By Bill Tamburrino
Ramona High School’s Cycle Dawgs have completed their first season of competition and their coach, Robert Grace, couldn’t be more pleased.
“My main goal was just to get them out riding,” said Grace. “Once they got into the races they all really got excited and improved every race. Finishing second overall in team standings in our division in our first season of competition is amazing. It is a compliment to the student/athletes. I am amazed and very proud.”
San Gabriel Valley High School has been competing for three seasons and finished first.
In the final competition at Vail Lake in Temecula on May 1, the number two turned out to be Ramona’s lucky number. Senior Ashley Duck took second in her 5.75-mile race. Ashley finished first overall on the season and earned the leader’s jersey.
“Winning the leader’s jersey is an amazing accomplishment for a first year competitor,” said Grace.
Freshman Garrett Gaither took second place in his heat out of 50 racers. Gaither’s race was 11.5 miles long.
Freshman Kyle Skeen also took second in his 11.5 (two laps) race. Garrett Hatch and Dan Drago recorded personal bests in their heat. Hatch and Drago went three laps (17.25 miles). Drago finished eighth and Hatch placed tenth in a race with over 50 competitors.
The course at Vail Lake was challenging. It had a steep uphill and slalom like downhill.
It tested the riders’ skills and endurance. Ramona’s Cycle Dawgs answered the challenge.