Marian University sweeps D1 TTT at 2011 collegiate nationals; Mesa State, MIT win D2 races

For the second consecutive year, Marian University sweeps the Division 1 team time trials at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships. In Division 2, Mesa State College repeats as the men’s winners while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology handily wins the women’s contest.

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For the second consecutive year, Marian University swept the Division 1 team time trials on Saturday at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships in Waterloo, Wisconsin.

In Division 2, Mesa State College repeated as the men’s winners while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology handily won the women’s contest.

The teams raced along a 19.2-mile course on a windy day with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees on the second of three days of competition.

Division 1

Marian University’s men’s team (Alder Martz, Adam Leibovitz, Weston Luzadder and Jackie Simes) posted the day’s best time of 37:51.87, nearly one minute faster than second-place Appalachian State University’s 38:47.46. Lees-McRae College finished third in 38:53.15.

“I think the wind really helped us,” said Martz . “We tried to keep it smooth and we were careful to keep it together right until the very end when we kind of ramped it up a little bit extra.”

The women’s squad (Kaitlin Antonneau, Jacqueline Kurth, Allie Dragoo and Anna Young) powered to a time of 44:20.34. The University of California-Davis finished just over 30 seconds behind in 44:51.98 with Lees-McRae College third in 45:32.07.

“We’ve been working together to achieve this all year, so it’s great to achieve what we came here to do,” said Kurth. “Today was definitely a morale boost for our team — our women’s team and definitely our men’s team, too— so we’re excited about tomorrow.”

Division 2

Using the same four riders as last season (Richard Geng, Conor Mullervy, Kevin Mullervy and Patric Rostel), Mesa State defended its D2 men’s team time trial title with a time of 38:57.40.

Western Washington University (39:16.86) edged Mars Hill College (39:17.88) for second place.

“We planned to go out hard, but with all the wind, we had to conserve more,” said Conor Mullervy. “We were out to defend our title though, so we were pretty amped up. We were 20 seconds slower than last year, but with the wind I think we actually rode much better, definitely smoother.”

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, under the tutelage of former Olympic cyclist and two-time national champion Nicole Freedman, continued its dominance of the women’s D2 field this weekend, finishing in 45:35.22 — more than three and a half minutes ahead of runner-up Whitman College. Mesa State finished third in 49:58.90.

“There were a lot of crosswinds out there,” said Laura Ralston. “We got here early and pre-rode part of the course and realized it was quite cross-windy, so we practiced a lot of echeloning and that really, really helped.

“Time trials can sometimes be a little hit or miss and you can go through scrappy phases, whereas today it felt like we were really composed and had a constant rhythm and pace the whole time.”

It was another strong performance for MIT, who swept the podium in Thursday’s road race, finishing first, second, third and fifth. Joining Ralston, who placed second in the road race, were winner Martha Buckley, third-placed Katie Quinn and Yuri Matsumoto.

After two of the three races in the national championships, Lees-McRae College leads the D1 omnium standings with 323 points. Marian University is second with 317 and Fort Lewis College third with 262.

In Division 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology leads with 300 points, followed by Mesa State College with 288 and Mars Hill College with 262.

The third and final day of competition will take place Sunday with the criterium at University Research Park, just west of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, where the team omnium titles will also be awarded.