Our Staff

#GreatPeopleGettingItDone

Cassie Smith

League Director
As Cassie has matured and started a family, she has seen how mountain biking has been a positive force in life, both for herself and for those around her. Cassie's dream has been to spread that positive influence among the young people of the Mountain State. As Director of the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League, this dream has come true, and she is dedicated to giving back to the cycling community that has given so much to her and her family. She has led the effort in bringing a NICA League to West Virginia, and loves utilizing her drive and talents to teach healthy living to the folks that live there

Bradley Schmalzer

League President / Chief Course Setter / Chief Referee
Bradley has been deeply involved in bicycle racing for over a decade. As an elite-level mountain biker, Bradley has won the West Virginia Ultra Series five times, held multiple West Virginia State Championship titles, placed top-ten in the National Ultra Endurance Series and won numerous cross-country and stage races across the country. While he is slowing down a bit and racing less, Bradley is still a competitor at heart. Having traveled the country for years to race his bike, Bradley has a wide range of experiences and an unusual depth of knowledge about the sport of mountain biking.

Originally from Wisconsin, Bradley has planted roots in West Virginia. When he is not riding his mountain bike or spending time with his wife and two little girls, Bradley is a partner in a large regional law firm, practicing civil litigation in Charleston, West Virginia. Bradley dedicates his free time working to promote mountain biking and healthy lifestyles throughout the State. Bradley believes that mountain biking is a gateway to success for young people, and has all of the necessary components to teach them the life lessons and skills necessary to be successful in anything they wish to accomplish.

Dr. Stephen “Doc” Worden

WVICL League Treasurer / League Coach Support / Team Coach
As a race director, Stephen noticed the word "race" seemed to intimidate young, new mountain bikers. He believes the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League (WVICL) eliminates the intimidating elements of the sport, allowing participants to have a series where the emphasis is on riding, youth development, camaraderie, and challenging oneself, not necessarily finishing first. Stephen firmly believes that WVICL will give the youth of West Virginia an opportunity to pursue their passion for the sport.

Kristen Dieffenbach

Director of Coaching
Kristen is a resident of Morgantown, WV and is a former division I NCAA athlete. She is also a professional coach with an elite USA Cycling license and a Level II endurance specialization from USA Track and Field. She has been coaching and working with junior athletes for 20 years. She shares a love of cycling and the outdoors with her husband, son and their furry four legged family members.

Phil Waidner

Program Manager
Phil Waidner's mountain bike love started early, growing up in Indiana, but blossomed into an obsession during his college years in Asheville, NC. Considering his mountain bike roots to always be Pisgah, Phil has traveled the world seeking out adventures on the bike. Combining his experience as a BICP Instructor Trainer, AMGA climbing instructor and PSIA ski instructor, Phil has developed a wide variety of co-ed youth programs blending traditional outdoor education philosophies with action sports.

Merging his interests in outdoor education and mountain biking, Phil developed MTB programs for a variety of summer camps and outdoor education programs across the country. He then spent time guiding and instructing in China, Bolivia and Colorado before landing in WV. Here he developed mountain bike, BMX, skateboard, and ATV programs at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a large national facility for the Boy Scouts of America.

Phil is currently the Program Manager for Camps and Teen Trail Corps at the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). As he has always been passionate about youth mountain bike programs, Phil signed on early as a volunteer to bring NICA to WV through the bid process and acted as race director for the inaugural 2018 season.

When he's not mountain biking, he can often be found exploring on his dirt bike, rock climbing, hiking, or just relaxing in the nearest swimming hole.

Zach Adams

Director of Operations
Zach visited the West Virginia highlands in 2012 to mountain bike, and fell in love with the mountainous region. He moved there in 2013 and never looked back. Zach currently lives in Canaan Valley with his partner and his trail dog supreme, Lona. You can find Lona representing at all the WVICL events. Zach is the owner and primary operator of Appalachian Dirt, one of two trail specialist companies in WV. When he's not building sweet singletrack, you'll find him and Lona riding in the mossy, fern covered woods of Canaan.

Zach started mountain biking through the Pennsylvania Scholastic Mountain BIking League, a predecessor to the NICA program modeled after the Northern California League, in 2004. He caught the cycling bug and dove in head first, traveling all across the country to race and ride over the next 10 years. Having gone through a pretty substantial shift in activity level – from couch potato to racing UCI level cross events – Zach knows what a life changing experience it can be to find cycling as a teenager.

