The Team Cartecay Bike Squads rolled into Milledgeville Nov. 9 for the Peach State Championships held at the Bartram Trail System.
The race capped the Georgia Interscholastic Cycling League’s season by featuring a course that combined multiple cross-country elements that included grassy sprints, rooty sections, technical climbs, flat cornering, sandy berms and constant pedaling.
Greg Calabretta, racing into fierce headwinds, sped to the finishing line with an impressive 11th place finish in the JV II boys category, earning the title “Cyclone Calabretta” from the announcers’ booth.
Returning from injury, Jayden Calabretta made a superb finish placing 17th in the freshman boys category, earning a sixth place overall ranking in the season’s point series. The Calabretta brothers secured their spots along with teammates Samuel Woodall and Lorenzo Alonso in the elite JV II category for next season.
Emma Moore made another podium appearance placing third in the JV I girls category, finishing second in the overall points series. Skylar Ramey finished in fifth place in the JV II girls category, as well as finishing fifth in the overall points series. Freshman Louisa Alonso made another top ten finish placing seventh for the day.
Other strong high school finishes included senior Cadence Mohon placing 17th in her last Georgia League race, and ranking 15th in the state in the season’s overall point series.
“Cadence has consistently demonstrated determination and grit on the race course, while being a kind, caring and encouraging teammate,” commented Louisa Alonso. “She will be greatly missed, though we are hoping she will return as a coach in the future.”
Clare Moore placed second and Evangelina Giet placed fifth in the eighth- grade girls category finishing off their middle school cycling careers with sights toward the more challenging high school mileage.
Eighth-grade boys Samuel Fontenot, Jake Hoek and James Gray performed well and finished their season in the top half of all eighth-grade boys in the state, with plenty of lung, heart and leg to compete in the longer distance races ahead.
All three racing squads had solid, remarkable seasons. Cartecay Composite squad finished the season ranked 5th, while the newly formed Cohutta Composite squad finished 6th in the State in Division II. Gilmer High School raced hard and despite tough injuries and finished 21st in the highly competitive Division II category.
The future looks bright for Team Cartecay with middle school athletes: Hemi Holt, Emma Harbin, Asher Sullivan, Jon Harrison, Jubliee Giet and Lana Ginger successfully completing their first season and ready to prepare for next year.
“We are certainly proud of the performance of each of our hardworking student athletes; we are even more proud of their character,” stated team director, Laura Lea Alonso. “It can be difficult to stay focused on relationships when training, however, this has been the goal of our team since the beginning. We believe you can have success on the race circuit while learning to care for each other.”
Head Coach Larry Alonso added, “We have some of the most amazing families who made racing under difficult circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic not only possible but incredible!”
To learn about Team Cartecay, visit its Facebook page or webpage at teamcartecay.com. The 2021 preseason begins April 1, and is open to all of the county’s students in sixth through 12th grade.