EMPORIA & TOPEKA, KS – The NCK Raptors competed in the last two races of the season in June, after rain postponed the two races back in May. The third race was held June 13th at Camp Alexander Emporia, KS, with a 2.5-mile course of technical terrain and rock climbing, nothing the Raptors could not handle after several practice sessions preparing for the tougher races.
The junior high boys raced first at 9:30 a.m. completing two laps with Isaac Palen placing 3rd, Colton Jeardoe placed 5th, Luke Hollerich in 6th, and Zavier Dooley in 8th. Twelve-year-old Colton Jeardoe commented on his first season how much fun he has had riding, watching his teammates do well and meeting kids on other teams.
The 6th grade girls were the next wave and Norah Ellenz came in a close second with two laps and put her mechanical skills to work putting her chain back on after bumping a tree. Anastasya Schreiber finished in 4th with one lap and improving her biking skills.
The Raptors’ sophomore boys competing were, Chris Heise coming in second and Darien Schreiber in 5th, both finishing three laps. Darien’s chain broke on his second lap on the pump track area, so ran the last 200 meters of the lap. Three of his coaches helped him switch bikes, so he could finish a third lap and take a 10 minute penalty. It was definitely worth it to get him to ride even more.
“The Camp Alexander course was the most technically challenging one we’ve raced on yet, but our Raptors showed their grit and took it in stride,” commented Coach John McClure.
The NCK Raptors traveled to Topeka’s Skyline Park for the final race of the season June 20th to tackle more elevation climbs with a little hint of roller coaster fast downhills. The excitement was high for the final race of the season for the seventh grade boys with Luke Hollerich racing in time for 3 laps for 5th place. Colton Jeardoe bumped a tree with the chain popping off, so taking time to fix his bike put him further behind placing 7th. Zavier Dooley continues to improve each race and came in his strong finish for 8th.
Norah Ellenz completed 2 laps for her final 6th grade race in 2nd place and Anastasya Schreiber finished her lap, placing her in 4th.
The heat of the day brought us to our sophomore boys with Chris Heise capturing 1st gaining possession of the Leader jersey again with four laps. Darien Schreiber also completed four laps placing him in 2nd for the final race at Skyline Park.
“Excitement for the final race and remembering back to the first practice is simply amazing how our NCK Raptors have improved tremendously over the past few months. We are looking forward to many more years of mountain biking, teaching kids the skills they need to succeed on and off the trails. A little bit of fresh air while biking goes a long way!” commented Coach Danielle Jeardoe.
The NCK Raptors finished their first season with 6004 points for 4th place out of the seven teams competing in the 4 race series for the first year of living Kansas history to become the 31st state league in NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association).