8 more titles awarded at USA Cycling collegiate MTB championships
Eight more national titles were won Saturday at the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships as the cross-country and downhill races took center stage in Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
Fort Lewis College holds a 32-point lead over Lees-McRae College in the Division I team omnium standings. In Division II, Brevard College has a 141-point lead over Western State Colorado University. Team omniums, as well as individual omniums will be awarded on Sunday.
Chris Baddick (University of Colorado-Boulder), who claimed silver in Friday’s short track race, moved up one step on the podium on Saturday during the cross-country competition.
“There wasn’t so much a winning move,” he said. “It was more about not making too many mistakes. When Kerry (Werner) went down on the second lap, I didn’t have any choice but to attack. I got about 10-15 seconds on him and I put just enough pressure on him that he made a couple more mistakes and I could stay away until the end.”
Werner (Lees-McRae College) finished second while Kuss Sepp (University of Colorado-Boulder) collected the bronze medal.
In women’s racing, Kate Courtney (Stanford University) added the cross-country title to her short-track win from Friday.
Lauren Catlin (Fort Lewis College) finished second while Sofia Fomez Villafane (Fort Lewis College) took the bronze.
The downhill saw Alex Dawson (Appalachian State University) clock the fastest time of the day, 2:25.970, en route to victory in the men’s race. Adam Digby (Fort Lewis College) and John Swanguen (Lindsey Wilson College) finished second and third, respectively.
Rebecca Gardner (Fort Lewis College) was the only woman to break the three-minute barrier, finishing in 2:58.418. Shayona Glynn (Marian University) and Hailey Sarausky (Lees-McRae College) took silver and bronze.
Zachary Valdez (Brevard College) took his second national title of the weekend in when he added cross-country gold to Friday’s short-track win.
“I didn’t come in expecting a lot,” he said. “But I knew I had the potential to win and so I just went with it and it worked out pretty well.”
Valdez made the winning move in the second lap, opening a gap on the climb and holding it until the end. Timothy Jenkinson (Mars Hill University) and Dylan Johnson (Brevard College) finished second and third.
In the women’s race, Alexis Skarda (Colorado Mesa University) added a gold medal to the silver she took in the short track.
“Since there were only two laps, my plan was just to take off on the hills because hills are my strong point,” she said. “I was a little nervous about the technical section but I took the lead halfway up the hill and got 10-20 seconds from that point on.”
Kaysee Armstrong (King University) and Friday’s short-track winner, Erica Zaveta (Brevard College), finished second and third.
In downhill, Andrew Slowey (Front Range Community College) clocked a 2:27.765 to beat Daniel Ennis (Brevard College) in the men’s race. Mac Banner (Brevard College) collected bronze.
Zaveta collected her fourth career stars-and-Sstripes jersey in the women’s race, beating Coleen Pacuraiu (U.S .Air Force Academy) and Essence Barton (California Lutheran University).
“I qualified third yesterday. It was icy and muddy but today was much warmer. I do much better in mud,” said Zaveta. “I got to do some racing here in the summer because Beech was open so I did one race before this. I got to see the track before, which was good, but the mud was really good for me and I was pretty smooth with it.”
Competition concludes on Sunday with dual slalom, team relays, and the individual and team omniums awards.