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By Jason Sumner, VeloNews Associate Editor
It sounds outrageous, but one more national title and Marty Nothstein will have a stars-and-stripes jersey for every year of his life. On Friday night the 30-year-old added title No. 29 when he took the men’s sprint at the USCF elite track national championships at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine, Minnesota.
It was his third title at these championships. Already he’s won the kilometer time trail and the Olympic sprint. He’ll get the chance to add No. 30 on Saturday when he competes in the Madison.
Like so many of the others, Friday night’s win came easy. After advancing to the semifinals in the morning session, Nothstein took out Jeff LaBauve in the round of four, then Giddeon Massie in the finals. Along the way Nothstein didn’t lose a single heat and always looked in control. Still, he says winning doesn’t get old.
“Never,” Nothstein said. “It’s addictive. I showed up to do one thing and I did it.”
Meanwhile, despite his loss in the final, Massie must be considered one of the future stars of American track racing. The 19-year-old from Pennsylvania was a distant ninth in the sprint at last year’s national championships, but has made great strides and made it all the way to championship round this year.
“He’s got a lot of ability and potential,” said Nothstein of about his teenage finals foe. “To get to the next level he’s just got to keep working really hard.”
In Friday’s other action Erin Mirabella defended her title in the women’s points race by holding off Rebecca Quinn and nine others. Mirabella finished the 100-lap affair with 51 points. Quinn was next with 43, followed by Ashley Kimmet in third with 22.
From the very beginning it was Mirabella and Quinn distancing themselves from the pack. The duo won all but a handful of the every-eight-laps sprints. However, their battle remained close all the way through. Quinn led 28-26 with 32 laps to go. But Mirabella took the next three sprints to pull away for the win.
“There were some people out there who were saying I wasn’t ready and I just wanted to prove them wrong,” said the 23-year-old Mirabella. “I think I showed everybody that the points race is still mine.”
The title was Mirabella’s second of the week. On Tuesday she won the women’s pursuit.
The final event of the night was to be the men’s points race, but after starting the race at 8:25 p.m., a fast moving rain storm rolled over the Velodrome in Blaine, forcing officials to postpone the event just three minutes later. The race was rescheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday. Prime Alliance’s Jame Carney, the defending points race champion, will be the favorite.
Saturday’s other action will include the finals of the tandem sprint, the Keirin and the Madison. Check back later to VeloNews.com for a full report.
USCF ELITE TRACK NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, Blaine, MN, June 12-16
Men’s sprint; 1. Marty Nothstein; 2. Giddeon Massie; 3. Jeff LaBauve; 4. Garth Blackburn
Women’s points race; 1. Erin Mirabella; 2. Rebecca Quinn; 3. Ashley Kimmet