A fine and steady rain soaked the Watkinsville area Saturday, Oct. 19, forcing the Georgia League to creatively combine two scheduled days of racing into one, with 983 student athletes across 65 teams, taking to the trails in an extraordinary demonstration of cooperation and shared purpose.
The previous day’s rain made for tricky conditions on slick roots that played chutes and ladders with bike tires as athletes tried to balance speed with caution.
In spite of challenging race conditions, Team Cartecay placed seventh for the day out of 35 teams but snapped up enough points to increase their league ranking to fifth place overall in the state.
Gilmer High School raced with a partial squad, due to rider illness, holding fast at 15th overall out of 26 Division I teams. Twenty-three racers from the combined Gilmer Cartecay team took to the starting line for race No. 4, with seven top-20 finishes for the day.
Once again, seventh graders Clare Moore and Evangelina Giet took honorable spots on the podium, with third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively.
Skylar Ramey earned a podium spot, placing fifth in the freshman girls division, while Emma Moore placed sixth for the day in the girls JV I category. Cadence Mohon improved her placement to 13th for the Gilmer squad in the girls JV II category, and now ranks 9th in the state within that division.
Austin Pyne, new to the sport this year, fought his way up to a 21st place finish for the day out of a field of 80 seventh graders. All middle school riders completed a loop of 4.5 miles with 434 feet of elevation gain per lap, while freshmen and JV II riders raced a distance of 9 miles.
The two Team Cartecay JV II category racers, Samuel Woodall and Lorenzo Alonso, completed a race distance of 13.5 miles and 1,300 feet of elevation gain.
Team Cartecay brought home a season-high five first place skills medals, with Larry Dietrich and Mohon sweeping the JV II divisions. Moore took first in the JV I girls division. Greg Calabretta took first place in the freshman boys division. Louisa Alonso took first in the eighth-grade girls’ division.
On deck for the Gilmer Cartecay Mountain Bike Team is the final race of the season, the Peach State Championships, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at Dauset Trails in Jackson County.
Race details are available at: Georgiamtb.org.
(By Gilmer Cartecay Youth Mountain Bike Team)