Jan. 13, 2015. Senior Emily Shields claimed the national title in the women’s Division I cyclocross and the Lees-McRae cycling team grabbed third overall in the Division I team omnium at the 2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals in Austin, Texas.
Shields (Salisbury) turned in a time of 41.48 on Saturday to become LMC’s newest national title while her sister, Katherine (Salisbury, N.C.) swiped sixth with a time of 43:32.
“It’s amazing! I’ve dreamed of being national champion ever since I was 13 years old and got second,” said Shields. “I could barely believe I was winning in the race yesterday! It happened so fast.”
“We are very proud of our success in Austin. Emily’s victory was exciting to watch unfold and a perfect ending to her career at Lees-McRae. It was a three-way battle between her, Marian, and UMass,” said Director and Head Cycling Coach Tim Hall. “Emily took the lead with a half-lap to go due to mechanicals and crashes by the other two, and never looked back once the championship was in her grasp.”
The quartet of E. Shields, K. Shields, Gunnar Bergey (Ledrach, Pa.) and Matthew Zimmer (DeWitt, Iowa) grabbed fourth in the team relay with a time of 35.32.
Bergey continued his successful weekend with a fifth place finish in the men’s cyclocross.
“Gunnar had an excellent start even though he started on the fifth row, and immediately put himself in the top five after a half-lap,” said Hall. “He smartly ran the muddy technical sections rather than risk crashing, which made a huge difference in holding on for fifth place.”
Marian grabbed the national title in the omnium while Fort Lewis finished second.
“Going into the event we were aiming to keep ourselves on the team podium, so to finish third overall is very satisfying,” praised Hall. “Second through fourth place were separated by only 15 points, which highlights the importance of depth to be successful in the team omnium.”
The Bobcats return to action February 21 when they travel to Gainesville to ride at the University of Florida.
Results link for team relay and individual races: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2015-2 Omnium Results: http://www.usacycling.org/events/2015/cxnationals/omnicxresults2015.php
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