Four national titles won on day one of Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals


Kate Courtney takes the win in D1. Photo by Weldon Weaver
Kate Courtney takes the win in D1. Photo by Weldon Weaver
Beech Mountain, N.C. (October 25, 2013) –
Four national titles were won on Friday as the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships got underway on North Carolina's Beech Mountain.

The second national championship of the 2013-2014 collegiate cycling season and the final event on USA Cycling's 2013 national championship calendar, the three-day competition got off to a fast (and snowy) start with the short track cross-country races.

It was 25 degrees when racing got underway this morning, meaning that racers not only had to compete against their collegiate rivalries but they also had to compete against the weather and course conditions.

Division I Men

In the men's Division I race, University of Colorado senior Sam Morrison was victorious.

"I just got the hole shot," he said "And then Chris (Baddick) came up on the first climb and kind of sat in second and I just looked back and saw the climb had a little gap and figured I might as well go for it since Chris was sitting on."

Morrison's teammate, Chris Baddick (University of Colorado-Boulder) followed him over the line for the silver medal while Kerry Werner (Lees-McRae College) was third. Joshua Johnson (Marian University) and Stephan Davoust (Fort Lewis College) rounded out fourth and fifth.

Division I Women

Erica Zaveta takes the win in DII. Photo by Weldon Weaver
Erica Zaveta takes the win in DII. Photo by Weldon Weaver
Capping off a successful mountain bike season that included a world cup win and sixth-place in the junior women's race at Mountain Bike Worlds, Kate Courtney (Stanford University) claimed victory in the women's D1 short track event.

"It feels amazing. Well, right now it feels a little bit cold. It was a really exciting race," the 18-year-old Courtney said after her win. "I had gotten a little bit of a gap and started to settle in and tell myself 'you can do this.' Then I slid out and had to run one of the hills and got caught, so that was a little bit of a mental challenge because I had to get a gap again which was hard."

After Courtney attacked, she created a second gap which she maintained all the way to the finish line, riding in ahead of silver and bronze medalists Lauren Catlin (Fort Lewis College) and Allie Dragoo (Marian University). Linnea Dixson (University of Wyoming) and Emily Shields (Lees-McRae College) completed the race in fourth and fifth.

Division II Men

In Division II, Zachary Valdez helped Brevard College start the weekend out on the right foot when he won the men's short track event. He finished ahead of the Mars Hill University duo of Michael Keith and Timothy Jenkinson while Wesley Lamberson (Union College – KY) and Robert Rimmer (Virginia Intermont) rounded out the podium in fourth and fifth.
"I'm just really proud of the team," said Brevard coach Brian Sheedy. "We experienced some adversity when Cypress Gorry, who was cross-country and short track cross-country national champ last year, had a training accident about ten days ago. So that was a big hit and then Lewis Gaffney, who was winning the men's short track, his pedal snapped off and he was out of the race. Zach saw that and went on the attack and put on a big gap."

Division II Women

In her last mountain bike season as a collegiate rider, Erica Zaveta (Brevard College) finished on a high note with the win in the Division II women's short track race.  

"Off the line I missed my pedal and kind of went back two spots and then clipped in. I attacked right at the first climb and just held the lead," the new national champion (and reigning DII national cyclo-cross champ) said after crossing the finish line.

Following Zaveta over the finish line were second- and third-place finishers Alexis Skarda (Colorado Mesa University) and Sarah Hill (Brevard College). Essence Barton (California Lutheran University) and Addyson Albershardt (Mars Hill University) were fourth and fifth.

Downhill Qualifying

Other action on Friday included the downhill qualifying sessions in which 25 men and 20 women in each Division rode themselves onto the start list for Saturday's finals. Results from downhill qualifying will be posted here.
Next up...
Racing continues at Beech Mountain on Saturday with the cross-country and downhill competitions before wrapping up on Sunday with dual slalom and team relays.
Follow @USACCollegiate and use hashtag #CollNats to keep up with the event on Twitter.
For more information, visit the event webpage, or click on the links below.
USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships
Beech Mountain, N.C.
October 25-27, 2013
Division I Women's Short Track Cross-country
1. Kate Courtney (Stanford University)
2. Lauren Catlin (Fort Lewis College)
3. Allie Dragoo (Marian University)
4. Linnea Dixson (University of Wyoming)
5. Emily Shields (Lees-McRae College)
Division II Women's Short Track Cross-country
1. Erica Zaveta (Brevard College)
2. Alexis Skarda (Colorado Mesa University)
3. Sarah Hill (Brevard College)
4. Essence Barton (California Lutheran University)
5. Addyson Albershardt (Mars Hill University)
Division I Men's Short Track Cross-country
1. Samuel Morrison (University of Colorado-Boulder)
2. Chris Baddick (University of Colorado-Boulder)
3. Kerry Werner (Lees-McRae College)
4. Joshua Johnson (Marian University)
5. Stephan Davoust (Fort Lewis College
Division II Men's Short Track Cross-country
1. Zachary Valdez (Brevard College)
2. Michael Keith (Mars Hill University)
3. Timothy Jenkinson (Mars Hill University)
4. Wesley Lamberson (Union College – KY)
5. Robert Rimmer (Virginia Intermont)

This Article Updated October 26, 2013 @ 02:17 AM For more information contact: