SKCC’s absence from previous years’ club teams track championships inspired both Ray and Marita Box to set up a track squad for the club. Starting out with ‘try the track’ days in the first half of  2011, to running late night training sessions before the championships, we managed to enter 4 teams of riders into the championships.
The day kicked off with the team sprints. First up were the Elite Women pair of Grace Phang and Kerrie Baumgartner up against Carnegie Team 2. Heading into the first bend with a little nerves and unable to adjust to the new race wheels, Kerrie misjudged the corner and came down. The whistle blew and the race was called off. Nothing too major other than a little sore hip and a couple of scratches, the girls were immediately back on their rollers to spin off for their second go. The crash must have caused a surge in adrenaline and both the girls were on fire on their second attempt. Beating the other team by 3.15s with a new PB of 40.43s, the girls had now qualified for the finals. Taking on the Carnegie Team 1 pair of Vic State Champions Ziggy and Adele in the finals was never going to be easy affair. Nevertheless, the girls managed to shave 0.2s off their qualifying time, 3.82s down from the CCCC pair, to take home the first silver medal for SKCC.
Next up were the Men’s MMAS Open team of Andrew Verduci, Heath Christie and Mark Upton. It was the first state championships attempt for this trio and there was certainly a look of excitement and nervousness on their faces. The boys looked good right from the start and managed to come in with a time of 56.779s. Great effort boys!
In the hotly contested Men’s MMAS 135+ category, SKCC was represented by the more experienced trio of Stuart Ewen, Ray Box and Trevor Gristic. Bursting out of the gates, the boys were certainly looking like they had each skulled a can of red bull. With Trevor spinning his legs as fast as he could, he took the trio home in a time of 54.867s qualifying them for the finals with another new PB. The boys were up against the Hawthorn crew in the ride-off with the cheering crowd behind both of the teams. Right from the gun, it was neck and neck, with nothing more than a hairline separating the two teams. Alas, it was the well known Stuart Vaughan of Hawthorn, with rainbows on his sleeves, who took the Hawthorn crew home by just six hundreds of a second. Another new PB of 54.069s for the SKCC trio, and another silver medal in the bag for SKCC!
The pair of Marita Box and Sue Cox certainly look great together and rode home a gold medal in the WMAS 80+ category. With 1 gold and 2 silver medals in the bag for SKCC, in was time for a quick lunch break and the team pursuits.
After the lunch break it was the mens team pursuit with Heath, Mark, Andrew and Stuart all backing up from the team sprints in the morning. They put in a valiant effort but even with a PB did not qualify for the finals. All four men have vowed to train more and perhaps not leave the first ride together as a quartet be the actual champs (hence the PB). Regular training sessions are planned and full commitment for next year after having so much fun this year. I think we might see more race wheels and skin suits on the team at the 2013 Champs.

Heath was heard to say “I raced for a total of 4 minutes and 47 seconds today and I cant believe how much it took out of me and how much fun I have had, I haven’t had this much fun in such a short time since last night”.
A mega thanks to both Ray and Marita Box for their tireless efforts in starting up the club’s track squad, organising the late-night training sessions, coaching, and putting together the teams for the championships. And Daryl Perkins for his coaching, advice and of course, the track stories that never fail to rip laughter amongst the riders. From absolute beginners who have never ridden on the track, to giving the other track-dominant clubs a run for their medals – its certainly been a great success for SKCC’s track crew!

Posted in: Track