Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing. This co-ed program participates in the weekly Lakes Region Mountain Bike Association Series, races matching a collection of private and public schools in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
This program is specifically a Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing discipline and is NOT downhill racing, free riding or has anything with the “X” games. The Dublin School Mountain Bike Program is a well disciplined activity with a focus on learning the necessary skills and gaining the physical strength and aerobic capacity to successfully compete in cross country mountain bike races held over relatively arduous, yet safe terrain. Dublin students compete in cross country mountain bike races of six to eight miles in length. In Mountain Bike Racing, there are no benches and no cuts. Everyone races and boys and girls combine their results for a team score.
Mountain Bike race at Dublin School Nordic Ski Center - October 29, 2104
In locating the new Slopeside Dormitory, we had to remove the old Arts Building which served in recent years as our Outing Club. The Outing Club was home to our Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding programs. We originally intended to put the new Outing Club into the basement of the Slopeside Dormitory but thought better due to the impact on the height of the building and the potential for fumes and fire from ski waxing.
Last Saturday the mountain bike team hosted its season finale on our trails at the Nordic Center. After coming off of an intense weekend in Maine at the NNEHSMB Championships, we invited Eaglebrook and Northfield Mount Hermon to compete in our only non-league race of the season. It was a great day for Dublin, as AJ Lee had his first victory of the season, followed by Sean Brown, who, despite several chain problems, still finished 2nd in the A race. Peter Spang finished 6th and Eathan Hood rounded out the A race top 10 for Dublin with an 8th place finish. In the B race, Abby Ingram placed 2nd and Thomas Meiklejohn finished 6th as our top 10 finishers. The final tally of rider points revealed Dublin to be the victors of the day, with Eaglebrook placing second and NMH third.
The Northern New England High School Mountain Bike Series concluded this past Saturday in Bethel, Maine. After a long, but beautiful, drive to the venue, the Wildcats stretched, hopped on their bikes, and were greeted by one of the best courses of the season. The weather was perfect for the race, and the course featured a good mix of grueling climbs and fun descents, perfect riding for this group of bikers. Joining the Eastern and Western Divisions for the first time since the series opener, put around 255 racers on the trails, which was added to the excitement of the event.
AJ Lee narrowly missed a top 10 finish, placing 11th overall in the boys A race. Sean Brown was close behind with 16th. Eathan Hood, who experienced a broken seat post during the warm up lap, almost missed the start of the race, and as the B race was getting underway, he found himself nearly last in a field of 80 riders. When the race ended however, his racing experience, strong endurance, and technical skills earned him a 32nd place finish.
The girls team, due to injuries and illness, didn't fare as well this race, and Ella Rutledge was the only female finisher with 10th place. Overall, the team finished 4th in the Western Division, and Sean Brown was named top senior rider for the season. AJ Lee, Abby Ingram (both juniors) and Eathan Hood (freshman) were all 3rd place overall in their grade levels for the year. A nice end to a great season.
Last Wednesday the Mountain Bike team traveled to Grafton, VT for a race hosted by Burr and Burton. The conditions were slick, muddy and bony and after a fairly dry fall, this proved to be a challenging course for the team. The girls' A race had Abby Ingram placing 9th, despite a bad crash on the first lap. AJ Lee and Sean Brown pushed and paced each other to place 9th and 10th, respectively. Eathan Hood had his highest place of the season with 4th in the B class race, and Pete Spang placed 18th. Ali Weis had her best race of the season, placing 4th in the girls B race, and Ella Rutledge was close behind with 6th.
The mountain biking team traveled to Cardigan Mountain School for a windy, technical and dusty race last Wednesday.
It also marked the first race that saw the girls C and B division combined into one B class. Our girls took advantage of the new arrangement, and Abby Ingram tore through the dust cloud to victory with Imogen VonMartens close behind in second place. Ella Rutledge and Ali Weis both scored top 10 finishes.
The mountain bike team made their way up to Vermont Academy for our second race of the series. It was a blistering hot day that saw temperatures reach into the upper 80's and the course was the most technically challenging we'll see all year.
After stellar performances in the first race, Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) and Eathan Hood (Harrisville, NH) were moved up to the B class, which consists of a longer and more technical course. They both had great debuts, with Imogen placing 6th and Eathan placing 9th.
Sean Brown (Hampton Falls, NH) had a great finish with 8th in the Class A race, and AJ Lee (Hong Kong) was 10th, despite having a pretty bad crash on the first section of the course. Abby Ingram (Dedham, MA) had her first win with a decisive victory over the Class C girls field.
In a summer of major campus construction (four major renovations or new buildings are in-process right now), it's easy to ignore the less obvious improvements that are happening around campus. However, if you wander down to the Nordic Center and listen carefully, you will hear the sounds of chain saws, nail guns and a mini-excavator echoing through the woods. Backtracking along marker flags through the woods will bring you to a remarkably Dublin construction project.
This last week, RVAL conducted its fall championship week, crowning champions in boys and girls cross country and soccer. Dublin was in competition for the top award in each of the four categories. Dublin walked away from the week with one Championship and three runner-up awards. This was easily the most complete performance by any school in the league. For some of our athletes, this was still a disappointment (we love that they are only satisfied with a win).
That being said, our disappointment is a mark of how far these programs have come.
Jesse was a really fast Jimmy John's sandwich bike delivery guy long before he began wearing out chainrings leading Mountain Biking tours and coaching Mountain Biking racing. For five summers, he led two week mountain bike tours through the sinuous mountain and valley roads of Vermont and New Hampshire. As a founding coach of the Dublin Mountain Biking team, he has led the growth and improvement of the team from a primarily Class C program at inception to a 3rd place finish (out of 22 schools) last year in the New England Interscholastic Mountain Bike Series.