[SIZE="3"]Durango-based school sweeps menís events to earn Division I crown[/SIZE]
Colorado students ruled the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Championships at northern New Mexicoís Angel Fire Resort October 20-22. Durango-based Fort Lewis College defeated defending champion University of Colorado for the Division I title, while Gunnison-based Western State College secured the honor for Division II.
Fort Lewis College swept the menís events and made 11 podium appearances to win the Division I title, while Western State secured Division II with ten visits to the podium.
Fort Lewis College sweeps the menís events
Fort Lewis riders proved their strength on opening day, sweeping the top-three spots in the menís short track cross country race and the top two spots in the menís 4-cross competition. Alex Hagman, Eric Ransom and Noah Singer claimed first, second and third place respectively in the short track race to put the Durango-based institution on pace to win the overall title that it last captured in 2004. In the afternoon, Thomas Tokarczyk
and Chris Heath rode to first and second place in the 4-cross event to further demonstrate the collegeís reputation as one of the top cycling schools in the nation. Adding to the points accumulated by Fort Lewis on day one was Sabrina Kraushaarís third-place effort in the womenís 4-cross race.
Short track winner Alex Hagman continued the Fort Lewis winning streak on day two with a win in the menís Division I 18-mile Cross-Country contest. Clocking the winning time of 1 hour, 36 minutes, and 21.58 seconds over two laps of the nine-mile circuit, he bested Montana State University student Andy Schultz who finished just 35 seconds off Hagmanís pace for second place. Bryan Alders, from last yearís Division I overall winner the University of Colorado, clocked a time of 1 hour, 37 minutes, and 48.23 seconds to capture third place.
The Durango-based mountain bike team completed its sweep of the Division I menís events and secured the overall title on the final day when Chris Heath clocked 5 minutes and 8.06 seconds as the fastest man down the mountain to not only earn the individual title, but to solidify the overall win for Fort Lewis. Further strengthening the schoolís lead was Sarah Elworthyís third place effort in the Division I womenís downhill race.
The University of Arizona claimed the individual crowns in the womenís Division I Cross-Country and Short Track Cross Country.
Arizona student Chloe Forsman captured her first win in Fridayís short track competition, while teammate Melanie Meyers placed third. Second place was awarded to University of Utah rider Heather Holmes. Continuing upon her short track success, Forsman claimed her second stars and stripes jersey with a win in Saturdayís cross country race. Riding the same distance on the same course as the Division I men, she turned in a winning time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 9.76 seconds. Teammate Meyers improved upon her bronze medal effort from the day before, and followed Forsman in for second place. Heather Holmes placed third.
Pro Leana Gerrard dominated the Division I womenís gravity events.
A staple on the NationalMountain Bike Series and U.S. National Team rider, Leana Gerrard (Western Washington University) earned the second seed in 4-cross qualifying, but backed up her reputation with a win over Caroline Jarolimek, the fastest qualifier of the day. Although Neven Steinmetz clocked the third-fastest qualifying time earlier, the 12th seeded
Sabina Kraushaar snuck in for third to add to the Fort Lewis College point total. Gerrard continued her domination on the final day of competition, clocking six minutes and 39.54 seconds en route to her individual downhill title.
Western State College winsDivision II
Western State College secured the Division II crown with ten visits to the podium. Kate Chapman appeared on the podium in each and every womenís Division II event. She started off with a fourth-place effort in the short track and then later in the day won the womenís 4-cross.
On Saturday, she placed fifth in the cross-country event, and on the final day, she placed fifth in the downhill contest. Chapmanís teammate Amy Scherm posted the fastest time in the womenís downhill to secure the individual title and she also placed third in the 4-cross.
Western State College men also had their share of success. Garret Brady won the menís Division II short track contest on the same day that Phillip Chilimindris placed fourth in the menís 4-cross. In the downhill contest, Timothy Ruggles and Alex Prouty placed fourth and fifth respectively to help secure the Division II title for the Colorado-based school.
Four individual overall champions crowned
Along with Fort Lewis College and Western State College earning team honors, four individual overall champions were also crowned on Sunday as points from the weekendís four events were added together to name a menís and womenís champion from each division.
With a victory in both the short track and cross country events, Alex Hagman (Fort Lewis College) earned the overall Division I menís title. Despite not winning any individual events, Caroline Jarolimek (University of Colorado) captured the overall Division I womenís title. Jarolimekís top result was a second-place effort in the 4-cross race but a sixth-place finish in the cross country event and a pair of eighth-place finishes in the short track and downhill races gave her enough points to secure the win. Douglas Shryock (University of Montana) claimed the Division II menís championship after solid performances in the endurance events left him with a third-place result in the short track race and an eighth-place finish in the cross country race. After appearing on all four podiums, Kate Chapman (Western State College) took home the stars-and-stripes jersey in the Division II womenís overall classification.
The October 31 USA Cycling News is available for download here:
Items featured in the Oct. 31 edition include:
Time to Renew Your Membership! (a reminder of your member benefits) USA
Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships Recap USA
Cycling Holds Coaching Summit Local Associations Come Together in
Colorado Springs Armstrong Claims Women's Prestige Series Overall Title
USA Cycling Announces Inaugural USA Cycling Professional Tour
Letter from USA Cycling CEO, Steve Johnson
Staff Changes at USA Cycling
Upcoming Race Calendar
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 60,000 members and 2,000 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men's road). For more information visit www.usacycling.org
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Photo1: Fort Lewis College celebrates its Division I championship, a title the school last earned in 2004.
Photo2: Western State College riders are honoredwith the Division II overall title.
Photo3: Chloe Forsman of the University of Arizona won the Division I womenís cross-country and short trackraces.
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