The Executive Board and Competition Director have reviewed the performance of STRA competitors for the 2019 season in order to create a list of candidates for the Most Improved Rider Award.
STRA members please review all SIX candidate’s accomplishments listed in alphabetical order and cast your vote at the bottom of this page. Please only one vote per STRA member.
VOTING ENDS DECEMBER 15th, 2019.
Blake Bronstein – Blake began riding with the STRA this year. He and his parents were fully committed, attending every event of the season all the way from Florida! His skill level progressed notably throughout the year. In the first half of the season Blake’s best finish was third. During the summer break he competed in the AMA/NATC National Series. He returned to STRA competition for the second half of the season at another level. He finished on the podium in six of the last eight events and he sealed his overall second place in the Championship behind Nathan Glinski by winning Round 15 at the Mark Moon Memorial Ride.
David Barber – David competed in five events for 2018 with his best finish being a second place at the Annual 58K at the Trails Training Center. In 2019 he demonstrated a high level of commitment by competing in every event except for Fun in the Sun (Rounds 1 and 2). He accumulated seven podiums with three first place victories. David finished a solid third in the Championship in the Sportsman class behind Sawyer Stewart and Doug Raney.
Gavin Douglas – Gavin began riding with the STRA in 2018. He started in the Novice class and moved to the Intermediate level at the end of the year. At the Mark Moon Memorial Ride he was able to log a fourteenth and eighth place finish. 2019 was much different. He rode the whole year in the Intermediate class and finished on the podium in nine out of the fourteen events in which he competed. Gavin announced since he finished second overall in the Intermediate class in 2019, he will move to Sportsman in 2020.
Jared Pettit – In 2018 Jared rode ten STRA events but really didn’t find his place. He started in Sportsman, jumped to Advanced and then Expert. Averaging all of his scores, across events and classes, he finished in eight place and his highest finish was third at the rain soaked and slippery Breezy Hill Farm event. 2019 was a different story. Jared found a home in the Advanced class and competed there all year. He finished on the podium in nine of the fourteen events in which he rode, including three firsts. He also was involved with setting up and hosting the Hollytree event (Rounds 9 and 10) in Huntsville, Alabama. His involvement with riding, promoting and supervising his kids at the youth events was truly a display of commitment to the sport and the STRA.
Sawyer Stewart – Sawyer took seventh in the Intermediate class in 2018 with his best result being a pair of thirds in the last two events of the year at the Mark Moon Memorial Ride. For 2019 he moved up to Sportsman and picked up where he left off in 2018, consistently finishing on the podium throughout the year. He took his first top step honor at the Hickory Hills event (Round 6) and by repeating that feat three other times this year, he was able to outscore others in his class to finish as Champion Sportsman for 2019. In addition to his Championship accomplishment, Sawyer battled Sherman Smith III at every event in the youth competition before riding the Championship line.
Sherman Smith III – Sherman returns again this year as a nominee for “most improved rider.” He won this award last year by displaying an upward progression of skill in the Intermediate class claiming fourth overall in the Championship. This year he continued to display those skills by becoming Champion of the Intermediate class. Along the way he was on the podium in all thirteen of the Intermediate events he rode taking the top step in nine. In addition to that feat he battled Sawyer Stewart at every event in the youth competition and when he tried his hand with the Sportsman’s line at the 58K he won!