SoCal High School Cycling League at Vail Lake: SoCal Finals

When covering the first race of the season held at Vail Lake I made special note of the roar that rises and reverberates up into the canyons from the start area when another race takes to the course. There is nothing else like it in the local racing scene. From the first race to the last, that cacophony was undiminished. Though perhaps not quite as loud, a similar boisterousness greets racers all along the course. Even the furthest reaches saw the faithful gathered across ridge lines and snaking along the trail down slopes, ready to yell encouragements, shake cowbells, applaud and cheer (favorites not withstanding) every rider who came through whether they were grinding over rocks, sprinting through the dust, running, or even walking their bikes up one of the painfully too-steep climbs. It is as good as it gets, pure passion for the sport and the competitors.

The Sunday races at Vail Lake may have been the final ones of the SoCal High School League season, but it certainly looked as if everyone was racing just as hard and competitively as they did at the first race of the season. And no wonder. For many there were still top placings on the line - take the girls varsity race for instance, where a win by Madeline Bemis gave her a share of the season's championship title, tied with Geraldine Guerrero.

Even for those further back in the point standings there was plenty of opportunity to contribute to the team competition, and so everyone, no matter where they stood in the rankings were digging deep to pull out their best efforts for the common good and glory. 

Congratulations to all this years So Cal champions and podium placings:
Girls Division 1 & 2 Varsity: 1st Madeline Bemis (Corona Composite), 1st Geraldine Guerrero (San Diego Composite, 3rd Danielle Emter (Trabuco Hills HS), 4th Karina Fuentes (Redlands East Valley), 5th Hanna Binder (Tustin HS)

Girls D1 & D2 JV: 1st Gwendalyn Gibson (Ramona HS), 2nd Kayla Nelson (Trabuco Hills HS), 3rd Haley Peery (Woodcrest Christian HS), 4th Dee-Anna Lopez (Crescenta Valley HS), 5th Tara Neuville (El Toro HS)

Girls D1 & D2 Sophomore: 1st Alexis Vitale (Temecula Valley Composite), 2nd Jordyn Watkins (Redlands Adventist Academy, 3rd Michelle Cabanas (Foothill HS), 4th Sidra Aghababian (Calabasas HS), 5th Elyssa Espino (Yucaipa HS)

Girls D1 & D2 Freshmen: 1st Micah Mason (Tehachapi HS), 2nd Meade Plum (Mono Inyo County Home School), 3rd Destiny Arce (Redlands East Valley, 4th Aubrey More (Yucaipa HS), 5th Hayley Richards (Murrieta Mesa HS)

Boys D1 & D2 Varsity: 1st Evander Hughes (Great Oak HS), 2nd Daniel Johnson (Independent), 3rd Jason Rowton (Crescenta Valley HS), 4th Jaron Cappos (Ramona HS), 5th Imeh Nsek (Corona HS)

Boys D1 JV: 1st Trevor McCutcheon (Great Oak HS), 2nd Ben Bennett (Foothill HS), 3rd Matt Wennerstrom (Newbury Park HS), 4th Kahlo Chitraroff (Murrieta Mesa HS), 5th Bradley Murrill (Beaumont HS)

Boys D2 JV: 1st Mikael Rodgers (South Orange County Composite), 2nd Ama Nsek (Corona Composite), 3rd Samuel Smith (Righetti HS), 4th Steven Nadaskai (Mission Viejo HS), 5th Caden Gruber (Corona de Mar HS)

Boys D1 Sophomore: 1st Cameron Joye (Great Oak HS), 2nd Trevor Hunter (Foothill HS), 3rd Joshua Dupree (Beaumont HS), 4th Justin Hurdle (Newbury Park HS), 5th Ian Bowden (Newbury Park HS)

Boys D2 Sophomore: 1st Thomas Fuller (Redlands Home School), 2nd Alex Nelson (Redlands Composite), 3rd Parker Arnold (Trinity HS), 4th Ulises Arce (San Diego Composite) 5th Cristopher Martinez (San Diego Composite)

Boys D1 Freshmen: 1st Jake Chromy (Independent), 2nd Jonah Sanchez (Murrieta Mesa HS), 3rd Blaise Janssen (Yucaipa HS), 4th Christopher Polvoorde (Hemet HS), 5th Parker Burgett (Great Oak HS)

Boys D2 Freshmen: 1st Jack Fitzpatrick (Corona Composite), 2nd Weston Giem (Valencia HS), 3rd Travis Claypool (Murrieta HS), 4th Jonah Dinger (Redlands HS), 5th Dakota Greer (Rim of the World HS)

Congratulations also to the team champions - Crescenta Valley High School in Division 1 (19688 points), and Corona Composite in Division 2 (10632 points). Rounding out the podium were Great Oak High School and Newbury Park High School who were engaged in a terrific competition for second; only eleven points separated them at the end - 19139 to 19128. In Division 2, Redlands Adventist Academy and San Diego Composite were nearly as closely matched as their Division 1 podium counterparts, being separated by only fifteen points - 9595 to 9580.

I think everyone will agree - it was quite an exciting season, and to everyone going on to challenge the Nor Cal schools at the State Championships - good racing!

One hundred eighty-five photos in the Flickr album for this one.

The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.