Great Course and Great Racing Close Out SoCalSeason6 April 30, 2014 2014 SoCal High School Mountain Bike Racing Series FINALS Cow Pie Classic, Los


Madeline Bemis of Corona Composite flows down the trail on her way to a series win in Freshman Girls. -Photo credit Kevin Carlson

Great Course and Great Racing Close Out SoCalSeason6

April 30, 2014

2014 SoCal High School Mountain Bike Racing Series FINALS

Cow Pie Classic, Los Olivos, CA

Contact: Matt Gunnell,
(818) 415-1133,

Full results:

Photo gallery with captions:


The Righetti High School Pep Band added to the festive high school vibe. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Los Olivos, Calif. — The Dirt Club mountain bike ranch outside of Los Olivos has been hosting high level mountain bike competition for well over a decade. The SoCal League has put on their final race there every year for the first six years of its existence. But never have the conditions come together to produce an event as magical as this season. Dirt Club manager Mike Hecker has worked hard over the last two years to build trails specifically for mountain bikes as mountain bikers like to ride them to upgrade the club into a true destination worthy riding location. And this year a late rain caused the venue to explode into color to the point it was almost distracting. Lush green grass, orange California Poppies, purple and blue wildflowers, and hillsides of waist high yellow Mustard greeted the student-athletes and their supporters and, combined with buffed and flowy trails, formed the canvas onto which the racers painted an epic weekend of friendly competition and camaraderie. The fact that individual and team competitions both came into the final race of the series still hotly contested just boosted the excitement. And to add to all that, the Righetti High School Pep Band and Drum Line was on hand marching the start chute ahead of each wave of racers. If you missed this weekend you missed one of the best races ever in the history of the SoCal League!


Yucaipa HS won the race and the season for Division 1 teams. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen


In a near repeat of 2013, the Division 1 (D1) team competition came down to a two horse race between Hemet and Yucaipa High Schools. Either team could have won the race and either team could have won the season series. In the end, Yucaipa HS had one of their best races ever to seal the victory for the day and for the 2014 series while Hemet HS took second on the day and in the series. El Toro High School had some equipment and injury issues ending up fifth on the day but third overall. A fantastic accomplishment for a second year team wading into D1. Woodcrest HS took advantage of the opening and finished third for the day and fourth overall while a very young Newbury Park HS finished fourth for the day and fifth overall showing they will be a force to be reckoned with in the years ahead.

When asked if the day went as hoped Coach Mike Bagg of Yucaipa said, “Definitely. Our riders knew they needed to have a near-perfect day, and they did. It was our second best race all season.” Coach Bagg gave credit to many riders showing that Yucaipa is built on a foundation of solid riders and hard work at every level. When asked about the season overall and the trip to State Championships on Mothers’ Day weekend where the NorCal and SoCal Leagues will meet head to head he said, “The season went as planned, and I don't say that arrogantly. We set out this year to train to win. Our other D1 Teams leave us no option but to give the season maximum effort. To be honest, NorCal has us intimidated. What kind of teams get an average of 4300 points per race, which is what the top NorCal teams are earning? All we can say is we will put as much grit and determination into States as we did all season and pray for the best. As a team, Yucaipa cherishes the unity we experience with all of the other SoCal teams up at States. We certainly encourage other riders and teams during the regular SoCal season, but in two weeks it will be a joy to passionately root for ALL SoCal riders and teams as we battle it out with NorCal.”


Without dedicated volunteer coaches there would be no high school mountain biking. -Photo credit Robert Binder

Coach Kirkham of Hemet HS, the winningest team in SoCal League history, said, “The day went fairly well, unfortunately, not well enough to have a 'perfect' race and overtake Yucaipa for the top podium spot. To claim a solid second on the day and consolidate our 2nd place overall in the team standings was nice. However, we set pretty high standards for ourselves as a team and to come up short for the second year in a row stings a little.” As for his feelings on the season and pending State Championships, “We definitely had depth this year as we only recorded three different individual podiums! However, we did have a lot of kids in 6th and 7th places. Yucaipa had the depth AND more podiums this year and that made the difference in the end. I'm proud of how our team never gave up and kept fighting to the end. It's a long season and that takes a lot of dedication and perseverance on both the kids and their parents parts. Hats off to coach Bagg and his crew on a well-coached and disciplined team, they deserve to be #1 this year. We'll be taking a much smaller team to States this year so we will see out it all plays out in two weeks time. Hopefully we can get at least one D1 team on the podium this year!”

