despite a good try. Kai Escobar was unbeatable and held off Jared Pimental for the win. Sean Strate was third.

The 16 year old Intermediate class was another group that was assured a free pass into the main event due to a rider unable to race but just touching the gate. This time it was Jake Layman, who is still on concussion restrictions from an injury playing football. Justin Mark was on the mark and he added this win to his resume. Emily Fullerton looked very competitive in this Intermediate class scoring a second place finish. Ke Andre Godbolt was third.

After Neil Barnett joined the growing list of riders missing the cut for their Main events of the day, the 28-35 Intermediate 4 rider Main event went off. Shawn Mack and Norm Gauvin really went at it with Shawn edging Norm at the end of the sprint. Third went to Ryan Rappa.

It was great to see a decent tournout of Girls today and the 7 year old group had 4 riders in it. Unfortunately again this week it was Kyrie Coddington-Sweet, only 5 years old, being the rider missing the cut. Big sis Pippa Sweet earned the top spot on the podium with a nice win. Elena Curtis looked good in her first race after her move up from the Novice rank. “lil” Ripper was second ahead of Mary Sloan who just didn’t look herself today. Found out later that Mary could not "clip-in" as she had a mechanical problem with the clips.

The 11 year old Girls class saw Marissa Lyman win two of the three total points rounds for today’s overall win. She is now assured the Female Track Championship. Genevieve Asselin was second with Riley Pennucci third.

The 14 year old class for the Girls saw Ashley Jasensky, just touching the gate as she did suffer a broken wrist in that crash two weeks ago. That left Hannah Blanquart, Avery Badendyck and Ashley Asselin to battle for some girl power supremacy. Hannah, who we’ve only seen four times previously this year, won today’s Main event. Avery followed her across the finish line with Ashley in third.

The last female class was 31 & over woman. For the first time this year at Foothills, Jen Wood had it all her way and claimed victory. Julia Chaput and Kathryn Mack would settle for second and third.

In the Expert classes the battles were pretty good as well. Mason Jaquier, fully recovered from his Superman imitation earlier in the day, showed why he is “Army Strong” as he won today’s 8 year old Expert total point’s race. He rides for the Standard Byke Company’s Northeast Army. This is a “double” for him as he also won his Cruiser class. Noah Anderson just could not find a way around him and finished second. Shawn Biello was third.

In the 10 year old Expert class, it looks like two riders who were involved in that crash earlier in the day could not answer the call for the Main event. Both Sam DeGrange and Jared Small were out. Aidan Biello, sporting a dark blue number plate with a black number (white number would be awesome) was only recognizable by his orange riding pants and unmistakable winning style. He won today with Dylan Barker (Brian Neff P.E. sponsored) second. Aidan Badendyck was third.

The 14 year old four rider class had a 13 year old Expert with a 14 year old Novice mixed in. Dom (The Dominator) Rossi, the 14 year old Novice was the unfortunate rider not qualifying. The youngest rider, 13 year old Alex Kuehn got the job done. Jagur Layman, who really showed some great moves in the qualifying rounds, was second while “Jumpin” Jerry Taylor was third.

The “Mod-Squad”, 16 year old Experts was a total points race and it was Ethan Escobar grabbing the victory. Devin Carty was second while Josh Perrier was third,

The last total points race was the 28-35 Expert class and it was some pretty hot racing between 3 determined riders. Brennan Struthers was definitely the strongest as he took the lead right from the start and held off the hard charging efforts from both Charlie Grover (second place) and Corbin Lavertu. (third place).

Main #32 was the last of the day and it was four riders going for a three rider Main event. Cliff Benoit would not make the transfer despite a great battle in the third round between he and Craig Begnoche. The Main event win went to Jeff Badendyck while John Ouellette settled into the second spot. Craig Begnoche was third.

So week #18 goes into the archives. Next week we bring the curtain down on our 21st year of racing. Hope you can make it. Remember it takes ten races to qualify for our year end awards.

Complete finish report