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Beech Mountain and Lees-McRae Host USA Cycling Mountain Biking Collegiate Nationals Through Oct. 27

by Madison V. Fisler

Oct. 25, 2013. Beech Mountain Resort is excited to announce that the resort will be hosting this year’s USA Cycling Mountain Biking Collegiate Nationals Oct. 24-27. Nearly 350 students from 50 different colleges and universities will be in attendance.

“We hosted Mountain Bike Nationals in 2011 and 2012 that focused on professionals and people who aren’t in college,” said Talia Freeman, marketing manager at Beech Mountain Resort.

“This event is collegiate-specific, and we are so excited to be having this race here.”

Spectators are invited to come and watch the race with no charge.

“We definitely invite the public to come watch, some of these athletes are incredible!” Freeman said. “Admission and parking will be free of course, but if guests want a ride on the ski lift to get a better spot, we will charge $10 for the lift ticket.”

Guests can come and enjoy a great competition while taking in the beautiful views from atop Beech Mountain. 

“It is a very beautiful, relaxed atmosphere up here,” Freeman said. “It’s going to be a great event.”

Registration for this event is open to collegiate teams and members here

Because this event is so large, Beech Mountain will require almost 300 volunteers to make this event the best it can be. The resort needs course marshals, volunteers for setup and break down of the event and registration volunteers. For more information about volunteering for this event, please contact volunteer coordinator Sandy Carr at sandy@carrcorn.com or 387-9423. 

Volunteers can check in at SkiBeech Group Sales Office and are instructed to use parking lots 1 and 2. 

This event will take place rain or shine, so be sure to dress for the autumn weather.

For more information about this event and more, click here

From Lees-McRae:

The Lees-McRae College cycling team is in the midst of its final preparations for this year’s USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike nationals this weekend on Beech Mountain, fresh off a dominating win at the Division I Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships on the campus on Brevard College this past weekend.

“We have a lot of good momentum coming into nationals,” said head coach Tim Hall. “We won quite a few races the final two weekends of the season at Clemson and Brevard, which is always a good sign of fitness. Going head-to-head every week with other top ranked teams in the SECCC has pushed us to become our best.”

The Bobcats have enjoyed an impressive mountain bike this season, piling up both team and individual wins nearly every race. Kerry Werner and Luke Vrouwenvelder have each racked up multiple cross country and short track cross country wins this season, with Cody Phillips and Hailey Sarausky adding several dual slalom and downhill victories of their own. 

“Kerry and Luke are proven winners and David Bentley is consistently in the top 10 in endurance, while Emily Shields, Emma Klingaman and Katherine Shields have been top 10 riders all season long as well,” praised Hall. “They all have the ability to battle for the victory or medals. On the gravity side, Cody and Hailey really have shined all season.”

Lees-McRae enjoys an additional benefit to being the host team for this year’s nationals, having the option of entering as many as six riders in each race. A new event has been added to the schedule this year in the team relay, a four-lap race with two men and two women each completing one lap for each squad.

“We feel we’ve got solid balance and depth within our starting roster for nationals,” added Hall. “If everyone races to their potential then we have a shot at winning the team championship. It will be touch to knock off Fort Lewis, UC-Boulder and Marian, but we have the strength to make it happen. Whatever happens, I know our kids will race their hearts out.”

“Racing gets underway at 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 25 with the men’s division I short track. Werner, Vrouwenveider, Phillips, Bentley, Gunnar Bergey and Brian Jorgensen will line up for the Bobcats in short track, with Emily and Katherine Shields, Klingaman, Sarausky, Mackenzie Filippi and Erin Donohue comprising the field for the Bobcats in the women’s race at 11 a.m.

Qualifying for Saturday’s downhill finals will take place on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Werner, Phillips, Bergey, Jorgensen, Matthew Clements and Eric Bercume will run both the downhill and dual slalom for the Bobcats, with Sarausky and Laura Wright comprising the women’s team for both events. 

Saturday’s action gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with the men’s cross country featuring the same lineup as the short track for the Bobcats. The women’s race will start at 11:30 a.m. with an identical lineup to Friday’s short track as well. Downhill finals will take place at 4 p.m.

The newly added team relay will lead off Sunday’s racing slate with a lineup of Werner, Vrouwendelder, Donohue and Emily Shields for Lees-McRae. The dual slalom will follow at 12:30 p.m. to round out the weekend’s action.

For complete schedules and results from this weekend’s event, log on to the event page on USA Cycling’s website, available here. Fans can also follow along with the Bobcats on Twitter @LMCCyclingTeam for updates throughout the weekend.