The Crescenta Valley High School cycling team opened the 2015 SoCal season with a solid performance at Lake Perris on Sunday, Feb. 22. After months of training, thousands of miles and astronomical amounts of climbing, teams representing 73 schools were ready to race.
In an atmosphere similar to a professional cycling event, the phenomenal growth of high school mountain biking was in full display. Under cloudy skies with rain forecasted throughout the day, the CV team finished first in the overall standings for Division 1 teams.
The rain held off all day until it was time for the premier race of the day, the varsity and junior varsity boys race. A steady and cold windblown rain greeted the racers as 180 junior varsity and 31 varsity boys took to the course. After 75 minutes of all out racing, CV’s Jason Rowton secured the teams’ only individual podium of the day with an outstanding fourth place finish in varsity. At 15 in his first varsity race, Rowton is the youngest rider in the varsity field and the only sophomore to qualify for varsity. He attacked on the last section of the course to beat the other two riders that had been with him for the majority of the race. The team had many outstanding performances and, when the results were tallied, CV had the top combined team score on the day.
Race No. 2 took place on Sunday, March 8 at Vail Lake in Temecula. Unlike the conditions for race No. 1, the weather was hot and dry with temperatures in the mid 80s. When the dust settled after a long hard day of racing, CV again stood atop the podium. Standout performances were turned in by CV’s DeeAnna Lopez who finished a career best fourth in JV girls, Frederic Brandt finished fifth in freshmen boys and Rowton again finished fourth in varsity boys. After two races, CV sits atop the overall point standings.
High school mountain bike racing is a co-ed sport open to all high school students. Unlike other sports, everyone participates; no high school athlete has to sit and watch while others compete. All inclusive participation provides every student athlete the opportunity to have a sport of their own. Bikes and other equipment are loaned and made available to kids who don’t own their own equipment or can’t afford to purchase it; this is made possible by the support of local businesses and national sponsors and the army of volunteers who coach, organize and support this very worthwhile cause.
The next event is the first ever “home” event at Castaic Lake on Sunday, March 29. The middle school kids race on Saturday, March 28.
Submitted by Jim ROWTON