Coach Neuville of El Toro used the team’s first year in D1 as a learning experience and is already looking forward to 2015 saying, “Competing as a first year D1 is a great challenge. We finished third. We learned a lot by competing against these great teams, it makes us better. We will have more JV and Varsity riders next year which will help us in the team points plus we have new freshman coming in.”


Rim of the World High School took 3rd place at the Finals but won the overall season for Division 2 teams. -Photo credit Steve Messer

Division 2 is for smaller teams but the competition was even tighter than in D1. Redlands East Valley had a near perfect day to take the win while finishing third for the season overall. Crescenta Valley worked hard all season and finished the day in second while taking second for the season overall by only one point behind Rim of the World who took third on the day but held on to win the overall series. Looking ahead to 2015 it’s unclear what D2 will look like as veteran team Crescenta Valley will likely move to D1, where they could have competed well this season, while Rim of the World is graduating a strong group of five Varsity Girls.
Coach Woodruff of Redlands East Valley, which has only four riders, said, “We cross our fingers every race that there are no mechanicals or crashes because we need all 4 of our riders to finish well and score well to place well in the Team standings. Once again, all of our riders had great finishes and fought through the wind to score enough points to get on the box.” As for the season as a whole, “REV's season has been exceptional. Our 4 riders rode at an outstanding level all year and to finish 3rd among such high competition is amazing. It is great validation for our program, which actually focuses more on fun, community, and lifelong skills than it does on beating the next team. Redlands coaches don't even calculate points! That aside, we do plan on being fully prepared to show NorCal the best of what the SoCal league and REV has to offer at the State Championships.”

Coach Rowton of Crescenta Valley has a young team of hard working student-athletes and felt if the team had fired on all cylinders at least once this season they would have won the overall series, “The day obviously didn't go as I had hoped. My JV girls rode the perfect race and did what they had to do for Brenna to win the title. It's amazing that she won the title by one point and the team came up one point short so I guess there’s some deeper meaning in there somewhere. CV's season was fantastic and we felt like we were climbing Mt. Everest every week. To come up one step short after making it all the way stung pretty badly for a few hours. Knowing that we did everything that we could possibly have done took some of the sting out of the final result. We had countless missed opportunities this season, and never put our best day together. My sincere congratulations to the Rim, Redlands East Valley and all of the other teams in the league. They are all hard working, fantastic and class teams and they pushed us to our limit.”

Coach Horton of Rim of the World elegantly summed up their winning season saying, “We had an amazing day, course and racing. We had a great time. We have nothing to complain about.”


Between the two of them, Sophomores Daniel Johnson and Sean Bell have won every Varsity race in SoCal this year. -Photo credit Steve Messer

Varsity Boys

The Varsity Boys played out the same way as it has most of the season. With Daniel Johnson of South Orange County Composite coming out on top but with the rest of the podium populated in a different order each race. This time, Murrieta Valley’s Randy Graham had his breakout race taking second for the day with Imeh Nsek finishing third. In the overall series it was Johnson with the win followed by Nsek, Sean Bell of El Toro, Graham, and Kyle Skeen of Ramona High School.

With Johnson and Bell being Sophomores and Nsek a Junior the SoCal League has a strong couple of years of racing ahead and all the Varsity Boys look forward to matching up against the Varsity Boys from the North and South Conferences of the NorCal League in less than two weeks.

