Paul Skilbeck [email protected]
Outstanding participants in high school cycling leagues across the U.S. were honored at the 2014 National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Awards, held at the Clif Bar & Company headquarters, Emeryville, California, January 24, 2015. The Guest of Honor was 2014 mountain bike cross country world champion Catharine Pendrel of Team LUNA Chix and the Master of Ceremonies was Robin Farina, founder of the Women’s Cycling Association.
NICA presented awards in eleven categories to sixteen individuals and organizations considered to be the most outstanding student-athletes, dedicated coaches, and the most supportive volunteers, partners and sponsors to have helped advance the interscholastic mountain biking movement over the past year.
“As NICA grows, so does the pool of talent in our organization. I truly am surrounded by greatness, and it is humbling to hear of how much effort and energy our members across the country are expending to build not only the interscholastic cycling movement, but also cycling itself. Though the bike industry is experiencing relatively flat sales, we show a steady increase in participation across teams, coaches and student-athletes. When you look at the positive effects of all our work on the people and the communities in which we all live, it is easy to understand why our results are so positive. We have become national leaders in getting youth, and particularly young women, onto bikes and creating life-long cyclists. With wave after wave of NICA alumni going out into their communities year after year, we are changing the face of cycling, and with our current momentum we look to have over 15,000 current student-athletes participating across a significant portion of the United States by 2020.”
Steve Flagg, founder of Quality Bicycle Products and recipient of the 2014 NICA Legacy Award stated in his acceptance speech “In every organization I meet with regarding cycling advocacy, the question turns to how are we going to get more youth into biking? Well, NICA is the answer and my only surprise is that the bike industry so far isn’t fully 100% engaged behind NICA, but you better believe they will be in the next year or two as they recognize the power of NICA.”
Award Recipients The NICA Community – Leadership, Partnership and Impact The theme for the first set of awards is the NICA Community. A community providing leadership and partnering with like-minded individuals to have a direct impact on the student-athletes, schools and families that participate in NICA Leagues around the country.
Clif Bar and Company Volunteer Service Award The Volunteer Service Award honors an exceptional volunteer whose dedication of time, expertise and enthusiasm goes above and beyond to make a difference in the organization. The recipients are: * Dee Seymour, SoCal High School Cycling League * John Tillson, Tennessee High School Cycling League
CamelBak Distinguished Alumni Award The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a student-athlete who carries on the spirit of high school cycling beyond their high school years. The recipient is: * Matthew Zalusky, Minnetonka High School, Minnesota High School Cycling League
Primal Cycling Apparel Race Production Partner Award The Race Production Partner Award acknowledges an individual whose outstanding partnership role in race productions is key to the success of a league’s race event production. The recipient is: * Chris Wentz, Director, Event Medical Specialists, Colorado High School Cycling League
Quality Bike Products Community Impact Award The Community Impact Award honors an individual whose dedication to high school mountain biking has resulted in positive impacts on youth, the community and the organization. This individual is an outstanding representative of the organization internally and externally. The recipient is: * Richard “Dick” Schindler, Minnesota High School Cycling League
Specialized Student-Athlete Leadership Award The Student-Athlete Leadership Award honors student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, academic performance and volunteerism in their team, school and community. The recipients are: * Rita Gutierrez, Eagle County, Colorado High School Cycling League * Trevor von Boeck, Highlander Racing Composite, Colorado High School Cycling League
International Mountain Bike Association Teen Trail Corps Award The Teen Trail Corps Award recognizes a student-athlete who has demonstrated respect, empathy and compassion towards other trail users by working both on and off the bike to build awareness and care for trails in the community. The recipient is: * Cam Eng, Thunder Ridge, Colorado High School Cycling League
The NICA Way – Leagues, Coaches and Student-Athletes The theme for the second set of awards is “The NICA Way”. This “way” is a process of empowering and equipping individuals with the skills and tools necessary to make an impact. It starts with establishing and strengthening new Leagues that provide training and programs for coaches. NICA coaches establish and manage teams that participate and compete in the leagues enabling student-athletes to participate in one of the greatest sports of all time.
Easton Foundations League Founders Award The League Founders Award recognizes an individual’s commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance and outstanding contributions in establishing and running a NICA High School Cycling League. The recipient is: * Dan Brooks, Georgia High School Cycling League
SRAM Coach of The Year Award The Coach of the Year Award acknowledges a head coach whose qualities as a leader and motivator embodies NICA’s mission to provide student-athletes with the coaching and camaraderie to help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive goals in a safe and enjoyable manner. The recipients are: * Heather Williams, Ogden High School Mountain Bike Team, Utah High School Mountain Bike League * Morgan Fletcher, Oakland Composite, NorCal High School Cycling League
Trek All-Star Student-Athlete Award The All-Star Student-Athlete Award recognizes student-athletes for their outstanding achievements on the bike and potential for future success in competitive cycling. The recipients are: * Carson Beckett, Marshall County High School, Tennessee High School Cycling League * Jordan Horner, Burnsville High School, Minnesota High School Cycling League
NICA Courage and Legacy The theme for the third set of awards is Courage and Legacy. This award recognizes those that have shown the courage it takes to commit to an endeavor and pursue that goal with all of their heart and passion and those that have created a legacy by supporting NICA’s efforts over time.
NICA Legacy Award The NICA Legacy Award honors an individual or organization for their tremendous philanthropic support of NICA and NICA Leagues. The recipient is: * Steve Flagg, founder and owner, Quality Bicycle Products
GU Energy Extraordinary Courage Award The Extraordinary Courage Award recognizes student-athletes who have persevered through challenging circumstances and overcome adversity to develop and excel as a model student-athlete. The recipients are: * Sienna Leger Redel, Park City High School, Utah High School Cycling League * KC Fontes, Salinas High School, NorCal High School Cycling League.
About The National Interscholastic Cycling Association Founded in 2009 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes and coaches across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for local leagues to produce quality mountain bike events, and supports every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through their efforts on the bike. As of winter 2015, NICA is supporting over 2000 coaches and 5,000 student-athletes from over 400 high schools in fifteen separate leagues.
NICA exists by virtue of generous sponsors, donors and partners, including the founding national sponsor Specialized Bicycle Components; as well as establishing sponsors Easton Foundations, SRAM, and Trek Bicycles; major sponsors H2, Clif Bar & Company, Clif Bar Foundation, Giro, Primal Cycling Apparel, Quality Bicycle Products, Bicycling, GU Sports, CamelBak, Maxxis, Athletic Event Supply, Cannondale, DeFeet, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Kinetic, Lees-McRae College, Optic Nerve, Ritchey Designs, and Yakima; media partners Bicycle Retailer, Cyclingnews, Dirt Rag, Mountain Bike Action, and Singletracks. For more information on NICA visit www.nationalmtb.org or call (510) 524-5464.