2012 Award Recipients

Clif Bar Volunteer Service Award

The Clif Bar & Company Volunteer Service Award honors an exceptional volunteer with 3+ years of commitment whose dedication of time, expertise and enthusiasm goes above and beyond to make a difference in the organization.

Nick Gualtieri, St. Francis High School, SoCal League

Nick graduated from St. Francis High School in SoCal several years ago, but is so excited that his alma mater is offering a mountain biking experience to the current students at SFHS that he dedicates his time to the SFHS kids who are learning to ride and compete. Though Nick works all the way out in Palmdale and rides on a mountain bike team regularly for himself, he makes a consistent effort to be at as many practices and races as possible to help coach/train the SFHS team! He has an incredible amount of upbeat energy to share with these kids and he consistently supports and encourages them to be their best! Nick strongly emphasizes the importance of rider safety, nutrition and sportsmanship with all the boys. Nick’s selfless dedication, expertise, unending enthusiasm and commitment to the riders of SFHS, as well as the SoCal League, are not only admirable, but go above and beyond any expectations!

Primal Wear Race Production Partner Award

The Primal Wear Race Production Partner Award acknowledges an individual whose outstanding partnership role in race productions is key to the success of a leagues’ race events.

Martha Flynn, Minnesota League

Martha Flynn was the chief course marshal for all of the Minnesota High Cycling League races this past season. In addition to being a mother, she spent considerable time and effort preparing for the races to make sure everything went well. She often had a giant package of all the race info put together a week or more before the race and went to the course many times to ride it and to plan out all of the volunteer course marshal points. On top of her race weekend work, she also spent considerable time assisting one of the high school teams during the season. The Minnesota League’s inaugural season was made a huge success in large part due to Martha’s assistance and dedication!

Quality Bicycle Products Community Impact Award

The Quality Bicycle Products Community Impact Award honors an individual whose long-term 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.

Ed Fischer, Washington League

Ed Fischer has been instrumental in bringing mountain biking to high schools and the broader communities in Southwest Washington. The first year he established a composite team and, with the help of many great volunteers, that team went on to become the 2nd ranked team in the league. The next year he was able to rally even more volunteers throughout the area and bring in two more teams. Through his efforts, he was able to establish clubs both in the local high schools, but also in the non-traditional high schools and home schools that have no formal sports programs. Ed has also worked to bring an additional race to Southern Washington which benefited many small businesses in the community. Ed has had such a positive impact in his community and received numerous nominations for this award.

Specialized Student-Athlete Leadership Award

The Specialized Student Athlete Leadership Award honors student athletes who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, sportsmanship, academic performance and volunteerism in their team, school and community.

Josie Nordrum, Redwood High School, NorCal League

Josie plays and works hard. She always has a smile, a joke, and encouragement for her teammates and anyone else fortunate enough to cross her path. Josie worked her way up through the NorCal League by winning the State Championships in Freshman, JV and then Varsity. This past year she was asked to compete in Europe as part of the U.S. National Team. Not only is Josie a fantastic athlete, both dedicated and diligent about her training, she is also a leader on her team. She has worked hard to recruit other girls and organizes and coordinates the majority of her team’s events and is always eager to volunteer for NorCal events. While training endless hours, and making team activities a priority, she finds time to maintain a 4.29 GPA while taking almost all honors and AP classes. She is the recipient of many Academic Awards including; 2010 Outstanding Delegate at the Stanford Model UN and 2010 Grand Prize Winner at the Marin County Science Fair.

Zach Tucker, Lyons Composite, Colorado League

Zach Tucker has distinguished himself as a leader, not only on his mountain bike team, but also in the classroom and in his surrounding community. As a member of the Lyons High School Mountain Bike Team, Zach could always be relied on to do his very best, and set a high bar of effort and responsibility for his teammates. Zach consistently set a good example for younger riders by showing up to practice prepared with pump, tubes, food, and his bike ready to go. He was able to move himself up the standings consistently this year finishing in a very competitive field and strove to improve with every race. Zach took a profound leadership role with his team by creating and maintaining his team’s facebook page. He took it upon himself to upload photos and videos from practices and on race day, when he himself was not racing, Zach would be scurrying around shooting videos of the other riders at the start line, on the racecourse, and coming through the finish line. These pictures and videos added to the enjoyment of the season for all riders, coaches and parents. Outside of our mountain bike team Zach holds a higher than 4.0 GPA taking all advanced classes.

Easton Foundations League Founders Award

The Easton Foundations League Founders Award recognizes an individual’s commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance in launching a new NICA league.

Lori Harward, Utah League

Lori Harward exemplified these qualities when she helped to launch the Utah League. From the outset, Lori has inspired everyone that has gotten involved in Utah and is setting records with the incredible number of coaches at her inaugural leaders’ summit and nearly 250 student-athletes at the first race of the first season! Lori’s energy is contagious and from reading the nomination letters that came from a cross section of coaches, parents and students, it is clear that she is making a huge impact in Utah!

SRAM Coach Of The Year

The SRAM 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.

