McThoughts | Women’s East Nationals | Overall
By Jeff McConkey
The Women’s East was a success, in my eyes, for 2018 — great riders, great racing, and a really good turnout. This season, it showed that we have a great group of veterans, a solid group of racers that are ready to make the steps to get better, and a great group of new faces that will eventually be our major players. Congrats to all of the ladies that had the courage to line up.
Our country has a very large amount of female racers, but very few have the courage to line up for big races. I find way too many would rather look fast on Instagram and have their parents talk them up, than actually line up and race.
Here are the overall season Top 10 and my Thoughts. I have 11 names, as Mariah Gauthier raced the West also, and was not scored in the East.
1st Eve Brodeur 1-1-1-1: There is a reason why Eve is our 4-time champion. She’s never rattled, always smiling and trying to keep it fun. I have said it many times, she doesn’t do anything great, but she does everything very well. I really hope she can continue to race while in school. With her talent, I am sure she could back down the training, travel, and seat time and still win…she is that good!
2nd Taylor Miller 3-3-3-2: Very good season for Taylor. For her to be away from the sport for so long, and then jump right back in at this level, well, that is super-impressive. She got better every time on the track and, I think with some prep next year, she could have everyone covered not named Eve Brodeur.
3rd Liz Burke 4-5-2-4: I like watching Liz ride. She isn’t flashy, but still has a very good style and positioning. With some starts, I think she could have ridden with Miller a little more. Let’s hope she works on them this off-season and comes back swinging. She is definitely a great ambassador for the women and Atlantic Canada.
4th Megan Brodeur 2-7-8-3: If Megan could stay on 2 wheels, she would be dangerous. But, unfortunately, she hit the dirt a lot this season. I keep saying this… imagine if motocross was her number one focus. She is very good now, but with a winter with a guy like Kaven Benoit for example, she would be a complete beast. Great season for Megan, minus the crashes.
5th Sarah-Kim Villeneuve 8-10-4-5: My most improved rider. Wow! It almost seems like Villeneuve came out of nowhere. She rode great and really stepped it up and was rewarded with the #5.
6th Gemma Pope 7-15-6-8: Pretty good series for Gemma, minus round 2. She has always had good speed. I think with a little grooming and coaching she could make the jump to fighting inside the top 5. You should see her ride the woods, it’s very impressive!
7th Mariah Gauthier 9-9-14-9: Consistent series for Mariah. She raced the West, so her points and standing won’t count, but she was a great addition to the East series.
8th Emilie-Jade Leveille 10-13-11-7: Solid season for Emilie-Jade, finishing with a great ride at Deschambault. With a little more aggression, she should be higher up the results. I think she is just too nice of a person, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
9th Eden Netkelos 6-8-DNS-8: The only girl in the top 10 overall to miss a round. She has top 5 speed everywhere, but her finishes don’t really show how fast she really is. Eden rides with an “F it” type of attitude and it works well. She would have a top 5 number had she did all 4 rounds.
10th Carrie Davis 15-12-10-11: The crazy cat lady rode smart, safe and consistent in 2018. She didn’t have the breakout ride like last year’s Deschambault, but she walks away healthy with the number 9. Let’s hope the friendly American enjoyed us enough to come back next season.
11th Kelcey Jones 13-11-7-24: Rough season for Kelcey, who had a really bad crash leading into the season. I was shocked to see her line up. She showed lots of heart, but this isn’t the Kelcey we are used to. I am willing to bet we see a way better version in 2019.
Biggest Stud: I was pumped to see all of the ladies that stepped up and lined up in 2018. A few girls stood out to me outside of the top 10. Cindy Trudel was very fast when I saw her, and I was really impressed with young Oceanne Brodeur. Oceanne had to switch from her 85cc last-minute and get on a 125 because of the new rules. She rode great and it was nice to see a young rider step out of her comfort zone and challenge her self.
Biggest Dud: Isabelle Thibault went DNF-2-5-DNF for 14th overall. She has the speed to be a serious contender. I hope she has better luck next season. She is one of our favourite riders to watch.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised we didn’t see Brittany Gagne make the trip. She loves to race and would have been a great addition.
MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award: Eve Brodeur and her SHOT kit looked great, as always.
Thanks for reading ladies.