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Thursday, August 5, 2021

NCK Raptors Finish First Season of KS NICA’s Mountain Bike Race Series

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.

Chris Heise, sophomore for the NCK Raptors, makes the climb at Camp Alexander, Emporia, KS for the third Kansas NICA race. (Photo courtesy of Danielle Jeardoe)

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).

For more information about joining the team or to join as a coach, visit http://www.facebook.com/NCKRAPTORS. For more information about the Kansas League, visit http://www.kansasmtb.org.

Dusty Deines
Dusty grew up on a farm south of WaKeeney, KS and in 7th grade decided he wanted to do sports play-by-play on the radio. After graduating from Trego Community High School in 2001, he obtained a Radio Broadcasting degree from Colby Community College in 2003. He began working as Sports Director at KD Country 94 & Z 96.3 in July of 2003 and has been in the position ever since. Deines was the 2016-17 KSHSAA Oscar Stauffer Sportscaster of the Year and has won numerous awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. When he's not traveling the state covering the area sports teams, he enjoys spending time with his family, attending college and professional sporting events and helping advocate for those with muscle disease, including Dermatomyositis, of which Dusty is a survivor.

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