GNCC Racing

The Wiseco John Penton GNCC Women’s Race Report

The Wiseco John Penton GNCC Women’s Race Report

Friday, July 10, 2020 | 11:55 AM
Friday, July 10, 2020 | 11:55 AM

The Wiseco John Penton GNCC Women’s Race Report
Hunter and Sheets win the John Penton

Round seven of the 2020 Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series presented by Specialized, an AMA National Championship, took place June 27th and 28th in Millfield, OH, with The Wiseco John Penton GNCC. The Penton is one of the oldest rounds on the series circuit, with a ton of history as well as lots of existing trail to work with when building the track. The ground here is the classic southern Ohio red clay – slippery when wet, slippery when dry, and amazingly tacky and rutted when conditions are perfect.

Hannah Hunter earned the WXC ATV class win at The John Penton GNCC.
Hannah Hunter earned the WXC ATV class win at The John Penton GNCC. Ken Hill

The course conditions at The Penton were the best they have been in years. The ground was quite soft – it rutted up easily, and formed a lot of whoops and dips. Combined with the rocks, all this made for a fairly technical and physically demanding race. Though there was some rain Saturday evening, fortunately it held off for both the Saturday and Sunday AM races. Of the 94 females who raced this weekend, Hannah Hunter and Becca Sheets were the winners in the premier WXC classes.

In the WXC ATV race, Katelyn Osburn took her first ever WXC class holeshot! She and Hannah Hunter were off to an epic battle early in the race. Hunter slipped into the lead right before the finish line on the first lap, and unfortunately the race between the two came to a premature end when Osburn’s motor went out two corners later.

With Osburn out of the race, this left Sadiee Gorrell and Morgan Solesbee in second and third place going into lap two, but already nearly a minute back from Hunter. Gorrell struggled quite a bit on the second and third lap, ultimately dropping into eighth for the day. Meanwhile, Alicia McCormick and Traci Pickens, who had come off the line in last and next-to-last, had spent the second lap picking off the riders one by one. Heading into lap three, Pickens had moved into second, and McCormick into third, dropping Morgan Solesbee back into fourth.

Traci Pickens battled her way to second in the WXC class.
Traci Pickens battled her way to second in the WXC class. Ken Hill

By this point, almost everyone had settled into the positions in which they would finish out the day: Hunter had a minute and a half over Pickens, a lead that would only grow as the race went on. The gap between Pickens and McCormick would also continue to expand during the third and fourth laps. Solesbee was still within striking distance of McCormick headed into lap three, but rather than getting the opportunity to make a move, slowly faded back.

Angel Magee had been holding down the fort in fifth place but encountered problems and did not complete any laps after her second. Sydney Sams had an impressive rebound – after coming through the scoring zone in ninth on lap one, she eventually finished fifth, a mere three seconds down from Solesbee. Abbi Troy and Jaida Phillips swapped positions a few times during the last half of the race. Troy came out on top in sixth and Phillips took seventh. 

When asked about her win, Hunter told us "I got a good start, was second going into the woods. Katelyn and I battled the whole first lap which was the most fun part of the day! I got around her right before the finish on the motocross track. From there I just rode smart and rode my own race. Took the class win by three minutes and 10th place overall"

Pickens told us about her rough start and uphill battle, but also made a point to mention that the track was one of the best that we’ve seen at The Penton "I was almost last off the start due to rider error. It took me a while but I worked my way through the pack into second. I pushed, but just couldn't make up the time to catch Hurricane Hannah. I've raced the Penton for many years now, and this was by far the best track we've had here, thank you so much to the track crew for all their hard work"

Alicia McCormick came through to take third in the WXC ATV class. 
Alicia McCormick came through to take third in the WXC ATV class.  Ken Hill

McCormick also had a long row to hoe this race but seemed happy to take away a reasonable finish on a less-than-stellar day: "I had a dead last start and just lost too much time to the leaders. A couple mistakes later, I just settled into third and earned some valuable points on a bad day!"

