SYLVAN GROVE, KS – Wilson Lake Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trails were the location for the first race of season three of Kansas NICA’s mountain bike race series. Ten teams total were excited to visit Wilson Lake for the ‘Wicked at Wilson’ NICA race held April 2nd. All of the teams enjoyed beautiful weather for the pre-ride day, calm lake view, team suppers and camping under the stars. The teams joining the Raptors came from Topeka, Emporia, Hutchinson, Leavenworth, Lawrence, Manhattan, Wichita, Louisburg and Olathe with 128 student athletes racing bikes at the lake.
The junior high boys started the day at 9:30 a.m. completing two laps for 8th grade was Jeremiah Roderick coming in at 6th place. The 7th grade boys competing with 2 laps were Deecon Dill in 19th, Zane Betzold placed 23rd and Brodey Schreiber followed in 25th. Luke Hartsock finished in 27th completing 1 lap. Racing in the 6th grade category with 2 laps was David DiNuzzo making a podium finish in 2nd place and Marcus Hollerich coming in 8th. Clayton Underwood and Zerrick Betzold both completed 1 lap finishing in 16th & 17th. The race laps were a 4 mile loop of single track, traveling over rocky obstacles, winding through trees and even along the water’s edge at one point.
The lady Raptors were the next wave with 8th grade taking the lead of Norah Ellenz placing 2nd and Olivia Dail in 3rd, both completing two laps. Vanessa Underwood, Anastasya Schreiber & Abby Rigney all finished 1 lap, placing, 7th, 8th & 9th respectively. The 7th grade girls followed with Izabell Dail in 2nd, 2 laps, and Addisen Schreiber in 5th with one lap. Elizabeth Palen completed 2 laps with a podi- um 1st place finish as a 6th grade racer.
The Raptor’s JV boys competing were, Chris Heise placing 3rd with 2 laps and Darien Schreiber in 15th, with 1 lap. The Freshman boys competing were Isaac Palen placing 3rd, Colton Jeardoe in 9th and Luke Hollerich in 10th.
“The NCK Raptor athletes and coaches were excited to race at Wilson Lake for the season opener of the Kansas NICA race season. Our young riders have shown great improvement and we’re all looking forward to ‘Fat Tires on the Farm’ as the Raptors host the second race at Palen Family Farms, east of Tipton, KS, April 16th,” commented Coach John McClure. The Kansas League is looking for volunteers for the race weekend at Palen Family Farms. Please find the signup link at the NCK Raptor’s Facebook page to signup for Saturday, April 15th during the pre-ride or Sunday, April 16th race day.