Piedmont Mountain Bike Team | Folsom Lake race recap

JV 1 Boys at Granite Bay: 1st - Jasper Schuetz (Piedmont High School) 2nd - Casey Warren (Berkeley High) 3rd - Gavin Garcia (San Ramon Valley MTB Club) 4th - Nils Hummel (Albany High School) 5th - Asher Banks (Salinas High School)

After rain rescheduled their third race, Piedmont High School and Piedmont Devo (junior development) mountain biking teams raced their third race of the season with the NorCal NiCA League in Granite Bay on the beach of Folsom Lake in Folsom. 

Due to rescheduling, the race on Sunday April 28 was set for the morning after Senior Prom and only six high school riders were able to make it. Varsity rider Max Rivera proved his dedication to both fun and the team by going to Prom and waking up at 5 a.m. to get to the race on time for an 8 a.m. start. He finished the 18 mile race with a time of 1:20:47, placing 31st and advancing in points.

The course at Granite Bay was fast with a mixture of single track through meadows and forest, sandy beach terrain, and a few muddy puddles. Each lap is 6.2 miles with 576 feet of vertical gain. JV2 race 2 laps, and Varsity and JV1 race 3 laps. Olive Reining, a sophomore, racing JV2 Girls, had her strongest race of the season by pushing ahead of some familiar rivals with a time of 1:25:30. Caleb Canada and Asher Villareal, sophomores, raced next in the JV2 Boys race. Caleb came in with a very strong result of 1:04:23 finishing 21st out 34. Asher persevered through the rising heat and brought it in with a time of 1:21:59.

Right to left: Max Rivera (senior, left), Cary Ward (junior, center), Caleb Canada (sophomore, right)
Caption: Piedmont MTB High School Team at the Granite Bay race in Folsom Lake on April 28, 2024.

Jasper Schuetz and Cary Ward raced JV1 Boys next at 12:50 p.m. when the sun was at full blast. This exciting race was off to a quick start with Jasper leading a pack of six riders around the first lap in what was nicknamed the “Pain Train.” At the second lap, he was third approaching the lap line but advanced in the sand on the beach to be right behind the lead, averaging 270 watts.

The top three kept trading places throughout the third and final lap with Jasper putting in a final effort of 1200 watts for 15 seconds at the finish to beat Casey Warren of Berkeley High School by 0.5 seconds. His time was 1:12:57.

This win brings Jasper into contention for winning the series, pending the results of his final race of the season on May 11. This was a redeeming win, showing Jasper was back from placing 12th in his first race, due to a cold, and placing second in his last race. The suffering continued with the rest of the field coming in as the sun pounded. Cary Ward felt the effects of dehydration and brought it in at 1:41:09 placing 31st. 

2050 Jasper Schuetz, Piedmont High School, 2066 Nils Hummel, Albany High School, 2063 Daniel Gansmiller, El Cerrito High School
Jasper Schuetz led the JV1 Boys race out of the gates.

The middle school Piedmont Devo team brought six strong young racers to Granite Bay. Four 8th grade girls, Josie Schuetz, Rose Reining, Olivia Bailey, and Gracey Ann Hatchell made up nearly a third of the category. They raced on a different course with 3.3 miles and 500 feet of climbing per lap along scenic trails full of wildflowers. 8th grade girls raced 3 laps. Josie Schuetz felt personal improvement by setting a time of 0:57:29 and placing ninth. Rose and Olivia came in close together at 1:05:23 and 1:05:53, and Gracey Anne had a strong first race enduring the hill climbs and “sending it” along the banks of the trails. 

Rose Reining, 8th grade, approaching the finish line.

Two 6th grade boys, Carter Lew and Quincey Aguilar, were in the final race of the day in a large, young, competitive field. Sixth grade boys raced 2 laps. Carter started the race at the front of the pack with an 8th place call up and kept pushing in the sandy trails, but was caught in traffic along the windy tight trails with steep rocks. The time made up on flowy trails downhill got him to a strong 13th finish with a time of 0:34:03. Quincey brought it in with a smile and a great time of 0:39:12 to place 33rd out 47. Snow cones were enjoyed and kids cooled off in the lake afterwards.

Coaches Jon Reining, Andy Schuetz, Jose Rivera, Mark Ward, Vanessa Oklejas, Marisa Strong, and Jane Lin were proud of their small team for their tenacity and Piedmont spirit. 

Racing is only one part of the Piedmont Mountain Bike Teams. The teams also welcome those who prefer mountain biking as an adventure. To learn more about the Piedmont High School or Junior Development Teams and how to join, see https://www.piedmontmtb.com/ and https://www.piedmontdevo.com.

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