February 26, 2014
The Bike Dawgs race team traveled to Monterey last weekend for their NorCal North Division season opener. They faced over 350 riders from 25 Northern California teams on the fast, twisty single track at Fort Ord’s East Garrison race course.
With a team made up of equal parts seasoned varsity/JV riders and untested freshmen, the Dawgs turned in epic performances over the course of the day, beating out much larger Division I teams to take 4th place on the strength of six top-10 finishes.
Lauren Schulman and Julia Jackson Clark started off the day, grabbing 9th and 10th place in the girl’s 20-mile varsity race, and were the first contributors to the team’s eight allotted scoring finishes. Lauren and JJ rode together all four laps – so close together that they were not sure who crossed the finish line first.
In the 25-mile boys’ varsity race, Seth Francis narrowly beat out a top Drake rider in a finish sprint for 7th place, with teammate Sam Weinstein close on their heels in 9th. Seth and Sam worked together for most of the race and each credited the other for helping him get through it.
Walker Busby churned out his 20 miles for a 10th place finish in JV. Walker did not have the luxury of working with a teammate, and was alone with his thoughts for the latter half of the race.
He was followed by fellow scorers Evan Prahm and Ulysses Lopez – who nabbed his first ever scoring finish.
Freshman Ryan Nelson-Flack turned in an 8th place finish in his first high school race to round out the Dawgs’ scoring.
Other highlights were freshman Emily Butler overcoming some final lap mechanical difficulty with a gutsy run to grab her 17th place finish, and Gustavo Tagliari coming in 15th in a competitive field of freshman riders.
The Bike Dawgs will continue their five-race Norcal series on March 8, when they travel to Granite Bay.