Monday, August 18, 2008

New Jersey State Track Championship

After a long summer of track racing, I headed down to TTown for the Regional/NJ Track Cycling Championships (One event, NJ Track Champs taken by the best results from people from NJ). Mike Jenks, Andy Singson, and myself were registered for the 4K TTT and the Olympic Sprint. In the individual events Mike was doing the Elite 4K, Andy was doing the 40+ 1K and 3K, and I was scheduled for the 1K, 4K, Scratch Race, and Points Race.

We started with the 1K, I was first up. My first track event with aero bars, it was a little shaky, but I finished in 1:17:22. Andy bested me with a really smooth ride for 1:17:00 (giving him a bronze in the state). After a bit of a wait, Andy was up for the 3K. Andy was on the track against a really good track trialist (they ran two at a time), but Andy held his own with an awesome ride for silver in the state. Next up was the 4K. Jenks and I ended up racing together. I thought I was doing fairly well, but when Jenks past me with a little less than half the race to go, I felt like I was standing. Lucky for me Jenks is just that fast, Jenks got 2nd in the region and 1st in the state, and 30sec later I got 3rd in the state.

My attempt at a 4K (college student = no carbon wheels)

Next up were the team events. With the help from Tom from Verge, we headed out for the 4K TTT. Jenks and Tom took full lap pulls, with me and Andy taking half-lap pulls. We stayed together and rode a smooth race, coming apart a little at the end because we couldn’t hold back Jenk’s speed. We ended up 4th in the region and 1st in the state. Next up was the team sprint (1K with each member leading one lap) with Andy, myself, and Jenks. Andy had an excellent start and got us up to a blistering pace. After Andy pulled off, I didn’t think, I just wanted to spin as fast as possible. I pulled off and Jenks did his thing (went fast, went REALLY FAST). We ended up with our best time yet 1:12 (which got us 2nd in the region and 1st in the state).

After a long day, there was one more race, the 20 lap scratch race. After just getting my Cat 3 I was eligible for this race. This race was kind of intimidating for me, most of the guys I was racing with had either coached me or I had watched race the Friday night pro races. The race was fast, really, really fast. I held my own, bridging a couple of gap and taking a few laps off the front. I finished in the back of the pack, but I was the only one of the few guys from New Jersey to actually finish, so I got about 10th in the region and 1st in the state.

So a successful day at the track for hermrutgers (10+ medals). The Points race the next day . . . ugh. I waited around for 5 hours watching sprints to have them cancel the race b/c all but 3 guys left.

So the state championship went well and gave me some good confidence going into the next two weekends of collegiate weekends before nationals.

Here is a pic of the hardware (State Medals: 3 gold, 1 bronze Regional Medals: 1 silver)