Johnson said this about the race and season, “Los Olivos was my favorite course last year and with the new sections it still is. It may not be as difficult but because it is flowy it makes it a fun course to ride. I feel really happy about winning the So Cal league. I made a goal to try and win as many races as possible and it worked out for me. I think everyone got a lot stronger and we are to do really well up at states.”


Dalma Felenyi of Rim of the World finished her senior year by taking 3rd place at the Finals for Varsity Girls. -Photo credit Gearworx

Varsity Girls

Reigning SoCal and State Varsity Girls Champion Hannah-Rae Finchamp finished out the series with her fourth win in a row and seized hold of the series with the win. Ema Suarez finished in second place on the day and in the overalls but has been the one rider to push Finchamp all season. After the top two the podium has changed up every race and this time Dalma Felenyi of Rim of the World finished the day in third. In the final overall standings it was Finchamp, Suarez, Elizabeth Jackson of Rim of the World, Maddie Melcher of Redlands East Valley, and Felenyi. With all top five Varsity riders graduating the Varsity Girls field will be wide open in 2015!

With all of the top riders having now completed the final SoCal League races of their high school careers there was a lot of nostalgia going around at the finish line. Finchamp said, “I couldn't have asked for a better course to end the SoCal Season on. The tight single track was fabulous and flowy! The whole last lap I was in denial that it would be my last lap ever with the SoCal league. I'm so thankful that God put this league in my life and I had the opportunity to make so many good friends here. It was an incredible feeling to have so many people out there cheering for me by name and I sincerely hope that by the time everyone is a senior, each high school student gets that feeling of being known and genuinely cheered for. This sport and this league is truly empowering! Enough of the nostalgia, we still have state! Go SoCal!!”

Suarez added, “I am satisfied with the results that I got because I did the best that I could and left it all on the course. It is difficult to acknowledge that my High School career has come to an end, along with the SoCal League, and I am so blessed that God gave me this opportunity and these wonderful memories. He has traced my past and shaped my future with the acceptance to pre-med this year and, with a lot of prayer, to someday became a Doctor just like my Dad and my sister. I want to thank the racers for challenging me at every race, my family and Coaches, Alex Strada and Deya Guerrero, for supporting me even at time of struggle, the SoCal League for making this happen, and especially to God for providing me and my family with everything that we need and for giving me so many wonderful opportunities.”


The "Firestone Wall" was one of two challenging switchback climbs on course. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Jackson had a mechanical that hampered her race but still had a great time, “Unfortunately, my chain broke within the first ten minutes of the race. I took a five minute penalty to let a race marshal fix it, but by the time it was fixed, I was already far behind. It was very upsetting and my chain continued to have problems and fall off for the remainder of the race. Though it was hard for me, I chose to complete my three laps in hope to get a small amount of points for the team. It really brought me to realize that getting a medal is not the most important thing, racing is about doing your best in the circumstances you are given and remaining true to who you are through it all. Looking back to the start of the season, I would have never thought I would be third overall. Being that it was only my second season riding, I was happy with the idea of getting on the podium once if I was lucky, let alone race Varsity! Fortunately, I have great coaches who devoted so much time to improving my performance and I owe them so much for that. They have taught me so much about not only Mountain Biking, but just life in general, like the importance of setting goals and persevering to achieve those goals. I can honestly say that I gave this season my all and looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.”

Felenyi remarked on the repeating themes of racing at the Dirt Club saying, “This race went great for me! This is usually my favorite race course, as I have placed third here every year (except last year, because of the crazy winds!). The first lap I got a steady pace going, and I was feeling pretty good. I noticed Reka and Maddie starting to close in, so I knew I had to go hard, which motivated me to go fast wherever I could, and not take a break. It was pretty cool because our Sophomore year at States on this same course, we finished the same as this year; Reka in fifth, Maddie in fourth, and me in third.”


