By Samy Long, Editor-in-Chief
The Vacaville Composite mountain biking team is already in full swing for the 2017 season with one pre-season race under their belt. On January 15th, 2017, at Folsom Lake in Granite Bay, California, eight members of the team raced in Total Body Fitness’s Kickstarter race as practice for the first NorCal league race at the end of February. Vacaville Composite had six competitors in the High School Sport category and two in the High School Expert category. As it had just rained three days prior, the trail conditions were filled with giant mud puddles and slick rocky sections. Despite those setbacks, Amanda Aceves, a third year mountain biker, started her season off strong with a second place finish in the High School Sport category. On her race, she commented, “It was alright. The course was very muddy and I crashed, but I got back up. It was a good surprise to be on the podium because I honestly didn’t think I would be.” As for the rest of the upcoming season, Amanda hopes to achieve “more podiums”.
Over in the High School Expert category, another third year biker, Preston Dougherty, was the Vacaville Composite’s highest category finisher, crossing the finish line in what he believed to be 7th place. The timing system for this race had its technical issues with some racers being placed in the wrong category causing riders like Amanda and Preston to be bumped up the standings. On his race, Preston stated, “In the first lap, I was in 4th, leading the chase group behind the breakaway when I crashed into a tree due to an erratic passing maneuver of another racer in my division. During my second lap, I settled into an aerobic pace which allowed me to regain composure before my third lap in which I made attacks to catch the riders that had passed me earlier. I sprinted against myself for the finish.” For his third season, Preston is training “to race in challenging categories and place high enough to have a chance at getting recruited for a junior development team next year.”
The Vacaville Composite team regularly practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 - 5:00 pm at the Lagoon Valley Park and Gold’s Gym. Their first race is on February 25-26. If you are interested in joining the team, speak with Ms. Wildgoose in room 33 for more information.