Weekly Collegiate Racing Wrap - Oct 3, 2011
SCCCC: UNT MTB Race – by Kristen Kjellberg
This weekend, the SCCCC, hosted by University of North Texas, met for a mountain bike race in Glen Rose, TX. Glen Rose is laden with dinosaur tracks and fossils formed over 110 years ago. Unfortunately, there was little time for racers to wander amongst sauropod footprints. For many, this was their first or second mountain bike race, and even their first time riding a mountain bike! These newcomers are one of the primary reasons collegiate cycling exists - to make it possible for young people to find happiness and success in a life that involves cycling.
Of course, there were also some extremely skilled mountain bikers in the mix. Cole Kirkpatrick (UNT), has the technical skills down as a pro endurocross/motocross racer. Unsurprisingly, he swept the Men's A short track, time trial, and cross-country to win the omnium. However, he did not win without a fight. Kyle Johnson (UT) and Shane Haga (Texas A&M), successful road, track and MTB racers, gave him a run for his money. In the Women's As, Texas A&M teammates Kristen Kjellberg and Katelyn Spradley had fun trading 1st and 2nd place in the short track and time trial, followed by Jen Emerick (St. Edward's). Sunday, UNT rider Rachel Cook blew them out of the water with her cross country technical skills and rapidly improving endurance.
Riders from all categories were blessed at the closing cross country race on Sunday with cool fall Texas weather and a beautiful rocky terrain speckled with the goats and herding dogs of Solavaca Ranch. Then we had to pack up and head home to reality, the daunting task of finding balance between riding, academics, and finances of the college student life.
RMCCC: WSC MTB Race – by Eszter Horanyi
As one of the few places in the world where it is possible to mountain bike on granite slickrock, Hartman Rocks in Gunnison did not disappoint the Rocky Mountain Conference this weekend. Hosted by Western State College of Colorado, the event featured a ST, XC, DH, and an Air DH.
The weekend kicked off with the ST featuring a stiff climb from the start and descending back down the notorious Collarbone Alley trail featuring a half-dozen large berms that racers descended with increasing speed as each race progressed. In the Men’s A race, Sam Morrison of the University of Colorado took the win over teammate Kevin Kane. On the women’s side, University of Colorado again took the top two spots with Deidre York beating out Katie Sodergren.
Racers then flocked to the flow track across town to watch the gravity racers take on the newly constructed flow track featuring several jumps and berms. Many racers took the opportunity to enjoy the airtime, egged on by an enthusiastic crowd. Joey Schusler continued the string of wins by University of Colorado beating Phil Cowan of Ft. Lewis College by 0.23 seconds on a 1:15 course. Coleen Pacurarin of the Air Force Academy took the win for the women.
Racers tackled a single loop race that consisted of smooth, buff singletrack punctuated with technical granite rock gardens for the XC on Sunday morning. Rebecca Gross of the University of Denver took the victory over Katie Sodergren and Deidre York of CU. In the men’s race, Sam Morrison of CU edged out Gunnison native Dylan Stucki of FLC in a sprint to the line. In the DH, Coleen Pacurarin (AF) took her second gravity win of the weekend with Diedre York of CU in second. Joey Schusler continued his domination with another win, beating out second place Colin Pickett of Western State College by over three seconds.
Racing continues in Grand Junction, hosted by Colorado Mesa University next weekend.
SECCC: Mars Hill MTB Race – by Matt Williams
The SECCC was back in action this weekend with a full slate of races at Asheville’s Alexander Park. The crew at Mar’s Hill had spent weeks revitalizing the long-abandoned Four Cross and Downhill tracks, and the finished just in time for the largest SECCC race of the season. With out of conference schools Lindsey Wilson and Appalachian State in attendance there were stacked fields for every race.
Things kicked off with the gravity events on Saturday. Lindsey Wilson has a reputation for producing top-level gravity riders and they didn’t disappoint—taking the top spots in the men’s and women’s Four Cross and stacking the front end of the Downhill results.
Over 40 men contested the Short Track and Cross Country races, forcing the race promoters and coaches to do quick recalculations. The Short Track was quick, fast, and relatively technical—and ultimately the men’s race was split into two qualifying heats and a final. In the end the format didn’t really matter though as Lees-McRae’s Kerry Werner made it look easy in the final to take the win. In the women’s Short Track another Lees McRae rider, Erica Zaveta, did what she has done all year—she headed to the front and rode everyone off her wheel.
The Cross Country featured lots of flowing trails and punchy climbs, but after an hour and a half of racing the results were the same as the Short Track, with Lees McRae’s Werner and Zaveta taking the wins.
SECCC racers will be headed to Florida next weekend for a final test before the upcoming conference championships at Lees McRae in a few weeks.
ECCC: Highland MTB Park Race #2 – by Ian “Sully” Sullivan
This weekend’s racing at Highland Mountain Bike Park was an affair reserved for the heartiest of collegiate racers. Throughout the weekend driving rain, wind and cold tormented the riders. The fantastic courses all held up very well and provided exciting racing in all of the events.