Skyler Smith earned her first win of the season in Girl’s SR (12-15) here at The Penton! Hallie Fowler finished second and Makenna Smallwood. In the Girl’s JR (8-11) class, Avery Collins took her second win in a row, beating out points leader Alyssa Rodgers by less than one second. Khyler Davis, a regular on the Micro ATV podium, placed third. Outside of the regular Girls classes, Morgan Johnson and Chloe Harper raced YXC1, placing third and fifth overall. They were followed by Hailey Dewalt (54th o/a, 125 JR). Addisyn Slocum (60th o/a, 70 CVT), Gabriella Whitehead (62nd o/a, 90 Limited) and Laci Atkins (68th, 90 Limited).

In the Women’s class, Paige Berryman took home her second win of the year. Points leader Jessica Elioff finished second while Alexis Keys rounded out the podium. 

In the Micro ATV race, Khyler Davis was the top finishing girl, placing 2nd overall. She was followed by Camy Crump (19th), Raelynn Dickerson (26th), Adeline Nicely (27th) and Aryanna Neville (34th).

Rachel Gutish grabbed the $100 Trail Jesters WXC holeshot award.
Rachel Gutish grabbed the $100 Trail Jesters WXC holeshot award. Ken Hill

For the second race in a row, Rachel Gutish took the holeshot and the $100 Trail Jesters Holeshot award in the Bike WXC class. It was a short-lived lead though, as Tayla Jones, Mackenzie Tricker and Becca Sheets had all passed her before the riders entered the woods. Sheets passed Tricker early in the lap, while Rachael Archer, who had gotten off to a bad start, caught up to the lead pack, passed Korie Steede, and was just behind Gutish. A little over halfway through the first lap, Jones tipped over on a slick and rocky hill. Tricker was bottled up behind her, Sheets and Archer took a lower line around the hill, while Gutish rode the edge of the embankment up and around the blockage. Gutish came out in the lead, but it was once again very short-lived, as less than a mile after passing Jones she promptly got lost, ending up on some trail that had been arrowed as a backup section in case of rain. Sheets, Archer and a few Sportsman A riders followed her, and while they were able to get back on track relatively quickly, Jones and Tricker got back around all three of them. Even with all the chaos, the top six were only separated by thirty seconds going into the second lap.

Jones held the lead through most of the second lap, though since she had thrown off her goggles was beginning to struggle a bit as the WXC class started to work their way through the lapped traffic. Sheets had been battling closely with her all lap and was able to pass her towards the end of the second lap to take the lead. About a mile before the barrels Jones stopped for a fresh set of goggles and was passed by Archer and Gutish as well, who along with Steede, had been swapping positions throughout the lap. Tricker, meanwhile, had started to struggle, and dropped back to sixth.

By the end of the second lap, the bottom half of the class had settled into their final positions for the day, with only the size of the gaps changing. Brooke Cosner took seventh, after riding alone virtually the entire race. Shelby Rolen finished eighth, quite a ways down from Cosner, but still well ahead of Taylor Johnson. Alli Phillips rounded out the top ten, finishing relatively close to Johnson with only thirty seconds separating them.

Becca Sheets earned her sixth WXC class win of the season.
Becca Sheets earned her sixth WXC class win of the season. Ken Hill

After passing Jones and getting out front, Sheets was able to pull away from Archer slightly on the third lap, giving her a reasonably comfortable gap of nearly forty seconds going into the final lap. Jones and Steede passed Gutish during her pit stop at the very beginning of lap three, and Gutish immediately passed Steede back when she stopped a few feet later. Gutish got back around Jones later in the lap when the latter was held up on a hill by a lapper. While battling with each other they were able to pull a little bit on Steede but were unable to make up any ground on Archer. Tricker had started to fade back from Steede, and would fade back even further on the last lap, finishing out the day in sixth.

