Several Verona mountain bikers participated in a short track race at the Boy Scout camp in Allamuchy this past Sunday. It was an early start in colder temperatures but the racing heated up immediately. The specially designed course circles a lake and rises and falls through the woods, taking racers on a fun and safe route that is also a hiking trail.
Logan Machnowski, a sixth grader at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, took second place in Kids Class 7-12 with a time of 27.53.1 for its two laps, while his sister Nina Machnowski, a Verona High School freshman, took second place in Kids Class 13-15 with a time of 21.23.6 over two laps. Andrew Hunt, an eighth grader at HBW, took fourth place in Kids Class 13-15 with a time of 23.50.8 for his two laps. Cole Smith, a VHS junior, won first place in Kids Class 16-18 with a time of 26.58.2 for a three-lap race. John Martin McCarthy, also an 8th grader at HBW, was competing in his first mountain bike race. The Verona riders raced with “Ride On Vanya” stickers on their bikes in memory of Vanya Citrano, a Verona mountain biking enthusiast who committed suicide last September.
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In the spring, all of these racers will join riders from Cedar Grove and other Essex County towns to race as the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Essex Offroad MTB Team. The bike team was created under the auspices of the New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League, the state NICA chapter. As one of 19 leagues across the country, it organizes a mountain bike racing league for middle and high school student athletes. The team is open to all levels of teen riders, both to race and to ride for fun each week. For more information, email Geordan Smith at [email protected]