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Lees-McRae Cycling Team: Oswald Claims National Title, Paces Bobcats at Road Nationals With Tremendous Effort

May 7, 2013. Spencer Oswald (Dubuque, Iowa) joined a long list of national championship riders at Lees-McRae College this past weekend, winning the individual time trial to lead the Bobcat cycling team to a strong eighth-place finish at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.

images-2Lees-McRae turned in a tremendous team effort, finishing the weekend just 50 points shy of a spot on the podium in the team omnium. Marian University claimed the team national championship with 553 points, taking the top spot in all but the men’s road race, as University of Colorado Boulder placed second with 417 markers. Fort Lewis College and Lindenwood University tied for third with 345 points each, as University of California Davis rounded out the top five with 269 markers. Stanford University was sixth with 243 points, followed by University of California Berkeley (231), Lees-McRae (219), Midwestern State University (207), and Colorado State University (186). Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) led the way for the Bobcats in the women’s individual omnium, placing 11th in the final standings.

Cinthia Lehner (Greer, S.C.) and Emily Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) each earned a spot in the final omnium rankings as well, finishing 16th and 19th respectively, as the Bobcats placed three riders in the top 20. The Bobcats kicked off the weekend in the team time trial, finishing ninth in the women’s race with a time of 53:46.81, and 10th in the men’s competition with a mark of 44.22.18. Oswald followed with the individual performance of the weekend in the individual time trial, dominating the field and claiming the national title with a blistering time of 27:15.94, a full minute and 32 seconds better than the second-place rider.

Dylan Knutson (Eager, Minn.) turned in the top finish for the Bobcats in the men’s criterium on Saturday, placing 40th but just six seconds back of the leaders in a densely packed field. Brian Ellison (Chicago, Ill.) was in prime position to finish in the top 10 before being caught by an unfortunate crash late in the race. Lehner posted the top performance in the women’s crit, finishing 12th with a time of 1:01.28, as Katherine Shields placed 20th in the group just one second behind Lehner’s.Emily Shields finished 44th with a time of 1:01.33.

The Bobcats battled hard in Sunday’s road race, placing a total of four riders in among the top 25 (one male, three female). Matthew Zimmer (DeWitt, Iowa) turned in the top performance on the men’s side, closing strong en route to a 16th-place finish with a time of 2:59:49. Jake Boone (Hurst, Texas) also finished 38th with a mark of 3:01:25. Katherine and Emily Shields rode the wave through much of the women’s race, staying with the leaders throughout much of the course to finish within one second of each other in ninth and 10th, respectively. Lehner also rode well in the road race, finishing 21st with a time of 3:05:28, as Sarah Hill (Johannesburg, South Africa) placed 48th with a mark of 3:14:00.

Lees-McRae caps a solid championship season with the eighth-place showing at Road Nationals, taking third at Cyclo-Cross Nationals, while placing fourth at Mountain Bike Nationals and sixth at Track Nationals.