ACWORTH, GEORGIA - The Georgia Cycling Association teams converged at Allatoona Creek Park on September 25 and 26 in race two of the high school and middle school series.
Building upon the success in Rome, Jackson County set a school record of total points accumulated throughout the weekend earning third place as a team, the highest finish in school history.
“We’ve seen a lot of continual success both team and individual wise throughout the four years as a team, but we have always been focused on the journey and not the destination." said head coach Zach Taylor. “Our athletes have been putting in the work daily and the rain in the last few weeks has presented challenges with getting in practice time. I'm very proud of all our athletes. They work hard and don't let the little things get to them, but are continually looking for the competitive edge to improve.”
Rain forced the team to get creative with practice, even going as far as getting to practice on the Michelin Road Atlanta race course with other local teams. With the Acworth area receiving large amounts of rain in the last few days prior to the race, it was a tall task to get the course and the athletes ready for both the distance of the trail, but the technical aspects.
“Allatoona doesn't have a lot of climbing, but the roots, rocks, and tightness of the trail makes up the difference, said coach Randy Murphy. “Some kids love it, others not so much, but mountain biking is about taking on new challenges.”
The riders seemed to get in the hang of it as well. Caleb Bowers finished 4th in the freshman category, with Louie Schramm taking 2nd and Nate Hitt taking 3rd in the JV2 category.
“It was a tough physical race with the mud and roots and the trail beats you up, but it's a lot of fun.” Bowers said.
Schramm quipped, “It was cool to get into the race tactics with the top riders and try to feel them out to see where you could push them to their limits, and find out where yours are.”
Nate Hitt said, “You cant let off the gas at Allatoona; you have to be at your limit most of the time during the race.''
On the women's side, Anna Holley earned a ninth place finish in the freshman girls category going up against some tough competition. Anna best summarizes the race up in one word; “Rewarding”.
The next race will be on October 9-10 at Dauset Trails in Indian Springs, Georgia.