Middle school riders were out in force for Saturday afternoon's middle school race. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

JV Boys Division 1

The same top two riders went 1-2 again at Finals and again, with only a few seconds separating them. Jake Legge of Newbury Park took the win with Evander Hughes of Great Oak finishing second. Skyler Payne of St. Francis finished a few seconds behind to take third. In the overall results it was Hughes, Legge, Payne, Kyle Legge of Newbury Park, and Jacob DeChellis of Yucaipa. With so many strong JV riders making the jump to Varsity next year and so many young Varsity riders returning, 2015 is already shaping up to be an incredibly competitive year.


This single track climb was loose and freshly built last year but this year it was a super highway of pain going up the hill. -Photo credit Steve Messer

JV Boys Division 2

Like so many other fields, JV Boys D2 had one rider come to the top for the last few races and overall with the rest of the podium different at almost every race. A sure sign of a competitive field. That rider on top was Evan Christenson. Patrick Liddy finished second on the day with Michael Sanchez taking third. For the overall standings it was Christenson, Hunter Weiss, Jason Rowton of Crescenta Valley, Patrick Liddy, and Oliver Stubbs of South Orange County Composite.

Rowton didn’t have his best race but realized that, in the big picture, he had a great season, “The race was absolutely perfect... for the first two laps. I led the entire first two laps, felt amazing, and thought I was going to ride away with the victory. However, through the feed zone on my last lap, i bonked so hard and it came instantly. I went 10 minutes slower my last lap and lost 13 places. I am happy with where I finished overall. The standing were really tight all season long and my competitors were really strong. I'm a little bummed to have been 1 point out of second but I'm satisfied with a third place overall.”


Brenna Pratt can see the top step of the podium from here. She ended up taking it and the series win. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

JV Girls

The JV Girls again provided some of the most exciting racing of the season and the top three riders are incredibly evenly matched Sophomores so, though the Varsity Girls are graduating many seniors, the returning Varsity Girls field will be replenished by top riders from the JV and Sophomore fields and will be fiercely competitive. Brenna Pratt of Crescenta Valley took the win for the day to win the overall series by one point. The extremely consistent Ellis Cobb of Crescenta Valley took second. Hannah Eckvahl of San Gabriel Valley Composite finished third. In the season overall standings it was Pratt, Eckvahl, Cobb, Summer Medina of Redlands Adventist Academy, and Hannah Binder of Tustin.

While Pratt and Eckvahl play things close to the vest, Cobb always illustrates a good picture of the racing saying, “This race went really well. We made fantastic use of the three week period between races. I was ready to pull through for a super strong finish, knowing that it would be an encouraging start to our last SoCal race of the season. I felt super strong the whole way, making it up the climbs without much stress at all and beating the competition to the downhills. My favorite part of the race course were the switchback climbs. They were super smooth, and I knew I could do really well there. My result in the SoCal series was a personal best, and it was incredibly exciting to see my teammate Brenna take the leader jersey back one more time. I have had a successful year so far, and I intend to finish it well at State Championships.”


George Orloff wins a thrilling sprint victory over Jonathan Martinez to seal the series win. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Sophomore Boys Division 1

The Sophomore Boys D1 has been a two up slugfest all season with several races coming to sprint finishes between George Orloff of St. Francis and Jonathan Martinez of Woodcrest. In the end, Orloff found one more banana powered gear to outsprint Martinez and win the race and the series. Behind the two were an army of young Newbury Park riders with Connor McHugh taking third. How close was the race? After nearly 20 miles the top eight riders finished within a 40 second grouping. The season standings went Orloff, Martinez, Cory Purves of El Toro, McHugh, and Josiah Works of Yucaipa.

Orloff said, “What a race at Los Olivos!! The course was beautiful and fast. This was the last race of the SoCal season and everyone was really nervous including me. We knew this race would decide the season champion. The race was exciting from the very beginning, with everyone pushing as hard as possible. I was very fortunate to be able to jump in front near the very end of the race and sprint to the finish for the win. Jonathan Martinez and I have been battling it out over the past few races with very close finishes. I was the luckier rider at Los Olivos. I started the season telling all my teammates that the key to success was eating “thirty bananas a day”. Before the Los Olivos race I ate even more bananas.” He then credited all of his coaches and supporters by name knowing that though it’s only one person pedaling the bike there are a lot of people helping in the background!

