Bobcats Ride to Number One Ranking

Banner Elk, NC--In their first year of competition at the USA Cycling Division I level the Bobcats finished at the top of the field in overall ranking. The team beat out Fort Lewis College (Colorado) and the University of Colorado-Boulder to claim the number one position.

After several highly successful years at the Division II level under Coach Owen's leadership, the decision was made to move up to a higher level of competition for the 2006-07 season. The Bobcat cyclists competed fiercely throughout the year at the Division I level, pushing themselves to perform at an even higher level. The team not only was able to compete, but also stood on the podium in three of the four National Championships.

In September of 2006 the Bobcats sent their first team to the Collegiate Track National Championships in Indianapolis, IN. There the cyclists exceeded expectations and pedaled their way to a fourth place overall finish. In addition sophomore Kacey Manderfield finished individually on the podium three times.

The team then qualified for the Mountain Bike National Championships held in October in Angel Fire, NM. Though the Bobcats are the smallest school competing at the Div. I level, they were able to capture yet another place on the podium with a third place overall finish.

In December the team competed in the Cyclo Cross National Championships securing their first ever Division I National Title. This positioned them in the lead for the USA Cycling Overall Title as they headed into the spring Road season.

After an impressive spring season the Bobcats traveled to Lawrence, KS for the Road National Championships. Although the team finished eighth in the field their strong finishes throughout the year allowed them to maintain the first place overall finish for the year.

For look at the article on USA Cycling and complete rankings, click here.