Weekly Collegiate Racing Wrap - April 29, 2013

  
  


ECCC: Conference Championships at Penn State – by Dominic Caiazzo


Wes Kline wins on his home crit course- photo by Tianle Chen.
Wes Kline wins on his home crit course- photo by Tianle Chen.
The ECCC’s season came to an exciting close this weekend in State College, Pennsylvania, as the conference gathered for the Nittany Cycling Classic hosted by Penn State.  Black Moshannon State Park was the location for the racing Saturday, with a rolling 9.5 mile team time trial and a tough road race that climbed Black Moshannon mountain every lap. The team time trial podium for the men was made up by MIT, Penn State and Dartmouth, in that order.  MIT secured the win by twelve seconds over the host team.  UVM took the women’s race, edging out MIT by 8 seconds, with Penn State coming in with the third best time.

The climb up “Black Mo’” would be the deciding factor in every race.  The majority of the nearly 1,900 feet of climbing came all at once on the 21.4 mile loop, and the warmest temperatures of the season did not make the racing any easier.  Conference leader Hayley Wickstrom (Pitt.) attacked early on the climb in the first lap, and soloed away for the remainder of the race to win by almost three and a half minutes over Emily Paxson of UVM.  Hannah Arem, a B racer from Yale, took an impressive third in the race, winning the women’s B field.  It took until the third and final climb to make the ultimate selection in the men’s race.  Cameron Cogburn (MIT) attacked his chase group of 4 at the base of the climb, powering past a late attack by Daniel Holmdahl (Dartmouth) and going on to win by two minutes.  Penn State went 2-3 in the race, with Brett Wachtendorf and conference leader Jeremy Shirock coming in together.

Sunday’s Frat Row Criterium has become an ECCC classic, and was lined with spectators by the end of the day.  The tight and fast 6 corner course showcased the day’s most powerful and technically able, and both the men’s and women’s races ended in a field sprint.  With double points on the line the sprint competitions were fierce, and Leslie Lupien (Dartmouth) did a fantastic job defending her green jersey, taking 3 out of 4 sprints, as well as the win on the day.  After single handedly closing down a late attack, Penn State brought home the win in the men’s race, as Wes Kline triumphantly took the field sprint on his home course.  Benjamin Grass (Dartmouth) secured the green jersey for the season.   Penn State won the weekend omnium, and MIT took season overall.  Hayley Wickstrom and Jeremy Shirock will head to Utah as conference leaders next week for the national championships.


SWCCC: Conference Criterium Championships at NAU – by Joey Iuliano


UA claimed the conference title at the criterium championships.
UA claimed the conference title at the criterium championships.
It was a hot, dry, sunny day at the race track for the final stop on the road to Ogden for the SWCCC. Held as part of the AZ Crit Championships at Firebird International Speedway, the course featured several sweeping turns, a small hill, and smooth pavement which made for some very fast racing. The Men’s B/C field took to the course first for a 30 minute race. The field was dominated by ASU with 9 of the 10 riders. However, that didn’t stop NAU’s Skylar Rubalcaba from giving them a rough time and winning the C’s race. The B’s race was won by ASU’s Adam Rogers who came in solo.

The next race was the women’s A/B race with 8 riders and a good mix of teams. The action started quick with several accelerations from ASU and GCU, however, the field stuck together in the end. Coming into the final corner ASU set up Reiley Pankratz for the win with teammate Stefanie Sichler in second.  Alexis Gannis from Grand Canyon State (new kids on the block!) was coming on fast in the final meters but the finish line came just too soon.  NAU’s Allie Nath and UA’s Allison Wendt were 1st and 2nd respectively in the B’s.

The final race was the Men’s A with 9 riders for 50 minutes in the sweltering heat. UA had 6 riders in the field and worked hard to keep the pace high and to force ASU and NAU to chase throughout the race. In the final laps it was clear a field sprint would decide the winner with ASU’s Spencer Crites the man to watch. UA’s Max Rich planted himself firmly on Crites’s wheel in the final hundred meters and unleashed a strong sprint to take home first. Crites came in second and UA’s Andrew Keller in 3rd.

Stefanie Sichler (ASU) and Joey Iuliano (UA) clinched their respective JAKROO leader’s jerseys at the crit as well as their respective individual omniums. The wins secure them a starting row spot at nationals in one week. In the team omnium, the University of Arizona won the title for the first time in several years, with ASU in 2nd, and NAU in 3rd. With the final race of the season behind them the A riders on the teams are putting in their final preparations for an exciting weekend of racing in Ogden!


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