Martinez was disappointed the series slipped away in the last few hundred feet of the last race but is mature enough to realize that he has many years of racing in front of him, “The race went good. Looking back there were a few big mistakes I made, but its alright-it is enough being able to ride up at the most beautiful place in the world. I learned a few lessons the hard way but still finished out on the podium; that’s all I could ask for. Thanks to George for being a competitor who always gives his best and always pushes to the line. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish, of course I wouldn't have minded coming in first, its tough to lose the top spot by 2 sec. at the last stretch of the last race, but it happens, and there’s always next year.”


The flowers were in full bloom at the Dirt Club. -Photo credit Gearworx

Sophomore Boys Division 2

Jaron Cappos of Ramona HS was able to finish out a nearly perfect season by outsprinting Nico Belliard of Redlands Composite for the win. Local rider Jacob Alderete finished the day in third. In the overalls it was Cappos, Alderete, Belliard, Chris Taylor of Foothill, and Matt Wennerstrom filling the top five.
Cappos loved the new sections of trail at the Dirt Club saying, “My favorite part of the race was the last part of the course with the new trails, they were really fun to ride. To whoever built them, good work! (Note: the section of trail he mentions was roughed in by Dirt Club staff but finished in large part by local high school teams).

Alderete is a new racer on a steep learning curve that is looking forward to the rest of his racing career, “I had an awful crash that put me in dead last after the neutral start. I got run over and my derailleur hanger was bent, but I managed to catch up to the lead pack at the beginning of the second lap. That was when Jarron, Nico, and I broke away from the pack. Nico and I eventually caught Jarron and I lead for a short time before crashing in a rut. I blew up trying to catch the guys earlier, so I had no strength this time and they got away. I had only done one mountain bike race before the season started and learned quickly what it was like to race against strong riders as well as where my weaknesses are. Overall, it was a great first year and I can't wait until state championships and next season.”

Belliard enjoyed some of the special sections of trail which help make the current Dirt Club high school race course arguably the best around, “My favorite part of the course was probably the last part with all the berms down to the dual slalom course. It was super flowy and just plain awesome!”


Sophomore Girls ended in a series tie between Karina Fuentes and Xylena Hoppen. -Photo credit Steve Messer

Sophomore Girls

As tight as some fields were all season none was as close as the Sophomore Girls. How close? The season ended in a two way tie for first! Xylena Hoppen of El Toro finished the season with a win which gave her ½ of first place for the year. Karina Fuentes of Redlands East Valley finished second and Geraldine Ayerdi finished third on the day. In the overalls it was Fuentes and Hoppen tied for first followed by Ayerdi, Kayla Nelson of Trabuco Hills, and Sarah Warden of Foothill.

Hoppen had internal struggles during the race but used sections of the course to convince herself she had a chance saying, “During the first lap I thought to myself that I wouldn't be able to get first, because both Karina, and Geraldine were way ahead of me. They both dropped me. I also thought I wouldn't have the energy nor the strength to catch up to them. My favorite part of the course would probably be the switchback climbs towards the middle of the race course. You could see your competitors how far ahead they where. The switchbacks gave me courage that there could be a possible way to catch up to my competitors.”

Though the beauty of the fields in bloom were great to look at, Fuentes caught the darker side of the flowers noting, “I had a smart race; but between allergies and asthma, this race was hard on me. Definitely the best part of the course was the single track. It was so much fun! I loved riding through the beautiful rolling hills and flowers, even if I couldn't appreciate them fully as I was gasping for breath. I suppose I couldn't really ask to do better in the sense of placement in the SoCal series, but as a super competitive person, of course it was hard to grasp and accept having a tie for first; but honestly, me and Xylena both had a good season, with our hard races, and I couldn't think of a better person to be tied with. If anything, I'm honored to be compared to her. It was a battle all throughout the season, and we both fought for that leaders jersey. I think we both deserve it equally.”

