Banner Elk, NC--On a crisp, but sunny afternoon competition for the USA Cycling Collegiate National Short Track Championships began back on the campus of Lees-McRae. The newly chartered course was broken in quickly by riders anxious to claim a national title in short track, which is exactly what LMC freshman Mike Anderson (Alpena, MI) did in Division I competition.
The Women's Division II riders kicked off the competition Saturday afternoon on a course rerouted due to trail conditions only hours before the race began. Kay Sherwood of Colorado University raced to first place while Melissa Marts, a rider for Colorado School of Mines claimed the silver. Kylie Krauss of Warren Wilson College claimed the third spot on the podium, adding to her first place finish in yesterday's grueling cross country race.
Amidst a boisterous, cowbell-ringing crowd Collin Cares (Colorado College)outsped the competition in Men's Division II by twenty seconds to claim his second national title for the weekend. Teammate Mitchell Hoke grabbed second place by beating third place finisher Kyle McGilvray of Western Washington University by a mere seven-tenths of a second.
In Women's Division I Short Track action Eszter Horanyi of Colorado University outpedaled yesterday's cross country winner, Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona) by 1:22 to claim the national title. Host school Lees-McRae saw cyclist Carla Swart (Buford, GA) ride her way through the mud to a third place finish.
Next to finish for the Bobcats was Ally Stacher (Etna, CA) who pressed on despite a painful foot injury obtained in yesterday's muddy cross country race to take eighth. Teammate Jo Markham (Colliersville, TN) finished 19 seconds behind her, claiming ninth place for the Bobcats. Kristi Henne (Plainveiw, AR) finished 22nd in the field.
Freshman Mike Anderson (Alpena, MI), of host school Lees-McRae, raced to first place in Division I Men's Short Track beating out the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Cross Country Champion Benjamin Sonntag (Fort Lewis) for the national title. Tim Allen of NAU/VooDoo claimed third in this intensely fought race.
After claiming the national title, the Bobcats added a seventh place finish with Eric Thompson (Shoreview, MN). Aaron Bradford (Auburn, WA) managed to hang on for a 19th place finish, giving him more points toward the individual omnium title he is pursuing this weekend. Randy Laprairie (Warren, MI), filling in for an injured Scott Stewart (Oxford, MI), ended up 33rd in a race he wasn't planning on competing in.
After completion of three of the four mountain bike cycling events, it is Fort Lewis leading the way in Division I Team Omnium with Lees-McRae hot on their tail. The University of Colorado at Boulder currently sits in third.
The USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships conclude Sunday with Dual Slalom competition beginning at 8:00am on the campus of Lees-McRae. An awards ceremony will immediately follow the competition.
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PICTURED: Top left - Mike Anderson
Bottom (upper) - Mike Anderson
Bottom (lower) - Carla Swart