Since she already had a decent gap over second, Sheets focused on being smooth and minimizing mistakes, an approach that paid off and gave her win number six of the season. When asked about her race, she told us “I finally got a good jump off the line and went into the woods in third place. A few miles later I made the pass on Tricker for second. Tayla tipped over on a slick and rocky hill. I took the bottom line to get around, passing Tayla, but Rachel G. then passed me as our lines came together. I followed Rachel but we missed the arrows. By the time we got back on the track I was in sixth. Tayla and Tricker were far enough behind that they saw the arrows and went the correct way, gaining a big lead. By the time we got onto the moto track I was back in third. I put my head down and tried to ride smoothly with minimal mistakes. I rather quickly caught up to Tricker. By the time I made the pass we were right behind Tayla. Tayla and I battled closely that lap but I eventually made a pass near the 7 or 8 for the lead. From there I was able to maintain a steady solid pace through the finish to take the win.”

Archer was able to chip away a tiny bit at Sheets’ lead, but not enough to put her back within striking distance. She took second place, coming in twelve seconds ahead of third. She also managed to stay off the ground all day, an impressive accomplishment given how technical the track was. She told us “I didn't get off to a good start, but I tried to catch up quickly before the front pack could pull too much of a gap. Luckily the track really suited me so I was able to ride quickly and calmly to get to the front. A few girls made mistakes on the first lap which I was able to capitalize on. I was in third behind Becca when we all took a wrong turn - I was super confused when I caught Kenz and Tayla again. I managed to stay off the ground all day and put in some solid lap times to take second place!

Jones and Gutish battled back and forth through the remainder of the last lap, but near the eight-mile marker, Jones made a pass that stuck and sprinted away from Gutish, putting thirty seconds on her in three miles to take home the final podium spot. Steede rounded out the top five, only twenty seconds back from Gutish. The fact that the top five all finished within roughly a minute and a half of each other demonstrates that we are in a very exciting time for the bike WXC class - Although Sheets has won most of the races this season, the battles have been closer than ever before and the overall speed of the class has grown exponentially in the last few years.

Tayla Jones moved her way into second in the WXC class at The John Penton GNCC in Ohio.
Tayla Jones moved her way into second in the WXC class at The John Penton GNCC in Ohio. Ken Hill

According to Jones “The Penton for me this year was pretty much like a reverse sour patch kid. I got off to a good start, and got into the woods out front. About halfway through my first lap I had to lose my goggles. I stayed out front, so that wasn't a huge deal until the second lap when we got into the lappers. I just couldn't see. I lost the lead and struggled to stay on their tail with the amount of dust in the air. When I stopped for goggles I dropped a few places. I tried to charge again and felt fast when I could keep my bike off the ground. After a rough day I ended up coming through the checkered flag in third. Definitely not happy with this one, but it’s just more motivation to come out swinging next round.”

In the Girls (8-15) class, Kaitlyn Lindsey earned her second win this season, beating out points leader Gracie Gooch, who finished second. Ohio native Ellie Winland took home the final podium position. Outside of the regular girls classes, Paisley Harris placed 129th overall racing the Trail Rider class.

Prestin Raines took a solid six-minute win over Mariana Cancro in the Women’s Class, edging her out for the lead in the points standings. Kayla O’Neil rounded out the podium in third. In Women’s C, Shelbie Roman took her third win this season, moving her into the points lead. Haley Phillips took second and Roni Merrill placed third.

In the micro bike race, Paisley Harris was the highest-finishing girl, placing 27th overall. She was followed by Matilda Revoyr (49th), Rylan Husted (50th) and Mya Dexter (58th)

Rachael Archer took home the third place position in Sunday's WXC class.
Rachael Archer took home the third place position in Sunday's WXC class. Ken Hill

Round eight of the series will take place on June 11th and 12th in Maidsville, WV, with the High Voltage GNCC. ATV and Micro racing will take place on Saturday, while Bike racing will take place on Sunday.

