Meet our Female League Directors

March is Women’s History Month where we the vital role of women in American history is commemorated and celebrated. Women have played an important role across NICA since its founding and continue to do so as we grow and develop across the country.

This month in celebration of Women’s History, we’d like to have you get to know a little more about our inspiring women League Directors!

Vanessa Hauswald
NorCal High School Cycling League

What’s your ride: Juliana Joplin 29er

How long have you been involved with NICA: Since 2004…as a coach, as a board member, and then for the last nine years as the Executive Director.

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Getting to know the amazing teenagers that participate on our teams, and feeling like the work that we do is having a lasting, positive influence on our teens and families.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? If you believe you can, you will.

Favorite post-ride snack? Almond butter, banana, strawberry, yogurt, and chocolate GU recovery smoothie 🙂

Kate Rau
Colorado High School Cycling League

What’s your ride: Yeti Beti 5C

How long have you been involved with NICA: 10 Years

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Engaging with the incredible community that encompasses the mission. Witnessing the student-athletes grit and determination, observing the camaraderie, and committing to providing an exceptional experience where all youth can shine. Hoping that families and youth are creating magical memories. My primary aspiration is to offer an environment of prevention to reduce the possibility of intervention.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Female student-athletes can find a mentor and a role model who does not necessarily need to be a female. We have many teams with male coaches who have successfully guided and nurtured courage, skill, and personal success with female-student athletes. Believe in yourself while taking calculated risks in a safe setting. Read inspirational stories about others’ who overcame obstacles to reach their goals. Practice and celebrate incremental improvements, learn from “failure”, be patient, and most of all remember how fortunate we are to engage in such a wonderful sport while enjoying the great outdoors.

Favorite post-ride snack? Honey Stinger Ginger Snap Waffle topped with Justin’s Nut Butter

Katherine Williams
Tennessee High School Cycling League

What’s your ride: Cannondale Scalpel

How long have you been involved with NICA: Since 2008 as ride leader for El Cerrito

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Facilitating the opportunity for kids to ride and race bikes and meeting great people across the state.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Find a female mentor and remember to trust your instincts.

Favorite post-ride snack? Apple and nuts with soy banana smoothie.

Kathy Mock
Wisconsin High School Cycling League

What’s your ride: Trek EX

How long have you been involved with NICA: 5 Years

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Working with student-athletes and watching them gain confidence.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Do not equate yourself as a woman or man…..just a person…..you can probably crush a lot of both!!!

Favorite post-ride snack? A full on meal…..high in protein.

Andrea Dvorak
Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League

What’s your ride: Specialized Epic FSR, Stumpjumper for Fun!

How long have you been involved with NICA: 5 Years

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: I really enjoy using all of the knowledge that I gained over the years from racing, race production, and training and now share it with the next generation. Mountain biking is a life-long sport. Everything about the sport is incredible – the riding, the trails, the challenges, the races, the comraderie.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Be confident in yourself. Use the bike and the adventures that it takes you on to gain this confidence. Know that what you are doing is amazing – from clearing rock gardens, putting in the training, and finishing races. It’s the ride of a lifetime!

Favorite post-ride snack? Chocolate milk

Kyla Templeton
Arkansas Interscholastic Cycling League

What’s your ride: I just ordered a purple on purple Trek Top Fuel. It’s so pretty!

How long have you been involved with NICA: I started to work to launch the Arkansas League with Alan Ley in 2015.

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Getting to know some of the coolest kids in Arkansas!

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Find other girls you like to ride with and ride! And if you can’t find them – recruit some of your friends to ride with you!

Favorite post-ride snack? Watermelon! It’s my favorite food.

Heather Wolfgang (aka “Potatoes”)
Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League

What’s your ride: Falconer Hardtail 29er

How long have you been involved with NICA: Going on 5 years

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: I love seeing entire families get into the sport of mountain biking because their son or daughter got involved in the league.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Be vulnerable and willing to embrace failure

Favorite post-ride snack? Tater tots and chocolate coconut milk.

Cassie Smith
West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League

What’s your ride: Santa Cruz Bronson

How long have you been involved with NICA: I’m a newbie! First year!

Favorite thing about being a NICA League Director: Having the power to help make a difference in a kids life, by giving them the opportunity to experience the freedom, and fun a bike can give.

What advice do you have for female student-athletes? Dream big, work hard, but most important HAVE FUN!

Favorite post-ride snack? It changes often, but currently, Dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter

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