The 2017 NICA SoCal race season was a season of firsts for the Temescal Canyon High School (TCHS) Titan cycling mountain bike team.
For the first time ever, the team fielded varsity riders. Making varsity places student athletes among the elite of the sport. Seniors Jenessa Sanchez and Canyon Lakers Wesley Toups and Vincent Huggins all earned their places in the elite field. They were also the first mountain bikers at TCHS to earn a varsity letter for athletics in their sport.
The season of firsts began with the opening race in Lake Perris. The team finished as the second place team overall, the first ever team podium for Titan Cycling. Additionally, Canyon Lake sophomore Kenny Thomas finished in fourth place, earning the first ever podium by a male rider for TCHS.
Over the next three races, the team continued its momentum. The Titans put together a three race winning streak where the team claimed overall victory for the division 2 class at all three events. Kenny continued his momentum with a run of three fourth places and a third place at the final Vail Lake event.
Varsity rider Wesley Toups contributed to the team’s success throughout the season. Wesley had three top-10 finishes in the varsity class. Coach Robert Parks said, “placing top-10 in the varsity field is an incredible accomplishment. This small group is made up of the sports fastest, most dedicated riders.”
The SoCal season ended with the Titan team earning the second place overall in the series, their highest overall team finish to date. Varsity rider and 3-year team captain Vincent Huggins was among the select few seniors to stand on the podium as a rider who has raced in and finished every single SoCal race for all four years of his high school career. “As anyone with racing experience can tell you, finishing every race for four years is an amazing accomplishment,” said Robert.
Two awards were given out at the team’s 2017 season banquet. Sophomore Steven Iosbaker was given the Titan Pride award. This award is given to the rider who exemplifies the team’s ideals of hard work, positive attitude and commitment. The Rider of the Year award was presented to Wesley Toups who earned the highest points of any rider for the season and led the way for the team’s four podium finishes.
The Titan’s three seniors will be leaving for some great adventures. Jenessa Sanchez will be attending UC Santa Barbara where she will be studying Biology with hopes to continue onto medical school. Vincent Huggins has committed to serve in the US Army and will be reporting this summer. Wesley Toups will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he will continue his cycling career and will be studying environmental engineering.
Coaches Kathy and Robert Parks are thankful for the support they’ve received this season. “Thank you all for your continued support this season. Your help really contributes to the success of our students. They will all be racing in various events this summer and will resume high school training next October,” said Robert.