Fort Lewis and Mars Hill maintain top ranking after Road Nationals

  
  


With all four USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships “done and dusted,” as USA Cycling National Championship announcer Dave Towle would put it, USA Cycling’s annual Collegiate National Team Rankings are complete for the year, as well, and one team from each division can lay claim to the coveted number one ranking for the 2010-11 season for good. "What's especially noteworthy for a lot of the top-tier teams in both divisions," USA Cycling High School and Collegiate Manager Jeffrey Hansen said, "is that not only are the same teams turning in great performances consistently at each of our four Collegiate National Championships, but they're taking the same student athletes each time. So you're getting incredibly versatile and talented riders that are not only able to win on the road or track, also on the dirt, and vice versa. There are very few places in the sport where you see such an ability to cross over between disciplines, and do so at the top level of competition. And all this while studying full time, as well!" USA Cycling extends congratulations to all collegiate competitors on another successful season of collegiate racing across all four disciplines.

Division I
It's been a good year for Fort Lewis College at USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships: 3rd at Track, 1st at Mountain Bike, 2nd at Cyclocross, and 3rd at Road gave them the number one ranking for the year.
It's been a good year for Fort Lewis College at USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships: 3rd at Track, 1st at Mountain Bike, 2nd at Cyclocross, and 3rd at Road gave them the number one ranking for the year.

For the first year since the National Rankings were established in 2006, the top spot didn’t alternate between Lees McRae and Fort Lewis from one year to the next. No, the Fort Lewis Skyhawks, out of Durango, Colorado, maintained their number one ranking from 2009-10, and are on top again for 2010-11, albeit by just a few points. Their top ranking came from a win at 2010 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, a second place at 2010 Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships and two third place titles, at 2010 Collegiate Track National Championships and 2011 Collegiate Road National Championships, giving them a total of 75 points of a possible 80. The Bobcats of Lees McRae finished the season in second place with 71 points, losing ground to Fort Lewis at Track Nationals and never quite making it up. Third place Marian University, however, was the only team to win two National Championship team titles in one season of either Division this year, claiming the top step at both Track and Road, and finished the season with 65 points, mostly because of a relatively weak showing at Mountain Bike Nationals. That should be taken with a grain of salt, however, because just three short years ago, the Marian Knights didn’t score any points at any event except Track, and since then has quickly developed into one of the premier Collegiate Cycling programs in the country.  

With an impressively strong showing at Collegiate Road Nationals, and consistent performances at the other three National Championships, the University of Colorado Buffaloes managed to swing a fourth place ranking for the season at 60 points, beating out fifth placed Lindsey Wilson College by 14 points. Just behind Lindsey Wilson with 40 points, however, is Appalachian State University, debuting in Division I this year after their full-time enrollment surpassed the 15,000 student limit last year for Division II. They’re certainly holding their own in the bigger pond, however, placing fourth at Cyclocross and seventh at Road, and gaining additional points for their 12th place finish at Mountain Bike. Rounding out the top 10 for Division I are Colorado State University, University of California-Berkeley, Midwestern State University, and University of California-Davis, all traditional powerhouse teams in the world of Collegiate Cycling.

For complete National Collegiate Team Rankings, click here.

Division II
Mars Hill College ended the year on a high note with the overall victory in Division II at USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, securing their number one ranking for the year.
Mars Hill College ended the year on a high note with the overall victory in Division II at USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, securing their number one ranking for the year.

The top ranked Division II team for 2010-11 is also the absolute breakout star of the season: Mars Hill College. The Lions of Mars Hill, North Carolina scored consistently at each of the four USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships, and solidified their ranking with their DII victory at the 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships last week, earning them 62 of a possible 80 points for the season. This is especially impressive given that just last year, Mars Hill ranked sixth with 30 points, and prior to that, had never ranked nationally, having only formed as a team in early 2007. Such a progression, from forming a brand new program to sitting at the top of the food chain, is a sign of Collegiate Cycling’s health and the potential for more varsity teams to come out of the woodwork in years to come. Sitting just behind these new kings and queens of Division II Collegiate Cycling, though, are perennial favorites MIT, who take no prisoners at any National Championship they attend. This year, after winning the DII title at Collegiate Track National Championships and placing third at both Collegiate Cyclocross and Road Nationals, the MIT Engineers finished the season with 56 points, just five points ahead of last year’s DII top ranked team, Mesa State College. The Mesa State Mavericks finish the year with 51 points with solid finishes at Collegiate Mountain Bike and Cyclocross National Championships, and ending on a high note with a second place finish at Collegiate Road National Championships.

Another impressive improvement came this year from fourth place Cumberland University, wrapping up the year with 44 points, a substantial increase from their four points earned in 2009-10. The change came from consistency: last year, the team attended only one National Championship, but this year, having made the trip to all four and finished consistently at each, including a fourth place finish at Track, Cumberland reaped the rewards of their efforts. The victors at Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships, Western Washington University, finish the season with a fifth place ranking, earned with the help of a sixth place finish at Road. Wrapping up the top ten are the US Military Academy in sixth, Whitman College in seventh, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in eighth, Brevard College in ninth, and Dartmouth College in tenth. 

For complete National Collegiate Team Rankings, click here.

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