Ayerdi added, “I'm pleased with the results I've achieved this season, at the beginning I didn't know if I had what it took to even finish one race, so I feel very privileged to be able to share the podium with such great competition.”


SoCal League student-athletes take pride in great sportsmanship. -Photo credit Ernie Medina

Freshman Boys Division 1

Freshman Boys D1 has been nearly the same story since the second race with Trevor McCutcheon of Great Oak powering to a win and Yannick Hoppen of El Toro able to match McCutcheon in every aspect other than the sprint. Unfortunately for Hoppen, he flatted early so wasn’t in contention at the finish line. This time it was McCutcheon taking out the win by two minutes over a tightly packed chase group led by Tyler Weyman of Newbury Park in second and Andrew Kirk of Damien in third. In the season overall standings it was McCutcheon, Hoppen Weyman, Kirk, and Seth Gutierrez of Yucaipa.

Weyman is a new rider this year and said, “As a freshman coming into a brand new sport and first year racing, I was very happy with all my results.” Hoppen was looking forward to battling McCutcheon for the day but realizes that, as a freshman, he still has three more years for that battle to continue, “I was with Trevor throughout the first half of the first lap then I flatted. Racing with Trevor was really fun throughout the season and states and next will be great.”


The section of course on the dual slalom line was popular with spectators. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Freshman Boys Division 2

Freshman Boys D2 ended the season the same way it began, with Ama Nsek coming across the line for the win a few minutes ahead of second place. Behind him, Ethan Hamlin took second and local rider Samuel Smith of Righetti took third a few seconds later. In the overalls it was Nsek, Kahlo Chitraroff of Murrieta Mesa, Jordan Aguilar of Murrieta Mesa and Ethan Hamlin tied for third, and Brent Franze rounding out the top five.

Nsek played a tactical game to start but a hard effort broke him free of the other competitors and he looks forward to a great race at State Championships, “The wind played a major role at the start of the race. I was a bit hesitant and held back to conserve for the long haul. However, I thought about breaking away because I prefer my races to not come down to a sprint finish. As a result, I attacked out of the saddle on a steep climb and got about a 10 second gap which I worked hard to build on for the remainder of the race. I think that my results fairly reflected the amount of effort and training that I went through this year in order to hopefully be successful in a strong field of riders. Now it's time to get tuned up and get ready for States!”

Chitraroff didn’t do as well on the day as he would have liked but was happy with the overall season saying, “I was definitely worried about the first climb and who was going to make a move on it. Of course, Ama (leader) surged there and I went with him. I was right on his tail until my chain fell off on the descent before the first fire road. I recovered my place, but with a widening gap between the leader and I. In the end, I got a flat right before the last single track downhill back to the meadows and was passed finishing in 10th. For some reason, I had a feeling this race was going to be my drop race. But there was nothing I could do to change it, just respond to it the best I could. I was really excited to know that I finished 2nd overall in my category. My goal this year was to just be in the top 5 and 2nd isn't to bad since I exceeded my goal. I'm sad I never got to wear the leader jersey, but I'm still blessed to be standing next to the guy wearing it. It was so much fun this year and I can't wait for next year to come around with new challenges. Most of my races had gone much smoother than I could have imagined. This year has really shown that putting the effort into your training really will pay off. I trained like crazy and will continue until State Champs!”

Aguilar exceeded his expectations for the season and looks forward to the rest of his high school career, “I feel great about my results in the 2014 SoCal season. At the beginning of the season, I was hoping to finish top ten this year. I ended up tying for third with Ethan Hamlin. Having the opportunity to consistently podium with this classy group of racers made this a great year of racing, and I'm looking forward to racing with them next year.”


