Weather getting cool, but Ousley’s still hot
Just one week after winning overall at the enduro hosted by Mississippi HiPoint and held in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Sept. 14 and clinching the 2008 Enduro Championship for Southern Enduro Riders Association, Cliff Ousley of Maplesville cruised to an overall victory at the Yellow Leaf Creek Harescramble hosted by Clanton Track and Trails and held just off of Lay Dam Road here in Clanton.
Ousley was actually last to enter the woods in his class, but by the end of the first lap, he had built a sizable lead and went on to win by a margin of 2:36 over second place Steven Reed of Louisiana.
There were 137 competitors to take to the trails in the adult races, which began at 10 on Sunday morning, Sept. 21.
In Open A, Tyler Carter, Ousley’s cousin, of Stanton, finished second in class and fourth overall. Carter, you may remember, was seriously injured at the end of last season and has come back quickly to his racing form. Chris McMillan of Wetumpka and Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club finished atop the Lites A class and seventh overall.
In this observer’s opinion, the ride of the day belonged to Hunter Sanders of Clanton who soared – he was flying – his way to first in Open B and 10th overall. If awards were given for Overall B, Sanders would have claimed it as well.
The Lites B class had some close racing going on for most of the race. Kevin DeLoach of Plantersville led the first two laps, giving way to Zach Steele in the middle of the third. Once Steele got out front, he never looked back and won handily and finished 12th overall.
DeLoach would finish second, Jonathan Seales of Stanton third and Ryan Patridge fifth.
Ted Anz of Stanton rode hard and had a great day going until some minor problems caused a slowdown, and he would finish fourth in the Vet B class while John Huggins would come in eighth and Jack Willis 10th.
Carey Steele claimed second in the highly contended Junior Class, and Alex Price placed eighth.
Adrian Gervais won the Vet A class and placed 11th overall. Phil Williams aced the Masters class, and Phillip McMillan finished second in Golden Masters.
Randy Roper came in fourth in the Super Sr. class. In this event, there were no major injuries – just the normal cuts, blistered hands and bruises one should expect to receive after participating in this kind of physical activity.
On Saturday afternoon in the same location as the adult race, there were quite a few youngsters who took their turn at attacking the trails for the Kids Race. In the Beginner Pee-Wee class, Austin Anz claimed top honors, making 4 laps on the 1.4-mile course.
The Pee Wee class had Connor Barrett coming in fifth and Ethan Gregg sixth. This class made five laps on the same 1.4-mile course.
The Intermediate Kids class had Jackson Davis finishing second, and there were three local guys in the Vet Kids class, where some exciting racing took place.
The Intermediate and Vet Kids raced for four laps on a 4.5-mile course that consisted of tight trails, open log roads and hilly terrain. Jared White grabbed the hole shot and finished third despite having some sort of mechanical problem with his bike.
Jacob Davis led the race until the last lap, when he gave way to Steve Nicholas, but when the checkered flag was waving Davis was the first one to get across the finish line. He passed Nicholas back somewhere toward the end of the race when Nicholas had crashed.
Neal Ousley had some major bike problems and would finish on the day in seventh place. Fortunately, no kids were injured, and everyone seemed to have had a good time.
The next scheduled SERA harescramble is in Billingsley on October 4-5. The season has four more races and will conclude in December in Mississippi.