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Central Coast Challenge – Race #3 of the Norcal Mountain Bike Season

The original plan for Race #3 was to hold it at the picturesque and iconic Laguna Seca course. However, the never ending rain put a kibosh on that plan and forced the league back to Fort Ord, the site of Race #1. This time, however, the race organizers switched it up adding more climbs, twists and turns.

With three races complete, the competition for the league series placings is starting the shape up. In addition to individual races, each racer and team accumulates points throughout the season which determines the overall series/league champions. In addition, qualifying for the State Championships is now being determined. To participate at the State Championships each rider must qualify based on their race results.

Saturday/Race Day was beautiful, sunny and warm and the race course was in perfect condition. The O’Dowd women athletes took full advantage of their hard training and perfect conditions resulting in a number of personal bests including Sarah Tracy Cook ’22 and Caroline Hendsch ’22 finishing 4th and 5th respectively, both on the freshman girls podium! Sarah is also in 4th place overall in the Norcal series and has qualified for the State Championships. Caroline is not far behind and should qualify for States after completing the next Norcal race.

Sarah Tracy Cook ’22 (left) and Caroline Hendsch ’22 (right) on the freshman girls podium

Lily O’Hare ’21 had another strong performance finishing near the front of the sophomore girls race in 7th place and putting her in 5th place overall for the Norcal Series. Lily also qualified for States and will be racing in the JV girls category!

Mia Rahman ’19 (team captain, center), Lily O’Hare ’21 (right) at the end of the girls races. With Ella Peterson (Oakland Composite) winner of the sophomore girls race and series points leader.

The O’Dowd JV girls had another great day with all athlete having personal best finishes. Elise Cypher ’19 in 9th place, Mia Rahman (team captain) ’19 in 21st and Holly Teeters ’19 in 26th place. All three have qualified for States. Bella Walters had to miss this race, but will be back for Race #4 and should also qualify to compete at States.

The O’Dowd boys are represented by Andrew Fee ’21 and Matthew Justice ’20. Andrew had a standout race finishing a season best 8th place and is in 10th place overall for the series. Matthew started mid-pack and worked his way through the massive JV boys field to finish in 11th place which qualified him for States.

Andrew Fee ’21 pushing the pace in the sophomore boys race

Based on the numerous personal best performances, the O’Dowd team finished 2nd overall in the team competition on the Day and is in a solid 3rd place overall for the Norcal series.

The next Norcal series race is April 28th in Lake County at the challenging Six Sigma race course.

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