A field of racers is paced up to speed through the camping and pit area. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Freshman Girls

The Freshman Girls series was tied at the beginning of the race with Madeline Bemis of Corona Composite and Haley Peery of Woodcrest each having two wins and two seconds to their credit. That was before the race. No disrespect intended to Peery who took second on the day and second for the series out of over 20 racers and is a fabulous racer but Bemis uncorked a performance that launched a missile over the bow of the rest of the girls in the SoCal League. How big of a missile? Her first lap was only 3 seconds slower than Varsity winner Finchamp’s fastest lap. It was the second fastest lap of the day for all girls and was nearly three minutes faster than the fastest laps of the winning JV and Sophomore Girls (who were doing the same race distance). And if you’re thinking she did one super fast lap then dropped the pace that’s not the case, her second lap was also faster than all the JV and Sophomore riders and most of the Varsity riders. Not bad for a first year racer on flat pedals. After Bemis and Peery, Gwendalyn Gibson of Ramona took a solid third on the day. In the overall standings it was Bemis, Peery, Kennedy Brown of Woodcrest, Tara Neuville of El Toro, and Alexis Vitale rounding out the top five.

Bemis summed up her first SoCal series saying, “Overall, the race went very well for me. My favorite part of the course was definitely the wild switchbacks, going both up and downhill. It was challenging to make these sharp and demanding turns. Winning part of the SoCal series was an answer to my prayers. I could not have asked for a more exciting and rewarding first year being involved in NICA! But I could not have done it without my coaches Kevin, Dana, Mike, and Alex. They all inspire me and go out of their ways to help me be the best rider I can be. I am so grateful for all of them as well as the support of my teammates! I am very excited for next season, where I will hopefully have the opportunity to challenge my abilities against the Varsity riders. I am planning to go to states, and until then will continue to train hard. As for the actual state race, all anyone can expect is for me to try my best and to give it my all. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.”


Megan Lansing won both Experienced Girls middle school races this season. -Photo credit Frank Hoppen

Middle School

The Cow Pie Classic marked the second ever SoCal League middle school race held on Saturday afternoon. With close to 80 middle school riders it’s clear that there is demand for middle school racing to remain part of the program. After the first race at Sycamore Canyon, the Dirt Club race presented a much more challenging course on the climbing side but the enthusiasm of the student-athletes and their supporters was palpable! Turner Conway won the Experienced Boys race, Megan Lansing won her second Experienced Girls race, Garrett Hamilton won the Novice Boys race, and Marjie Bemis won the Novice Girls race.

With the five race 2014 SoCal Series now complete and an over 25% growth in average high school race attendance as well as a warmly received middle school pilot program it’s clear that interscholastic mountain biking in southern California is still on the way up. And with the overwhelmingly positive support of our cadre of volunteer coaches we know that the backbone of the SoCal League is strong. We hope you have enjoyed the series and look forward to rejoining our good natured rivalry with the NorCal League at State Championships in Monterey on May 11th! If you would like to help support the League as a coach starting a team or sponsor please contact us.

Upcoming events:

May 11: State Championships, Laguna Seca, Monterey
July 13-18: Summer Camp, Big Bear
August 16-17: Leaders’ Summit #1
October 4-5: Leaders’ Summit #2
October 11-12: Wilderness First Aid for Mountain Bikers

About the SoCal High School Cycling League

The SoCal High School Cycling League was organized to provide a well-defined race season for youth racers and to promote the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the cooperation of local race promoters and our sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races designed for high school aged riders and is the easiest way for youth to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling. The League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities, as well as generous donors, and sponsors including Felt Bicycles, Kenda Tires founding national sponsor Specialized Bicycle Components; as well as establishing sponsors Easton Foundations, SRAM, and Trek Bicycles; major sponsors Clif Bar and Company, Giro, Primal Wear, Quality Bicycle Products, Kayo Clothing, Simplicity Bank, Rock N' Road Cyclery, Jenson USA, GU Sports, Kinetic, CamelBak, Maxxis, Cannondale, Easton, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Optic Nerve, Ritchey Designs, and Sho-Air; media partners Cyclingnews, Dirt Rag, Mountain Bike Action, MTBR, and Switchback. For more information on the League, visit or contact Matt Gunnell at or (818) 415-1133.

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