Zach also instantly became fascinated with putting on events. Starting with local grassroots racing and the 2006 PA State Cyclocross Championships, all the way through some 23 different events all over the Mid-Atlantic Region. The move to the West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling league was a natural transition.

Eric Hawkinberry

Race Director
Eric has taken on the role of Director of Operations after one year as a Level 2 Coach for the Morgantown Trailhawks. He and his team agree that the first year was a blast – if a little damp – and he is looking forward to a bright future for NICA in West Virginia. "Let's keep it rolling!"

Sue Haywood

Coach Supporter
Sue Haywood is an east coast mountain bike icon. Her mountain bike career was baptized in the mud bogs and slippery rocks of Canaan Valley, West Virginia. She raced professionally for many years at both the national and international level. She is a multiple time National and Pan American champion. She excelled at both long endurance and short sprints. She still races on occasions, loving the exciting Enduro events. She is the 2018 Masters Enduro National Champion. She loves teaching mountain bike skills, especially to women and kids through day and weekend camps and private lessons. She is the creator of the Canaan MTB Festival and president of Blackwater Bicycle Association and the maker of HaySue's Spicy Salsa. She is a combination of laid-back and tough. She believes the essence of mountain biking is being outside, moving our bodies, loving nature and riding with friends. She has faith in the power of cycling to positively affect individuals and communities.

Jessica Harmening,

Coach Supporter
When Jessica is not teaching or coaching, she is outside enjoying nature on her bike or kayak or seeing live music with friends. Jessica is also the vice president of the Coopers Rock Foundation, where she enjoys giving back to the wild places that have given her so much.

Julie Hawkinberry

Volunteer Coordinator
Julie Hawkinberry has been riding a bike since she was a little kid. She would climb to the top of the steep hill she grew up on and come racing down it over and over (much to the horror of her parents). She got her first mountain bike in 2002, a Trek, after spending the summer working at an outdoor youth camp, where she got her first real taste of mountain biking. Since then, she's enjoyed riding all around the state of West Virginia and surrounding areas, and her husband, Eric, as ensured that she's well equipped with a newer bike and gear and no longer riding an 18-year-old bike.

Julie's oldest son, Sam, joined the WVICL's inaugural 2018 season, and it was during that initial year that Julie realized what a special and unique program NICA is for West Virginia and its youth. The sense of community built among the teams and the whole league is unparallel to any other organization she's seen. She's looking forward to the day when her youngest son, Riley, will join his big brother on the team.

One of Julie's fondest memories of the inaugural season is standing in the cold rain at Little Creek after the first race and looking around, seeing how delighted and excited everyone was – from the young athletes to parents to all the volunteers and staff. Since then, the WVICL has taken off and grown, feeling more like family as it goes on. The friendships and bonds that Julie and her family have made with people all over the state will last a lifetime. Julie has gone from being a cheering parent, to volunteering at race weekends with set up and finish line support, to becoming the league's Volunteer Coordinator.

When Julie isn't volunteering with the WVICL, you can usually find her curled up with a good book (she is a former English teacher turned attorney) or on a yoga mat. Julie is completing her 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2020, with a focus on bringing yoga to mountain bikers. Her mantra is "You can. You will."

Jessy Coffman

Feed Zone Manager
Jessy has been a Program Coordinator for WVU's School of Medicine and Public Health for 17 years She is an avid volunteer in the Monongalia County School System helping to create a county-wide recycling program through her efforts of grant writing and green-initiative based projects awarded to her 3 sons' school. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor, after having completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 specializing in youth athletics. Jes sees the benefits yoga has on unionizing the mind, body, spirit connection for youth athletes. Jessy routinely gets out on her mountain bike to experience the joy and fellowship that comes with sharing in a ride with friends and family, specifically exploring the trails of North Central WV. By practicing the proverb of "many hands, make light work," Jessy hopes to inspire and be inspired by the network of parents, volunteers, and coaches working diligently to create a supporting space for individual, community, and biking growth for all involved throughout WV.

Jodi Mondy

GRiT Coordinator
Jodi began riding bikes again when her son joined WVICL as a ninth grader during their inaugural year in 2018. In addition to mountain biking, she enjoys all things outdoors: camping, kayaking, hiking, etc.

