Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Beech Mountain See Snow as the Lees-McRae Bobcats Take Bronze

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by Madison V. Fisler

Oct. 28, 2013. The Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Beech Mountain Resort got off to a snowy start on Oct. 24, but by the end the Lees-McRae Bobcats made it to the podium to take third place overall in the second national championship in the 2013 collegiate season.  Nearly 350 students from 50 different colleges and universities were in attendance.

Though the competition on the mountaintops was fierce, the final decision came between three of the top national teams: Fort Lewis College, Marian University and our very own Lees-McRae College. 

image courtesy of USA Cycling

image courtesy of USA Cycling

The Bobcats finished up the competition with a grand total of 646 points, taking third behind first-place finisher Fort Lewis College with 732 points and the silver titled Marian University with 658 points. The Bobcats missed second place by a mere 12 points. 

“I am very pleased with how we did,” said Tim Hall, director of cycling and head coach for the team.

“We fell a little short, but everyone competed up to their ability. I told them before the championship that we had a chance to win and I firmly believed it. The kids believed it, worked hard, committed to the opportunity and showcased themselves as best as possible. It has been a few years since Lees-McRae challenged for the team championship, 2010 was the last one. Racing for a chance to win the overall was a new experience.”

Kerry Werner earned individual omnium for the second time with an overall 419 points, making him the reigning national champion of cyclocross. Werner was one of five Lees-McRae athletes who received individual omnium honors at Beech Mountain on Sunday. 

photo courtesy of Lees-McRae College

photo courtesy of Lees-McRae College

The Bobcats finished with the bronze for the first-ever team relay with a time of 15:00:90, an impressive 10 seconds better than the fourth place team. 

“What this does is exposes the weaknesses you do have and confirms areas of strength,” Hall said.

“Our goal as coaches will be to recruit athletes who can strengthen weak links for next year, but I could not be more proud. Despite not winning the overall championship, we still won quite a few medals. Everyone on the team contributed to the individual’s success. Their enthusiasm and support pushed everyone to race faster.”

Lees-McRae will kick off its cyclo-cross schedule Nov. 23 and 24 when the Bobcats travel to Bristol, Tenn. for the Cobra Cross at Virginia Intermont College. 

The entire event was held at Beech Mountain Resort.

“We were really pleased with the event and we want to continue hosting these competitions in the future,” said Talia Freeman of Beech Mountain Resort. 

“We were amazed at the amount of volunteer support we got. We had around 120 volunteers, and 58 were from Lees-McRae alone as well as a lot from Appalachian. I only heard good things!”

Alex Dawson of Appalachian State University took first place in the Downhill race. 

The final scores for all events are as follows:

For full details on all athletes’ performances, click here

Dual Slalom

Men’s Division II Nationals (All)

  • First Place: Daniel Ennis – Brevard College
  • Second Place: Mac Banner – Brevard College
  • Third Place: Robert Rimmer – Virginia Intermont College
  • Fourth Place: Wesley Lamberson – Union College (KY)

Men’s Division I Nationals 

  • First Place: Joshua Patton – Lindsey Wilson College
  • Second Place: John Swanguen – Lindsey Wilson College
  • Third Place: Phil Cowan – Fort Lewis College
  • Fourth Place: Kerry Werner – Lees-McRae College

Women’s Division II (All)

  • First Place: Essence Barton – California Lutheran University
  • Second Place: Coleen Pacurariu – US Air Force Academy
  • Third Place: Christen Boyer – Colorado School of Mines
  • Fourth Place: Erica Zaveta – Brevard College

Women’s Division II (All)

  • First Place: Brittany Clawson – Fort Lewis College
  • Second Place: Crystal Kalogris – Marian University
  • Third Place: Shayona Glynn – Marian University
  • Fourth Place: Felicia Stancil – Marian University

Team Relay

Mixed-Division II

  • First Place: Lewis Gaffney, Sarah Hill, Zachary Valdez and Erica Vaveta of Brevard College
  • Second Place: Morgan Ryan, Jeffery Sikes and Alexis Skarda of Colorado Mesa University
  • Third Place: Addyson Albershardt, Timothy Jenkinson, Michael Keith of Mars Hill University

Mixed-Division I

  • First Place: Andrew Dillman, Allie Dragoo, Joshua Johnson and Coryn Rivera of Marian University
  • Second Place: Lauren Catlin, Garrett Lundberg and Payson McElveen of Fort Lewis College
  • Third Place: Erin Donohue, Emily Shields, Luke Vrouwenvelder and Kerry Werner of Lees-McRae College

Downhill

Men-Division II

  • First Place: Andrew Slowney – Front Range Community College
  • Second Place: Daniel Ennis – Brevard College
  • Third Place: Mac Banner – Brevard College

Men-Division I

  • First Place: Alex Dawson – Appalachian State University
  • Second Place: Adam Digby – Fort Lewis College
  • John Swanguen – Lindsey Wilson College

Women-Division II

  • First Place: Erica Zaveta – Brevard College
  • Second Place: Coleen Pacurariu – US Air Force Academy
  • Third Place: Christen Boyer- Colorado School of Mines

Women-Division I

  • First Place: Rebecca Gardner – Fort Lewis College
  • Second Place: Sayona Glynn – Marian University
  • Third Place: Hailey Sarausky – Lees-McRae College

Cross Country

Men-Division II

  • First Place: Zachary Valdez – Brevard College
  • Second Place: Timothy Jenkinson – Mars Hill University
  • Third Place: Dylan Johnson – Brevard College

Men-Division I

  • First Place: Chris Baddick – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Second Place: Kerry Werner – Lees-McRae College
  • Third Place: Sepp Kuss – University of Colorado Boulder

Women-Division II

  • First Place: Alexis Skarda – Colorado Mesa University
  • Second Place: Kaysee Armstrong – King University
  • Third Place: Erica Zaveta – Brevard College

Women-Division I 

  • First Place: Kate Courtney – Stanford University
  • Second Place: Lauren Catlin – Fort Lewis College
  • Third Place: Sophia Gomez Villafane – Fort Lewis College

Short Track

Men-Division II

  • First Place: Zachary Valdez – Brevard College
  • Second Place: Michael Keith – Mars Hill University
  • Third Place: Timothy Jenkinson – Mars Hill University 

Men-Division I 

  • First Place: Samuel Morrison – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Second Place: Chris Baddick – University of Colorado Boulder
  • Third Place: Kerry Werner – Lees-McRae College

Women-Division II

  • First Place: Erica Zaveta – Brevard College
  • Second Place: Alexis Skarda – Colorado Mesa University
  • Third Place: Sarah Hill – Brevard College

Women-Division I 

  • First Place: Kate Courtney – Stanford University
  • Second Place: Lauren Catlin – Fort Lewis College
  • Third Place: Allie Dragoo – Marian University 
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