High school cyclists ready for a big 2012 racing season
Another year of big growth necessitates forthcoming restructure of NorCal league
Berkeley, Calif. – Student-athletes, coaches, team directors and league officials are focused on February 26, the start date of yet another record-setting year of mountain bike racing with the five-round Northern California High School Cycling League.
In a year that sees the National Interscholastic Cycling Association embark on its most expansive season to date, with seven racing leagues taking place in six states, the NorCal League, which is where it all started back in 2000, continues to grow at about the maximum manageable rate, with athlete numbers expected to reach 650, up 14% from last year, and team numbers up 16%, 43 this year compared to 38 in 2011.
Vanessa Hauswald, the NorCal League’s director, said, “With more teams than ever, the 2012 NorCal League race season will showcase the power and determination of riders from every skill level. Thanks to our incredible coaches, we are able to provide the opportunity for every student-athlete to succeed on these teams. We look forward to seeing even more community members and non-cyclists out to cheer on the kids this season!”
Emily Cerna, Salinas Cowboys, Varsity, started two years ago as a Freshman and now in only her third year is leap-frogging Junior Varsity to go straight in Varsity.
Emily said, “I worked very hard at this last year, and now, being a junior going into a varsity race, i am very excited yet nervous at the same time because the competition level is so high in Varsity girls. I’m also excited for my team, The Salinas High Cowboy Racing Team because I think they will do very well! I probably couldn’t accomplish so much without my coach/ dad Mike Cerna and my coaches Robert Estrella and Jim Warwick.”
Sean Bennett, of the El Cerrito team, moves into Junior Varsity after winning the Freshman’s league last year.
Sean said, “I haven’t been racing in a couple of months, so I’ll have to see how I’ve progressed, but I’m very excited. The community in my school that know about cycling is small, but we have a pretty good team and we’re all loving it. It’s our lifestyle! My Mom has started riding too now, she’s mainly into road bikes though, but she’s a pretty good climber.”
Related news of the NorCal League is a post-series trail care program, starting in June, for all venues on the race calendar. In this community and environmental support effort, student-athletes and other team volunteers will give back in the form of trail maintenance work that will leave the facilities in even better shape than they found them.
Throughout this year the NorCal League is recruiting parents and coaches to join an advisory committee focused on restructuring the NorCal league into two conferences for the 2013 season. With 650 riders racing this year, the league is fast out-growing its venues.
2012 series venues and dates
2/26 Race #1 Granite Bay Challenge
3/18 Race #2 Central Coast Classic
4/1 Race #3 Laguna Seca Grand Prix
4/15 Race #4 Boggs Mountain (or East Garrison if rained out)
5/6 Race #5 NorCal Championships
5/20 California State Championships Los Olivos/must qualify/reg opens May 1
All of this extra mountain bike racing activity will result in a lot more than additional kids having a great time on bikes. The provision of mountain bike coaching, teams, and races in the high school setting improves and enriches lives across a broad spectrum. Student-athletes build ties to the school community and develop lifelong healthy habits while participating in an inclusive team experience that helps build strong bodies, strong minds and strong characters.
About the NorCal High School Cycling League
The NorCal High School Cycling League, founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization open to students from both public and private schools. The League provides coaching and camaraderie to help students achieve both competitive and non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals and comprises the easiest route for youth to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling. Each season includes a fall Leader’s Summit for coaches, winter riding camps, the five-race series, and a variety of summer camps. The League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities as well as generous donors and League sponsors including the founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as Easton Foundations, SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Clif Bar and Co., Primal Wear, JEEP, Shimano, Santa Cruz Bicycles, GU Sports, Kinetic, Maxxis, Mike’s Bikes, Capo Cycling Apparel, El Monte RV, Sheila Moon, adidas Eyewear, CamelBak, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Mellow Johnny’s, Mountain Bike Action,