Over the past seven years, Proctor's mountain biking program has grown from infancy to one of New England's top competitive racing programs under the leadership of math teachers and mountain biking coaches Josh Norris and Chris Rogers. This ascent has been rapid, however it has not happened without a tremendous commitment from athletes and coaches alike. Proctor's own trail system and race course at the Proctor Ski Area receives regular maintenance from the 29 riders on the team as part of the group's weekly training schedule, and members of the mountain biking team frequently offer free bike maintenance to the community.
The commitment to the development of the program extended into June, July, and August this past summer as Rogers and Norris spent countless hours redesigning and refinishing the interior of the bike shed, that also serves as the ski shed. The tongue and groove pine installed on the interior of the shed not only creates a welcoming atmosphere, but the reorganized layout offers more efficient bike maintenance stations and storage. Norris and Rogers, agree, however, that the logistical challenges to a growing program (like how to fit twenty-nine mountain bikes in a trailer designed to hold fifteen) are offset by the sheer enthusiasm for the sport exhibited by their team on the trails and in the bike room every day.
Their first race of the season was held at the Proctor Ski Area on Wednesday September 19th, as the team welcomed over 160 riders to the event. While torrential rains pounded the course the night before, bright sunshine dried out much of the course prior to the late afternoon race. After finishing first in the Lakes Region Mountain Biking Series last fall, Proctor's riders picked up right where they left off, taking eight of the top ten finishes in Class A, led by Jack MacClarence and Speight Drummond's first and second place finishes. Mack Burns (5th), Sam Shannon (6th), Zoli Clarke (7th), Jimmy Connacher (8th), and David Bamforth (10th) rounded out the top ten for Proctor's A's. Hazel Brewster won the Girls' Class by more than four minutes, crushing the competition, while Bobbie Bao finished 8th behind Brewster. In Class B, McV LaPointe, Preston Rathborne, Gabriel O'Byrne, Kyle Corda, and Jack Durning all finished in the top 15. For complete results, click HERE
. For an photo album of the race, visit Proctor Academy Athletics Facebook page
As the fall season continues, we wish the mountain biking team the best of luck on their quest for another Lakes Region Championship, however, it is clear that while performing well in races is important, giving back to the community and instilling a passion for biking are equally important to this group of athletes.