These kids ROCK.
The second race of the inaugural Texas High School Mountain Bike League opened under heavy cloud and a weather report of thunderstorms. It was the first time I’ve ever heard a race director instruct the riders to head the potential warnings of the course marshals to stop riding and take cover in the woods on the trail if they were told to do so. Yii-ikes. Apparently undaunted, the 7 girls lined up for the mass freshman/sophmore/JV start and were sent on their way at 10 am. Our own Bettie Oliva nailed the first corner, passed the majority of the field, and hit the hole to the single track in 3rd place. 37 minutes later, she rolls into the feed zone in 4th place wanting a water bottle and needing to straighten her seat – which she did by putting the bike on the ground and stomping on the seat (!). Her main comment? “There aren’t as many hills as I remember from yesterday.” At 1 hour 20 minutes, she shot down the finish stretch with a grin on her face and crossed the line in 4th place overall. WHOOP!! You go, girl!
Considerably more boys lined up in the JV and freshman/sophmore categories in this race than at Rocky Hill – including a certain young man who had not been at the first race, but who trained with the Lake Travis team and was racing as an independent rider. Boone Flynn and Creed Flynn, as the 1st and 2nd place winners in the first race, received the pole positions, and Boone held that spot as the field hit the singletrack. 19 minutes later, he and the independent rider were neck-and-neck as they came through the feedzone, and Boone forewent his planned bottle hand-up in order to keep his momentum. Creed, Travis Hilton, and Haaris Saqib were not far behind him in the field… and at that point the weather broke. The temperature dropped 20 degrees in a hurry, and the rain came down cold and heavy – and anyone who has ever raced in those conditions knows how miserable it can be. Apparently the second lap got pretty slick pretty fast. Boone held on to the independent rider’s tail and crossed the finish line 5 seconds after him in 2nd place, Creed held onto 4th, Travis blasted through in 9th, and Haaris finished in 14th. YEAH BOYS!!
We were on pins and needles at the awards – Lake Travis had won 1st and 2nd in the varsity boys race, and 2nd place in the freshman/sophmore girls race, so did we have enough points to keep the 1st place team trophy? Bettie garnered another JV girls’ Leader’s jersey and the first place finish points in that category, and Boone retained the JV boys’ Leader’s jersey regardless of his second place finish in today’s race, and the rest of the boys had finished high in the standings, but was it enough? In the end, the answer was YES – and so A&M Consol heads into the state championship with the JV Leaders AND as the first place team!! Next race is in 2 weeks in Warda – you’ve GOT to come see how this finishes!!