So originally we had no race scheduled for this week with the 3-day East Coast National in nearby Trumbull. But a rained out race early in our season prompted us to go ahead and run a rain make-up race today but the starting time was pushed back in hopes that any die-hard racer would have time to make it from Trumbull the 50 miles to Torrington. A few did but, in hind-sight, it may have been better just to stick with the original plan.


As it turned out it was a pretty interesting race and actually fun in spite of what would transpire before the end of it. With pretty humid air and a very obvious threat of rain, the rider count was only 37 with 11 motos. After looking at local weather radar, it was clear that we were in for some rain and it was not very far off. We opted for the USABMX two-moto transfer system in hopes of getting it in before the skys opened up.


Before we started we honored our Rider-Of-The-Week Chris Pedersen. Chris has been a regular here since last August. This 11 year old Novice from Sharon Connecticut has had a number of second place finishes but Thursday night he got to enjoy the top tier on the podium for the first time on our Olympic Celebration night. During the interview he said he got involved when last year, after driving by the track on his way to play soccer on the fields down below, he spotted the BMX track. When asked about who his favorite rider was he said “Mike Savage”

Chris Pedersen

Registration closed at 4:30 and by 4:40 the motos were posted and the one Balance bike moto was all lined up and ready to go. “Stop Stop” was the cry from the registration building. What happened is a first time Foothills rider had called in and was registered in a Novice class where he should have been in a Balance Bike class. All moto sheets were reposted as the ominous black clouds in the west moved closer. When the motos got reposed we had lost about 7 minutes but finally got underway just about 4:50 pm.

The first Balance Bike moto was a two-rider battle between 5-year old Dylan Koerner and 4-year old Logan Monczka. Dylan won both rounds of that one.

The next moto was also two-riders and it was between 3-year old Malachi (Mr. Cool) and 3-year old Cole Lyman. Malachi would push himself across the finish line first in both heats. Interesting enough both of these 3-year olds have been seen recently practicing on 20 inch pedal bikes. Will they be in the 5 & Under class before the season ends in September? My guess is “Absolutely.


With not enough Cruiser riders here to make a class the first points moto was the 7-year old Novice class with 4 riders going for it. After the two qualifying rounds it was William Adams, from Dover Plains NY missing the cut on his first trip to Foothills. In the main event Dante Balboni, in only his second time racing here ever and first time this season, earned an impressive win. Xander Monczka, another Foothills first-timer from Westfield was second while Bryce Comboni was third.


There were 4-riders registered in the 11 Novice class and they included former Rider-Of-The-Week Nick Tirendi. When 9-year old Toby Schoonmaker just missed qualifying in this mixed age class, the field was set for the 3-rider main event. Included in the mix was the reining ROTW Chris Pedersen who had won his first race here just four days earlier. 9 year old Chase Comboni was also in the main. It was just about this time that the rain started falling and the facility really got dark from the heavy black cloud cover. As thunder rolled in the valley below us, the gate dropped and Tirendi jumped to an early lead. With Pedersen on his tail the entire lap, there was no way “Quick-Nick” was going to surrender the lead. It would take something unfortunate to happen for him to lose now. Nick kept the shinny side up and cross the stripe first becoming, at least for this moment, the newest Intermediate rider in the country. Pedersen was second and Chase finished third. Well done to Nick Tirendi. What a weekend for him as I heard he won down in Trumbull as well.

Nick Tirendi earns his
tenth Novice win and is now an Intermediate

The last Novice class was a total points race for the 41-45-year olds. 16-year old Sam Taylor, who usually gets mixed in with Intermediates, finally had it all his way today and nailed down a perfect in front of 42 year old Scott Gonyer and 43-year old Brian Kesl. Sometimes you gotta be good and sometimes you gotta be lucky. Sam was both today. This was Sam’s first win here.


It was Total Points racing for the 9 year old class but only one rider was actually 9-years old. Landon Hansen, the 9-year old was set up with *-year old Cayden Milillo and 8-year old Colin Balboni. With another roll of thunder in the far distance, it was about this time that this skys opened up and the deluge of rain was on. “Lets keep going” was the cry hear around the track. Landon splashed his way to the finish round in the final round to complete his first “perfect” ever at Foothills. Cayden was second overall with Colin third.


The next group was the largest of the day with 6-rider in the 12 year old group. But the six included one Girl and two Novices. In the first round, while things were dry, Marissa Lyman, while in the lead, seemed to have her inside pedal hit the asphalt as she was carving the turn in the first corner. She flipped over the handlebars with the 5-rider pack barreling in behind her. Somehow they all missed her by going to the outside while she lay sprawled on the track in obvious pain. Nick Smith and Maddy Philbrick would qualify out of that round but it took a good five minutes for former Track Champ Marissa to gather herself and get back on the bike to finish the lap much to the relief of the sparse crowd. Marrisa came back and did make the main in the final qualifying round. 12-year old Novice Vico Tirillo was the rider earned tough luck by not qualifying but at least he could stay dry. In the main, with visibility nearly zero due to the heavy downpour, Nick Smith proved he was the best “Mudder” as he out swam everyone to the finish line. “Mad” Maddy Philbrick was second with Kodi Carlson third.

Marissa Lyman wrecks in turn 1 while everyone manages to miss her
She would be okay and race in the next round

The 10-year old gang of four riders saw Cole Melillo just missing the transfer into todays main event. “The Hammer”, Wes Hamel was first to qualify and first across the stripe in this “water-slide” event. Breton Provencal, in a rare Foothills appearance, was second while third went to Intermediate racer Izaya Frazier.


In 12 year old Expert action it was Trever (Superfly) Cooper regaining the top spot in the Track Championships point chase after Hunter Zeiner, who took over the lead Thursday, was a no-show today. Adding 103 points to his total gives Trevor a nice lead now after winning this Total Points shootout between himself, second place finisher Noah Andersen and third place finisher Jonah (Undertaker) Graves. Both Noah and Jonah are 11-years old.


The 13 year old class was also a Total Points race with Chris Gonyer drawing tough duty being the only Intermediate in this Expert class. As expected and Expert would prevail. The “Westfield Warrior” Anthony Bartolo made it to the finish line first in two of the three rounds for today’s wet-n-wild” win. Aidan Biello was second while Chris was third. The good news for Chris is he earns Expert points (63) for his efforts today. A first place in an Intermediate class would have been 53 points so he did ok.


The last group of the day was titled “15 Expert” and was 5-riders strong. Its like anyone who couldn’t have a class was thrown into this one. They ranged in age from 14 to 43 and included 3-Intermediates. One of them, Justin Provencal, would not make the cut but I suspect he wasn’t too bothered by that. With the rain really pelting down, Kyle Lyman put in a swimmingly good effort and won the main. Tim Brown (41 Intermediate) was second with JT Kelleher finishing third.


Our next race is Sunday July 1st and it’s a Double Points event. It’s our annual Bob Warnicke Scholarship Race. Bob was one of the guys responsible for our own announcer, Rog Plaskett, being one of the national announcers for the now defunct National Bicycle League.


On July 2nd and 3rd, Dominique Daniels will be here for a two night rider clinic. Daniels is a five time ABA #1 pro and two time NBL #1 pro. She will be here with her manager, coach and dad Tim Daniels. Come out and see the world in “3-D” (Dominator Dom Daniels). Have a great week everybody.


Just a slight chance of sprinkles