Despite cold, rainy weather, the Lees-McRae College cycling team won its third straight Division II USA Cycling Collegiate National Mountain Bike Championship at Seven Springs, Penn., Oct. 28-30. Only one other team-and no other Division II team-has earned this honor.
Individually, team members accumulated 15 medals, including five first place finishes. Senior Brent Brookwalter and junior Monique Hein earned omnium (or overall) titles in the men's and women's Division II categories, respectively.
The first event of the weekend, the short track competition, got the team off to a good start on Friday, with four top-ten finishes in the men's race (including Brookwalter, who won the event) and the two top spots in the women's race (Hein finished first with senior Clara Beard close behind in second). Both teams took first place overall.
Friday afternoon featured one of the more fun events for spectators: the mountain cross. In the men's field sophomore David Flynn finished fourth, and Hein finished third. The women's team finished first overall and the men's team finished second overall to conference rival East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn.
Saturday's cross country race featured miserable conditions, including a wind chill factor that hovered around zero. The team continued to find success, with Beard and Hein finishing second and fifth and Brookwalter taking his second win of the weekend (and his second cross country medal in a row), posting the fastest time of the day in both Division I and Division II. The women's team finished second overall and the men's team finished first, placing Lees-McRae well ahead of Union College (Kentucky), the 2002 national champions.
Sunday brought warmer temperatures and the downhill competition. The course proved very difficult because of mud and the terrain, but the Bobcats handled it well. Flynn and Hein both finished second, securing a first-place overall finish for the men and a second-place finish for the women.
Complete results are listed below.
The team will now take a short break before competing for another national title in December at the Liberty Mutual U.S. National Cyclo-cross Championships in Providence, Rhode Island.
Complete Results (Omnium Men) 1. Brent Brookwalter; 1. Monique Hein 2. Clara Beard (Downhill) 2. David Flynn 5. Brent Brookwalter 14. Phillip Watters 16. Wes Shirey; 2. Monique Hein 9. Katie Getchell 10. Clara Beard 14. Olivia Maurey (Cross Country) 1. Brent Brookwalter 6. Scott Stewart 23. Wes Shirey; 2. Clara Beard, 5. Monique Hein 15. Katie Getchell (Mountain Cross) 4. Daivd Flynn 15. Phillip Watters 19. Brent Brookwalter 20 Scott Stewart; 3. Monique Hein 6. Clara Beard 11. Kristi Henne 13. Olivia Maurey (Short Track) 1. Brent Brookwalter 5. Danny Marquardt 6. Ed Burress 9. Scott Stewart; 1. Monique Hein 2. Clara Beard 12. Kristi Henne 15. Rebecca Conklin