The Women’s XC saw the return of Syd Schultz (Middlebury). Syd had previously won the XC at Holiday Farm. She was able to pull out the victory from a hotly contested final lap with Alison Crocker (Boston College). Marie Kenney (UVM) was able to round out the top three 3:30 back. Later in the day, Elizabeth Yasewicz (UVM) took top honors over her teammate Kristina Miele in the Dual Slalom.
Sunday’s STXC was a three way shootout, pitting Marie Kenney, Bella Oleksy (UNH) and Emily Jibb (McGill) against each other. Several times throughout the race Marie produced small gaps on the climb, only to have them shut down on the descent by Bella. Emily was able to follow Bellas wheel during the regrouping effort. On the final lap Bella and Marie hit the base of the climb together. Only half a bike length gave the win to Marie Kenney. Emily cruised in a couple seconds later for third place.
Noah Tautfest (VTC) won the Men’s XC by a large margin. Derek Harden (UVM) and Taylor Smith (UNH) placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Men’s DS was steep, muddy and technical. Craig Mchaud (WIT) was clearly the class of the field in these conditions. He qualified two seconds faster than anyone else and continued to display his superiority as he raced through the brackets. In the final he defeated Matt Lareau (UVM). The consolation round went to Nik Patalano (Northeastern).
The men’s STXC was also a wide open affair. After the first couple of laps Joseph Reis (UVM) had establish a 30 second advantage that was only to extend as the race wore on. Eric Burge (McGill) separated himself from the case group before the midway point of the race but was unable to catch Reis. Greg DiSanto (UNH) and Ben Moody (UVM) sprinted for third place. Disanto was able to eke out a solid gap at the line. The DH was dominated by Alex McAndrew (Clarkson), who won by seven seconds. Adam Gange (UMASS) snatched second place by five seconds over Nik Patalano (Northeastern)
The Team Relay was only contested by UVM and UNH. The race was incredibly tight throughout the duration with several lead changes. That morning’s STXC winner Joseph Ries (UVM) started the final lap about ten second’s down on UNH’s DiSanto. Disanto was able to fend off a hard charge to the line, winning by less than a wheel length.
Full results can be found on the ECCC Calendar, with racing continuing next week at UNH.
ACCC: VCU MTB Race
Virginia Commonwealth University played host to this weekend’s ACCC mountain bike action, holding TT, Short Track, and Cross Country races on Saturday in the downtown James River Park system of trails, with addition Short Track and Cross Country races on Sunday outside of town at Camp Hilbert. While racers woke up to rain Saturday morning, the weather quickly cleared up and crisp fall temperatures prevailed the rest of the weekend.
Saturday’s point to point TT started out on the north bank of the James river and crossed over to finish on the south bank with University of Virginia’s Martha Heath taking the Women’s A race, and Virginia Tech’s Jacob Anderson taking the Men’s A. The short track on Saturday saw Virginia Tech’s Kay Comer narrowly maintain a lead throughout the entirety of the race to hold out of the win over Heath and teammate Kelly Neville, while WVU’s Todd Latocha and NCSU’s Alan Nolting traded pulls most of the Men’s A race, with Latocha coming across the line first by half a wheel. In Saturday’s cross country race, VCU’s home court advantage paid off for Ian Marcuse, who led the Men’s A race from the start and never looked back, taking the win by a sizeable margin. In the women’s A race, Virginia Tech’s Comer again claimed victory by only a few seconds over UVA’s Heath.
Sunday’s Short Track saw a repeat of Saturday’s winners, with both Latocha and Comer going two for two in that event, while the Cross Country races saw UVA’s Martha Heath claim the win over Virginia Tech’s Comer and Neville, and Appalachian State’s Baird Sills coming across the line first in the Men’s A race.
Racing continues next weekend at Appalachian State University.
WCCC: Parkfield Classic MTB Race - by Brendan Lehman
Every year hundreds of college students and over a dozen teams from all over the WCCC flock to Parkfield, California for Cal Poly's annual race, the Parkfield Classic. Year after year, despite the sore butts, dust-stained teeth, bruised legs and potentially missing chunks of epidermis, racers bring reveled enthusiasm back to their home schools which draws leagues of new collegiate cyclists every season. Sweltering heat, brutal endurance races, lightning fast gravity events...well this is what mountain biking is all about.
Cross Country racers were delighted for short-sleeve weather at 8am on Saturday morning. But as the race (and weather) heated up, many gave thanks to the USA Cycling rule that only requires racers to start with sleeves. The A's course is a single 24 mile loop starting with a brutal run-up that includes soul crushing climbs, wrist numbing descents as well as a mandatory cattle stampede obstacle section. The terrain is hardpacked fire road through rolling oak grassland making for a very fast course. Short Track XC was the usual fast singletrack course complete with a large gravel pit and run-up surrounded by the infamous Parkfield heckling contingent.
The Dual Slalom and Downhill competitions were held on their usual courses. Downhill featured the well-loved G-Out, rock gardens, smooth burms and the spectator friendly "steep part." Racing was top-notch and may only have been challenged by the world-class spectatorship. Results will be posted online at www.wccc-info.com, but all participants were winners this weekend. Good job to all and congratulations to all riders, those experienced and those new to the WCCC!
This Article Published October 3, 2011 For more information contact: