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Team Photo Scrapbook 2012

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The 2012 Season Awards: Cross-country Squad

UtahMountainBiking had over 120 racers representing the team during the year 2012, in cross-country, endurance, and cyclocross. 100 of these racers participated in the Intermountain Cup. Of these 100, 47 qualified as "Active Team" by racing in 4 or more events of the ICup series. And of those 47, 30 received votes from their team mates for special recognition. As our team has matured, there's talent and determination in more and more of our team members. In 2012, UMB won the season ICup team competition and earned the IMBA Trailwork Trophy. Many of our racers took spots on the season podium in their categories.

These awards serve to honor some of that talent and effort. During December 2012, team members voted for those they thought deserving of recognition. They were free to vote for any rider in any award category.

Workhorse Awards

The Workhorse Award is a tradition for UMB. Racers who came to every Intermountain Cup event during the 2012 season receive an 8x10 photo collage certificate. It's a nice memento for the season. Thanks for taking the extra effort to be at every race.

This year we also had the four USCS (Utah State Championship Series) races, with several UMB racers riding in all four. We were also well-represented in the weekday races, and in endurance events such as True Grit.

Sparkplug Awards
Like the Workhorse Award, a Sparkplug Award is not based on vote. It's an arbitrary recognition of a few individuals who "spark" the team by participating enthusiastically in multiple races of varying type, including cross-country, endurance, and cyclocross. So this recognition is not limited to Intermountain Cup competition. It honors those who participate strongly across a variety of racing events and represent the team with distinction.

Honorable Mentions

Thirty UMB racers received votes toward season honors. An Honorable Mention is awarded where a rider received multiple votes in a category but was not the winner.

As part of the racing Hutchings clan, Sally Reynders has been with the race team since 2005. For several years she's completed every race of the ICup season. Sally has received the "Best Attitude" award many times in recognition of her good sportsmanship, team spirit, and sweet disposition. (It must be contagious, because husband Adam also received votes in this category this year.) Sally won the overall 2012 season championship in Women 35-plus.

If you're looking for Fire in the Belly, look at Jason Sparks. A few years ago Jason joined the team as a beginner. He put more effort and fanaticism into racing than anyone we know. This dynamic "force of nature" is regularly on the podium in the ICup Expert 40-plus class, and participates with gusto in endurance races and cyclocross. Jason has been our cyclocross squad captain for the past three seasons. This year Jason won the Men 35-plus category at the 50-mile True Grit.

"Most Inspirational"

We aren't awarding an official Honorable Mention for this category in 2012.  Second place for "Most Inspirational" was a nine-way tie between Bruce Argyle, Meghan Sheridan, Adam Lee, Gene Poncelet, Spencer Neeley, Dave Benson, Jason Sparks, Adam Reynders, and John Higgins. Apparently we have a lot of inspirational people on our team!

It's like the Before and After photos from an fitness program advertisement. The pictures of Michael Dodge over the 2012 season show his progress from hefty Beginner to tough Sport rider. When barely out of the Beginner class, he tackled and finished the tough Wasatch Back 50. It will be a pleasure to see what he can do next year.

Joining the team for the 2012 season, Corey Spencer completed 5 ICup races and one USCS race. At most races he was accompanied by his son Devin. Several of our greenie racers received votes for Rookie of the Year, with Corey being the runner-up.

We've watched Jake Van Wagoner get steadily faster and stronger since he joined the team in 2007 in the Beginner category at age 12. As our Sport-Expert 16-18 racer, he took 2nd place overall for the 2012 season. Jake demonstrates consistently good sportsmanship and is willing to work hard. It's a pleasure to have him on the UMB team.

In 2011, Casey Zaugg worked his way from Sport to Expert to Pro and was voted Most Improved. This year Casey represented the team well in the Pro category with podium finishes, including a 2nd place in the 100-mile version of the True Grit. During the year Casey developed his CocoNutz Fuel business, with the Coconutz canopy becoming a regular feature at Utah races.
2012 Season Awards

It's hard to imagine what the UtahMountainBiking race team would be like without Kay Hutchings. For the past few years Kay has been at trailside snapping photos of the UMB racers. After the race she sizes, sorts, and tweaks the photos, then uploads them for the team. It's a lot of work, and much appreciated. The photos on our race report pages are cropped versions of her photos. We owe much of our sense of "family" to Kay's generous effort.

For the past few years, Gene Poncelet has been under the UMB canopy after every race, talking about biking while enjoying the after-race picnic. Gene just seems to enjoy riding and racing, and he infects those around him with happy vibes. Even a serious leg injury after the season didn't lessen his enthusiasm for this great sport. Here's to another season of enjoying Gene's company!

Joining the UMB team early in the 2012 season, Mitt Stewart moved steadily up the ranks of the very competitive Expert Men 40-plus category. By season's end, he was fighting to win. He had a 2nd place finish at the ICup season finale at Snowbasin. In addition to speed and skill, Mitt is remembered as consistently having the blackest dirt-covered post-race face ever seen.

Christian Burrell shares the title of Most Improved. Joining the team last year as a Beginner, Christian fought hard to toughen up and trim down. As he began to hit the podium in Beginner in the early 2012 season, Christian moved up to Sport. There he won enough points in the remaining races to finish with overall 3rd place in the Sport Men 35-39 category.

Our Most Inspirational rider was our Toughest Racer last year. As the oldest member of the UMB team, and consistently the oldest racer on the mountain, Joel Quinn not only keeps going, he keeps winning. Joel has won the 57-plus overall season championship in past seasons, and finished in third place overall for the 2012 season. Joel inspires us all by showing what's possible.

In the space of 14 months, Bruce Argyle had two surgical procedures and four "injury" crashes, but stubbornly kept on training and racing. Bandages in UMB yellow hid the stitches and scrapes. A painfully unstable AC joint made every race tricky. But during that 14 months Bruce won 6 out of 21 races, sweeping three Gold Medals at the Huntsman World Senior Games, winning the 2012 Utah State Championship Series, and taking 2nd place overall in the Intermountain Cup for Men 57-plus.

Our runner-up to Most Improved, Michael Dodge was voted Rookie of the Year by the team. A few times during the season, it appeared certain that Michael was moving up too fast, taking on too much. But he met the challenges, moving from Beginner to Sport and tackling brutal endurance races. With good attitude and pleasant disposition, this Rookie is a great addition to our team.

Our Junior Racer of the Year raced in 7 of the 10 ICup races as a Sport-Expert 13-15. Quiet and unassuming, Adam Lee was consistently on the podium, including a 1st place at the Snowbasin season finale. It's a pleasure to have Adam represent UMB as a bike racer.

In April while finishing law school and studying for the Bar exam, Meghan Sheridan joined the UMB race team. After a few races she shocked us by moving to Pro. Then she moved up within the Pro field, winning the Pro category of the Draper Fall Classic 50 in September. And while racing, Meghan looks like she's having a good time out there. By vote of the UMB team, Meghan is our 2012 Racer of the Year.
Links to goodies:
     ICup Squad 2012 Poster - 18x24 or 8x10 size, including a version with an "add your own" spot for your photo at center.
     JPGs of the award certificates - for printing at home or adding electronically to your archive

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