For more information on the GNCC series, visit the official website at or call (304) 284-0084. Join the conversation on the series Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to always hashtag #GNCC.

John Penton Results and Points Standings
Millfield, OH
Round 7 of 13
June 27th and 28th

ATV WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Hannah Hunter (HON) Malaska Motorsports/HMF/Cecco Racing
  2. Traci Pickens (YAM) GBC/Fly/Yamaha
  3. Alicia McCormick (YAM) Ye Olde Cycle Barn/Maxxis/Fly Racing/Pierce Performance
  4. Morgan Solesbee (YAM) DeRisi Racing/Fly/CST Tire
  5. Sydney Sams (HON) GMR/FTR Powersports/Derisi Racing/Tire Spine
  6. Abbi Troy (HON) Rocket Ron/Moose Racing/Choice Auto Glass
  7. Jaida Phillips (YAM) Rekluse/Tirespine/Estes Motorsports
  8. Sadiee Gorrell (YAM) Maxxis /Fivesixo Graphics/Custom Axis/Pierce Performance
  9. Angel Magee (HON) Spider Graphics/Custom Axis/ITP Tires
  10. Katelyn Osburn (HON) Action Off-Road/Moose Racing/GBC

ATV WXC National Championship Standings:

  1. Hannah Hunter 205
  2. Traci Pickens 158
  3. Katelyn Osburn 140
  4. Sydney Sams 115
  5. Alicia McCormick 113
  6. Morgan Solesbee 103
  7. Abbi Troy 93
  8. Sadiee Gorrell 82
  9. Jaida Phillips 77
  10. Kassidy Willliams 52

Bike WXC Pro Event Results:

  1. Becca Sheets (YAM) Maxxis/BABS Racing/Yamaha/Fly
  2. Rachael Archer (YAM)      Ampro Yamaha/Moose/PWR
  3. Tayla Jones (HSQ) Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna/Moose
  4. Rachel Gutish (BET) Beta USA/Moose/Arai/Mobius
  5. Korie Steede (TM) TM Racing USA/Dover Race Ready Cycle/Trail Pros Racing
  6. Mackenzie Tricker (KTM) KTM/Enduro Engineering/MEP MX/Fly/Grizzly Peak
  7. Brooke Cosner (SHR) Sherco/Moose Racing/Wiesco/FMF
  8. Shelby Rolen (KTM) South of the Border MX/FMF/Fox
  9. Taylor Johnson (KTM) Trail Jesters KTM
  10. Alli Phillips (HQV) LanMills XC/Husqvarna/Moose Racing/Bell

Bike WXC Pro National Championship Standings:

  1. Becca Sheets 205
  2. Tayla Jones 165
  3. Rachael Archer 144
  4. Rachel Gutish 121
  5. Mackenzie Tricker 103
  6. Brooke Cosner 98
  7. Korie Steede 90
  8. Taylor Johnston 73
  9. Alli Phillps 64       
  10. Shelby Turner 57

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How to Watch

Racer TV and MAVTV are the official homes for coverage of the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) events. All 13 rounds, from the season opening Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina to the finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, will air in taped-delayed telecasts on MAVTV, while Racer TV provides live streaming coverage of the 2 p.m. ATV and 1 p.m. motorcycle races from each event. Catch all the action at and 

About GNCC Racing

The Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Specialized is the World’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling two and three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,400 riders through racetracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks, and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Central America, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised live on For more information, please visit

About eMTB Racing

The Specialized Turbo eMTB GNCC National Championship brings off-road racing and pedal-assist or electric bicycles together for an eight-round championship produced by Racer Productions. Much like a typical cross-country racing event, these races feature varied terrain featuring hills, rocks, roots, and more but are limited to electric, or pedal assist model mountain bikes only. For more information, please visit

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world's largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders' interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit Not a member? Join the AMA today:


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