Blind squirrel finds acorn at Bonita Lakes

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, February 7, 2009

MERIDIAN, Miss. – The weekend of Jan. 31 here was an exciting one as the Ridgerunners Motorcycle Club held their annual Southern Enduro Riders Association harescramble.

The trails for this event were no different than for any other year: There was plenty of sand to contend with as well as tight wooded trails where passing was a challenge. With the course being only 8.5 miles long, the classes started at 30-second intervals instead of the usual 1-minute.

The top riders would ride five laps in the 2-hour time period. 200 contenders were on the starting line waiting their turn at the chance to race.

The AA class started things off in the dirt pit with Will McConnell grabbing the hole shot. Midway through the first lap, Cliff Ousley was out front by a lengthy margin and continued to stretch his lead over the course of the race. He rode his KTM 300 consistently to the point that his first lap and his last lap were the fastest two and there was only 19 seconds difference in time.

Ousley finished 4:16 ahead of second Overall Tristan Redferrin. Other local riders to finish in the top 20: Frank Davis, fourth; Dustin Stevens, seventh; Chris McMillan, 14th; and Glenn Hollingshead, 18th.

Bryan Petty and Chad Earl would finish fifth and seventh, respectively, in Open A. Ted Anz, Jason Copeland, John Huggins and Jason Brasington would finish fifth, seventh, 11th and 21st, respectively, in Vet B, one of the largest classes of the day.

Jonathan Seales finished sixth in Lites B and 34th overall, and Ryan Patridge came in seventh in the class. Frank Reynolds and Wes Patridge finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in Lites C.

Beau Burnett had a great ride and finished second in the competitive Junior class with Jacob Davis and Jared White claiming fourth and seventh, respectively. Phillip McMillan finished fourth in Golden Masters, and the ride of the day goes to Bill Patridge.

When asked how he did Patridge responded, “I won. Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn every now and then.”

Patridge claimed the top prize in the Golden Masters class.

There were several strange occurrences for some of our local guys. Tyler Carter took a nosedive on the first lap as he went over the handlebars at the peak of a hill in front of spectators. Carter tried to continue, but the pain in his ribs was too severe. Hunter Sanders had a gas cap leak that caused burns to the inside of his legs that took him out of contention. Will McConnell became sick during the course of the day and was unable to finish. Kevin DeLoach banked off a tree with his head on the first lap and managed to eke out three laps but did not remember racing.

And the strangest of the day was Chris Aultman, who actually finished the race in 15th in Open C but did so with a stick about the size of a pencil 1.5 inches long protruding out of the side of his head. Aultman was unaware of the stick until his wife pointed it out to him. No damage was done, though.

The Kids races were held on the afternoon of Jan. 31 with Neal Ousley finishing second in Vet Kids. He and first place Tanner McCoy swapped leads five times over the course of the 7-lap race. They rode for 52 minutes and finished only 1 second apart.

Landon Barrett had mechanical failure and did not complete a lap. Jackson Davis was running strong in second until he had bike problems and did not finish in Intermediate Kids.

Connor Barrett, Ethan Gregg and Austin Anz finished fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively, in Pee Wee. Grayson Davis and Cade Holder finished third and fourth, respectively, in Beginner Pee Wee.

The next SERA event is Ridgerunners annual enduro here on March 1.