With a little nudging she started the Putnam County Pedalers team in 2020 and will argue with anyone who says their Coach staff is better! “I might be Head Coach but the real magic comes from my Coach staff. They are in it!,” she answered when asked about her role as Head Coach.

Jodi also works at her local bike shop and is a MTB Tour Guide and MTB Skills Instructor for Arrowhead Bike Farm.

“With my creativity and WVICL’s GRiT co-Coordinator, Mia’s attention to detail, I predict we will have a lot of fun and success in getting more girls on bikes here in Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia.”

Mia Fox

GRiT Coordinator
Mia White Fox resides in Charleston WV and fell in love with cycling through spin classes at the local YMCA where she is a Sunrise Spin Instructor. "All my gym friends convinced me to get a road bike years ago, and that was my segway into cycling. Since that time, she's been an avid cyclist in her community and also serves as the Secretary of her local cycling club; The Mountain State Wheelers. Mia started as a roadie, and met Cassie Smith at Kanawha State Forest when Cassie was racing in the 2017 Black Bear XC. "I was completely blown away that there were these fierce ladies competing! I came as a spectator that day with my oldest daughter, and walked away with lifelong friendships. From that day forward, she's been on dirt more often than pavement.

Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, she grew up with her adopted family in Charleston WV, and moved back to the state in 2006 after living in Ohio for several years after college. "I missed the mountains and the beauty of West Virginia. Charleston is where my family is and I was tired of being a Buckeye. I decided I wanted to raise my two daughters back in my home state." When she isn't working, Mia spends her time facilitating a social ride on Tuesday nights along with a ladies only ride on Thursdays, running her teams practices, or at home with her two teenage daughters and their three beloved chihuahuas.

Mia founded the Kanawha River Wildcats Comp team in Charleston WV in 2018, and serves as one of the two GRiT Coordinators for the state. "I want to see WV grow our female participation, and females of color. I see that as my personal mission as a GRiT Coordinator." Mia was a recipient of the 2018 SRAM Coach of The Year Awards for NICA, which was the highlight of her life. "I love biking, and I am so proud I have gotten so many parents riding bikes with their kids. That is the legacy I hope to leave across the state. Bringing that excitement and joy to families riding bikes together and being "RAD".

Dan Vorisek

Camp Director
Riding singletrack trails is a recent addition to Dan’s outdoor recreation fun, but cycling is not. Growing up on his parent’s farm, he built his first bikes from the cast-off parts his older brothers accumulated in their barn. Rides down the sledding hill, on tractor paths, and gravel roads to work at the neighbors’ farms were the routes that were at hand. After graduating from Penn State his outdoor pursuits turned to backpacking, rock climbing, and leading backcountry adventure trips, taking his 20-year career path through Frost Valley YMCA, The Student Conservation Association, Ohio University Outdoor Pursuits, and SUNY Delhi College in the New York Catskills. When Dan returned to Athens County to work at Rural Action he got caught up in the Baileys Trail project to construct 88 miles of continuous singletrack bliss in nearby Wayne National Forest. His work at Rural Action allows him to connect with entrepreneurs and community members that want to grow a robust outdoor recreation economy in Appalachian Ohio. At Rural Action, Dan learned about NICA and began riding the local trails. With his son on the Athens County Cougrabats team, Dan began taking his licensing courses and ended up as a coach with the Cougarbats, and the Camping program Director with WVICL.

Dan lives in Athens Ohio with his wife and three children on a budding farmstead next to Willow Creek, where he spends spare time on forest hikes and looking for arrowheads with his kids when not out on the trails running, biking, or coaching with the Cougarbats

We Need Your Help

We are a volunteer-based organization. Without our dedicated volunteers, parents, and coaches, our programs would not exist. Race-day volunteers are what make our events a success. Volunteering for a race is a single-day (or a few hours) commitment and is perfect for someone who wants to be involved but is limited on time.

Contact Us About Volunteering

Race Volunteers

Rally In The ValleyAug 28th and 29th
Battle at Big BearSep 11th and 12th
CacaponSep 25th and 26th
Defend the Bend Oct 9th and 10th
Twin FallsOct 23rd and 24th

Any Questions?

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