Whitney Pogue, Utah League

Whitney Pogue approached the school and asked if they could form a team and then took charge of every aspect of the team, from designing t-shirts to holding fundraisers. Her objective is for her team members to foster a love for the sport. She has inspired a whole team of high schoolers who have never been on a mountain bike team to give 150% and succeeded in placing the team in the top 3 in the region. She has gone beyond just coaching, she is a mentor. In the words of her student-athletes: “From making us do spin classes to planning carbo-loading parties and pre-race hangouts, she has done everything she can think of to make sure we have a good time and get fit. She doesn’t just train us for the racing season, she teaches us how to be better riders for life.”

Ken Mozek, NorCal High School Cycling League

Ken has built a fantastic, gender balanced team. Starting with a dozen riders 6 years ago, the team has exploded to more than 60 riders. He has fostered a healthy and fun culture based on the mission of the “positive development of young men and women through mountain biking with a focus on student fitness, health, leadership and active community service”. Ken’s positive energy is matched by his expertise, both on the bike and coaching young riders and off the bike as he manages the team. Ken has built a well respected organization that has attracted major sponsorships, dedicated coaches, tremendous volunteer support, and inspired many young riders. The positive effects and impacts of his efforts will be felt in his community for a long time to come.

Trek All-Star Athlete Award

The Trek All-Star Student Athlete Award recognizes athletes for their outstanding competitive achievements and potential for future success in competitive cycling.

Lucas Newcomb, Drake High School, NorCal League

Lucas Newcomb is a super nice and humble kid. In less than 3 years, he worked his way up from from a late season Freshman starter, to representing the USA Cycling Junior Team at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria at the age of 17. His highlights over the past years include: 2010 NorCal Freshman Division 1 State Champion, 2011 CA State JV Champion, 2011 Cross-Country National Champion, 2012 CA State High School Championship 3rd place Varsity, and 2012 Cross-Country National Championships 2nd Place. Lucas is looking forward to a powerful Varsity year and aims to win a CA state high school title and go after another National title. He’s also an excellent student with 3.6 GPA and is applying to colleges that will merge his love of biking with a challenging academic program.

Kate Courtney, Branson High School, NorCal High School Cycling League

In 2012, Kate Courtney became the first American junior woman to win a cross-country mountain bike World Cup race in Windham, NY. In less than 3 years, Kate went from a Freshman team recruit for the Branson Bulls High School Mountain Bike Team, to becoming the top ranked Junior Woman on the USA Cycling National Team. She began high school sports as a cross-country runner, earning the MCAL Coaches Runner of the Year Award as a freshman. But after her first mountain bike race that spring, she traded in her running shoes and concentrated on biking. Kate quickly rose through the ranks and went on to win the JV Girls CA State Championship and her first national title in 2010. In 2011, she won the Norcal League Championship Title and racked up another National Championship Title as well. Off the bike Kate, is an excellent student and peer mentor. She is ranked at the top of her class and recently was named an AP Scholar in recognition of her “outstanding academic performance”. And in Kate’s remaining spare time she volunteers as a ride leader with Trips for Kids and contributes countless trail maintenance hours on the trails.

NICA Legacy Award

The NICA Legacy Award honors an individual for their tremendous philanthropic support of NICA and NICA leagues. Recipients of this award are individuals who understand the importance of empowering youth through sport and who have put their energies behind efforts that demonstrate and exemplify the traits that they themselves possesed and utilized to help them achieve success.

Mike Sinyard, Specialized Bicycles

Recipients of this award are individuals who understand the importance of empowering youth through sport and who have put their energies behind efforts that demonstrate and exemplify the traits that they themselves possessed and utilized to help them achieve success. NICA would not be where it is today without the encouragement and support from exemplary individuals such as past Legacy Award recipients Jim Easton and Gary Erickson and we are honored to present the 2012 award to Mike Sinyard. Mike was quick to provide the initial funding that founded the national cycling movement that is NICA and we are forever grateful for his support.

Jeep Extraordinary Courage Award

The Jeep Extraordinary Courage Award recognizes a student-athlete who has persevered through challenging circumstances and overcame adversity to develop and excel as a model student-athlete.

DeShaun Smith, C.K. McClatchy High School, NorCal League

DeShaun Smith is a courageous athlete. While DeShaun has cerebral palsy, he never complains about anything and wants to be treated like everyone else on the team. DeShawn gives his absolute best every time he is on a bicycle and is an inspiration to everyone that meets him. While DeShawn’s legs had been in casts until he was twelve years old, he did not ask for any special accommodations and, in fact, said he wanted to be treated like everyone else. According to his coach, DeShaun is the toughest rider that he has seen in all his years coaching. His tenacity is apparent when you meet him, and his attitude inspires others to never quit.

Mark Doty, Oakley School, Utah League

When Mark Doty arrived at the Oakley School in April 2012 after a 10-week wilderness program in eastern Utah, he was discouraged, frustrated, and very reluctant to engage in school or any extracurricular activities. However, a summer mountain biking class offered at the school ignited in him a passion for the sport that has led him to engage in a healthy lifestyle and also motivated him to start making huge changes in the rest of his life. Ever since he got involved with the Utah League program and racing this fall, Mark has overcome some major challenges in his personal life to go on to excel academically and become a leader at his school–in his classes, in his dorm, and on the mountain bike team. For the first time in his life, Mark is experiencing true success that comes from helping many of his peers who are facing similar struggles related to depression, anxiety, anger, low self esteem, and substance abuse.

       
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