In 2022, we were able to return to Thredbo for the MTB event that all the boys look forward to the most. We were fortunate to be able to leave the wet weather behind in Wollongong and enjoy some glorious sunshine. That alone made for a good break from routine. Many of the boys took the advantage of the official practice day on Wednesday last week to hone their skills before racing started on Thursday. After a two year break from the event due to Covid complications, the event was back bigger and better than ever. Thredbo resort now boasts a huge variety of tracks and these are serviced by 2 chairlifts and the new gondola. The event reached capacity 3 weeks before the event with 1000 riders being registered across the 4 divisions. Division 1 – 11 and 12, Division 2 – 9 and 10, Division 3 – 7 and 8, and Division 4 students from Years 5 and 6. This Primary school division is growing rapidly.
Thursday was the first day of racing on the All Mountain course. The day started off with some more official practice followed by an afternoon of allocated times for their race run across each division. Division 3 boys had their first experience, 16 boys giving it their best shot in a mega field of 350+ riders in their division alone. Corey Wilton (Year 8) was our stand out coming in 30th with a time of 8 minutes 19 seconds, what a champion. This was closely followed by Sebastion Curcio 8:36 and Jacob Wilton with 8:52. In Division 2, and an equally large field of 300+ Tom Cunial blitzed it in with a time of 8:39, closely followed by Joe Hinds 8:40 and then Alex Ladmore 8:51. There was a total of 11 Edmund Rice boys in this division.
Friday came around quickly and the boys were starting to show some signs of fatigue from the sustained laps that they had been doing in practice. The Flow was the most attractive track that the boys pursued. In Division 3, once again Corey Wilton did shine placing 22nd with a time of 9:32, 45 seconds behind the leader of that shredded this division. Sebastion Curcio was consistent with 9:51, 45th and Cohen Armstrong was our 3rd strongest rider with 10.01, 65th. These results were strong enough to place them as 8th best team on the day in their division. Division 2 saw Tom Cunial finish with a 10:07, Alex Ladmore 10.08 and Ashton Luck 10:10. These were really close times.
Saturday presented the most difficult of tracks for Thredbo, the Cannonball Downhill. A sustained technical descent over more than 6 minutes of pure downhill. As a result of the challenge many boys declined to start this race, knowing your limits is important in this game. Due to various reasons including injury and mechanicals, we only had 2 boys complete the course in Division 2. Alex Ladmore with a time of 7:27 and Tom Cunial 7:46. It is important to note that the times the Division 3 boys achieved were faster that the older boys. I think that these boys will be able to prove themselves in the years to come. Corey Wilton 21st, 6:37, Sebastion Curcio 29th, 6:53 and Cohen Armstrong 61st, 7:31. As a result this team finished in 7th place.
Saturday always ends with a special novelty event, the Pump Track challenge. We had one boy register for this event, Cohen Armstrong. He was more than capable to compete in this event and finished mid field against some strong riders. Well done Cohen.
Sunday is an opportunity to sort out those who are seriously fit in this sport, as Sunday was Cross Country racing. The immediate difference is, there is a lack of gravity in this event to assist the boys. So only the fittest riders get the best results. The boys from Edmund Rice are not often attracted to this event, even though we have had some legends in the past. We had 4 boys compete in Division 3, Bailey Jacobs, 31st, Oliver Penrose, 43rd, Jack Amos, 76th and Nate Lewins 82nd. This was a great result that placed them 6th overall team. Well done boys.
I would like to say a special thank you to the parents at this stage for providing transport and accommodation for their sons. The parents support is valued and helps build a strong community for the College. I am absolutely sure that all that attended the event had a great couple of days and will be keen to attend the event again next year. Also, thanks to Mr Ryan Griffiths for his valued support.
Edmund Rice College Team
Year 7 – Cohen Armstrong, Lachlan Choice, Sebastion Curcio, Xavier Forlano, Bailey Jacobs, Nate Lewins, Beau Rejske, Jacob Wilton.
Year 8 – Jack Amos, Harry Evans-Locke, Nicholas Happe, Alfred Hutton, Archie Kerr, Zac Neilsen, Thomas O’Neill, Oliver Penrose, Jack Sheppard, Corey Wilton.
Year 9 – Adam Blackbourn, Lachlan Burnell, Tom Cunial, Isaac Forlano, Alex Ladmore, Ashton Luck, Noah Schembri, Kalan Walsh, Jayden Washbourne, Nicolas Wynen.
Year 10 – Beau Anderson, Liam Baulman, Kyan Costello, Joe Hinds.
Year 12 – Matthew Wynen.