Fort Lewis, Brevard in the lead at Collegiate MTB Nationals
Truckee, Calif. (October 16, 2009) – It was a full day of racing at the 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships on Saturday with both short track and four-cross competitions on the agenda for day two. Fort Lewis College and Brevard College scored strong results and gained comfortable leads in the Divisions I and II team omnium competitions. They’ll try to hold onto these leads as the riders head into the final day of competition.
In the Division I women’s short track contest on Saturday, defending national champ Carla Swart (Lees-McRae College) took control right from the gun. Improving upon her bronze medal performance from Friday’s cross country race, Swart took a dominating short track win. Cross country champ Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona) and University of Nevada rider Lizzy English worked together to close the huge gap created by Swart. Eventually, Forsman attacked and tried to catch the leader by herself. Swart’s speed was too much to match though and she soloed over the line for the victory with Forsman coming in for the silver and Sage Wilderman (Fort Lewis College) taking over the bronze medal spot. English moved back to fourth place while Teal Stetson-Lee (Fort Lewis College) rounded out the podium in fifth.
The Division II women’s race was much like the Division I match – with one woman going off the front early and holding her lead until the very end. This time it was Kay Sherwood of Colorado College. And the determined chase effort came from Friday’s cross country champ Lydia Tanner (Montana State University). Tanner steadily brought down the gap between herself and Sherwood but couldn’t quite close it in time. Making the bronze medal effort was Julia Tellman (Brevard College) while Josephine Nelson-Jones (New Mexico State University) and Rachel Millsop (Union College) placed fourth and fifth.
In the men’s races, the crowd witnessed a repeat of yesterday’s victories. Both Rotem Ishay (Fort Lewis College) and Stephen Ettinger (Montana State University) added short track national titles to the wins they picked up on the cross country course on Friday.
In Division I, a group of four made the decisive breakaway early in the first lap. That group included Ishay, his Fort Lewis teammate, Trevor Downing, Brad Perley (Lees-McRae College), and Mitchell Peterson (University of Utah). The four shared the lead position for about half way through the race until Ishay picked up the pace with three laps to go and blew the lead group apart. With two laps to go, the Fort Lewis strong man had 15 seconds on Perley and Peterson while Downing was dropped off the back. Increasing his lead on the final lap, Ishay came across the line for a well-deserved second national title of the weekend. Peterson collected the silver while Perley took the bronze. Downing held on for fourth and fifth-place went to the University of Colorado’s Blake Harlan.
As the Division II men started up the first climb of their 30 minute contest, Zach Winn (Union College) set a fast pace at the front. About 10 minutes into the competition however, Stephen Ettinger went on the attack and took over that lead position. Ettinger was chased hard by Brevard College’s Tristan Cowie who overtook second place from the hard-charging Winn. Cowie was unable to reel Ettinger in and the Montana State student added another Stars-and-Stripes jersey to the one he picked up in Friday’s cross country competition. Cowie rode in for second while Winn managed to hold on to his third-place ranking. Closing out the podium positions in fourth and fifth were Linden Blaisus (Warren Wilson) and Joe Schneider (Colorado School of Mines).
Following the short track contests, teams made their way up the mountain to the four-cross venue which featured a long course with plenty of jumps, inside lines, and a small rock garden. After riders made their qualification runs, the brackets for the men’s and women’s fields in both divisions were narrowed down to the top 16 riders. Groups of four at a time were sent down the course until the final four in each field were left to duke it out for national titles in the finals.
After posting the fastest qualifying time, Emma Millar grabbed another win that helped strengthen Fort Lewis College’s lead in Division I. The 20-year-old breezed through the prelimnary rounds before besting teammate Sage Wilderman, Madison Pitts (Lindsey Wilson College), and Neven Steinmetz (University of Colorado) for the Stars-and-Stripes jersey. In the race for fifth place, Deidre York took the win to grab another spot on the podium for Colorado.
In the Division II women’s race, it was the number two qualifier, Johanne Tuttle, to take the top step of the podium for the division’s team omnium leader, Brevard College. The new national champ beat out Courtney Steen (Colorado School of Mines), Ileana Anderson (Warren Wilson College), and the fastest rider in the qualifying round, Christen Boyer (Colorado School of Mines). In the race for fifth, Julia Tellman (Brevard College) earned yet another spot on the podium for Brevard.
Jon Wilson (University of Nevada-Reno) posted the fastest qualifying run and then went on to dominate the preliminary rounds before making it into the final of the Division I men’s contest. Pitted against Logan Collins (Lindsey Wilson College), Joey Schusler (University of Colorado-Boulder), and Clayton Omer (Lindsey Wilson College), he rode to a convincing win to grab the top step of the podium for the host school. Josef Duller (California Polytechnic) won the heat for fifth place.
In Division II, California Lutheran University student Blake Carney defeated Deider Barrick (Front Range CC-Larimer), Mike Zeek (Mesa State College), and Geoffrey Fryer (East Tennessee State University) in the final while Justin Graves (Humboldt State University) grabbed the fifth spot on the podium.
With days one and two in the books, only the downhill contests remain. Sunday will bring a close to the 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, and the top schools in each division will earn bragging rights for a year.
Click here for complete results from the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, or here for more information about the event. Click here for a photo gallery from the event.
USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships
2. Logan Collins (Lindsey Wilson College)
Photos from Top to Bottom: Kay Sherwood of Colorado College is all smiles after winning the D2 women's short track; Brad Perley, Rotem Ishay, and Trevor Downing on the climb in the D1 men's short track; Emma Millar, Neven Steinmetz, Madison Pitts, Allie Dragoo, and Chantel Coleman stand atop the women's Division I Four-Cross podium at the awards ceremony Saturday night.
This Article Published October 17, 2009 For more information contact: