New Hampshire Teen Selected for Grant Award
Photo by Kent Baumgardt
Twelve-year-old Jonathan Hills grew up in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio watching Jeremy Powers race in the Cincy3 cyclocross events. Ever since he started racing cross when he was eight, Hills would compete in the junior races and then cheer on Powers, the U.S. Cyclocross National Champion and co-founder of JAM Fund. When Powers won the Pan Am Championships last November in Covington, Kentucky, Hills went to his tent.
“I asked him for an autograph, and he asked me how long I’d been racing,” Hills said. “I got an autograph and water bottle. He told me about JAM, and then I looked it up.”
Hills applied for a JAM Fund Grant, and this month he received word that he won. He is one of thirteen grant recipients who will receive financial or equipment assistance from the JAM Fund this year.
“I’m young and I’ve raced 50 races,” he said. “I love riding and competing in cross is fun.”
In November, Hills moved with his family to Westmoreland, New Hampshire. His mom Tiffanie, dad Peter and 9-year-old sister Alexis all race cyclocross. Hills says his favorite race was winning the 2014 Cap City Cross Finale in a combined field of juniors and women.
“I raced against my mom and beat her by a fair amount,” he said.
Hills keeps a busy race schedule. He competed in 15 cross races last year and then competed in his first Cyclocross Nationals in Asheville, North Carolina in January.
“I felt good and it was a hard race, “ he said. “I got 57th out of 74, and I learned a lot. The hardest part was the big run up. It was really steep.”
Hills will enter 7th grade at Westmoreland Middle School this fall. And like a well-prepared student, he has already planned his race calendar.
“I have 17 races scheduled but that might change if I need to rest or have other things going on,” he said. “I hope to have 15 races and finish in the top ten. I want to have fun and do well.”
The grant that Hills received is largely funded by supporters and the JAM Fund’s biggest fundraiser, the Grand Fundo, which is a one-day scenic ride in Western Massachusetts. This year’s ride is on July 16, where grant recipients will find out details of their award. The public is invited to join the Grand Fundo ride and barbecue by registering at bikereg.com.
For media inquiries, contact JAM Fund Media Coordinator Vicky Sama at firstname.lastname@example.org.