September 18, 2011

Follow the cycling team at track nationals

Throughout the week and the coming weekend, LMC sophomore Nate Weston will be keeping Bobcat Nation updated on all the goings on as the cycling team goes in search of its 11th national championship at track nationals in Indianapolis, Ind. Go Bobcats!!

Entry #5 - Nate Weston (Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 10:15 p.m.)

Spencer Oswald, Zach Felpel, and Iggy Silva is all I have to say!!!!

Today was a day on which Bobcat Nation could be at its proudest, as Spencer Oswald, Zac Felpel, and Iggy Silva brought home an individual national championship in the men's point race. The race started out with Iggy Silva getting in a breakaway, and then quickly lapping the field which gave him an automatic 20 points along with his three companions in the breakaway.

For the rest of the race, the lead switched between Iggy and Jesse Goodrich of the University of Colorado who also accompanied Iggy in lapping the field. It came down to the final two laps where Iggy had to win the sprint to clinch the national title. As the field crossed the line with two laps to go, Zach Felpel put in the attack of his life, dropping the whole field and taking just Iggy with him who then soloed across the line to win the final sprint and the national championship. It was definitely teamwork at its best. This was the highlight of the day, and put away any dissatisfaction the team had regarding the weekend. To top it off, the team took fourth place overall and would get to stand on the podium after all the hard work they put in.

That evening the team went out to a curry restaurant called Yats to celebrate. For those five hours, all the fatigue the team had been struggling from and the illness that so many were fighting, seemed to disappear as they came together as one family to celebrate not an individual national championship, but to celebrate what they had accomplished as a team and family. Congratulations to the Lees McRae Bobcats on their fourth place finish overall and the national championship in the men's points race. Now the team will sleep in and head back home on Sunday after a successful week here in Indianapolis.

Entry #4 - Nate Weston (Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 8:30 a.m.)

"Great moments…are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here tonight boys. That's what you've earned here tonight." by Herb Brooks

Today is the final day of the 2011 Collegiate Track National Championships and the Bobcats are sitting in 4th place overall leading Lindsey Wilson by just 9 mere points. However, the Bobcats will have the advantage as today is the best day for them to make a move with the events on the schedule; mens point race, mens team pursuit, womens 200 meter, and womens match sprint. The team is struggling from sickness but are motivated to finish this event out.

What an exciting day it was today when the women went out and blazed a 2nd fastest time in the 3km team pursuit to take second to Marian University. The womens team was comprised of: Rachel Warner, Megan Baab, Cinthia Lehner, and Jerika Hutchinson.

Another great performance came out of the coed team sprint when they slotted a 3rd fastest time in the morning qualifier then followed it up taking 3rd place in the evening over Army. The coed team sprint consisted of Wes Rhoads, Lilly Martinez, Megan Baab, Ach Felpel, Iggy Silva, and Jake Boone. This was definitely the event of the night with the majority of the team racing in it and the fact it was the one event they Bobcats could compete as a team and not individually.

To finish up the evening, Megan Babb and Jen Greenburg raced the points race where Megan had an impressive showing taking 16th place overall as a freshman. The Bobcats hope to bring this strong momentum into the final day where they look to close down the gap on Fort Lewis and hold of Lindsey Wilson. Make sure to stay tuned through twitter throughout today as the Bobcats make a late move to steal a step on the podium.

Entry #3 - Nate Weston (Friday, September 16, 2011 - 5:20 p.m.)

"Common men go nowhere, you have to be uncommon" as said by Herb Brooks. This was the message for the team today going into day #1 of their bid to win the 2011 Collegiate National Track Championship.

The women were first to start out with a three kilometer individual pursuit. For all you non-track geeks out there, this is basically an individual time trial for three kilometer. In this event, the Bobcats lined up five women: Jen Greenburg, Elle Dalton, Jerika Hutchinson, Cinthia Lehner, and Rachel Warner. As each of them went off, it was obvious they were the one of if not the best women's team here at nationals with all of them slotting a top 25 result. On top of that, the Bobcats have the reigning national champion in this event in Rachel Warner. When it was all said and done, three of our five girls took top-15 with Rachel finishing an impressive third place. These results put the Bobcats in a solid second place overall to start off this national championship, a great result.

Next up was the men's four kilometer individual pursuit where the Bobcats lined up four riders: Iggy Silva, Spencer Oswalt, Jake Boone, and Sam Massie. They were faced with some stiff competition in Marian University and Fort Lewis College. When it was all said and done the Bobcats put two of four riders in the top 30, bringing the Bobcats overall placing down to sixth place going into the final two events of day number one.

A quick hour and a half break allowed the team to refuel and get on the track to loosen up the legs before the evening races began. First off were the men racing the one kilometer race. This is a very short and intense effort lasting anywhere from 70-80 seconds for a good time. The Bobcats lined up Iggy Silva, Jake Boone, Zach Felpel, Spencer Oswald, and Wes Rhoads. The men's team finished the night out fighting taking three of the top thirty spots. Next off were the women doing the 500 meter race. This was a whole new level of intensity as the race was so short, the riders had to get up to max speed immediately and hold it for about 45 seconds.

The women lined up Lilly, Elle Dalton, Cinthia Lehner, Jerika Hutchinson, Megan Baab, and Jen Greenburg. The women finished up taking a similar three of the top thirty spots which wrapped up the evening.

After day number one the Bobcats sat in seventh place overall, 68 points out of second place. The following two days of racing bring a significant quantity of opportunities for the Bobcats to move up in their overall position which the team is very motivated to do. Make sure and keep up to date by the minute by following the Bobcats on Twitter @BobcatAthletics. GO BOBCATS!!!

Entry #2 - Nate Weston (Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 10:00 p.m.)

It is amazing how smooth things go when you have a properly working bus and trailer. Today was quite a turnaround from yesterday's long adventure. The team started off the day sleeping in till 9:30 before funneling down to a waiting breakfast buffet. While the riders were sleeping and gradually making their way to breakfast, the staff as usual had an early start to the morning with a 6 a.m. wake up call to get groceries, pick up the fixed trailer, load luggage, and make sure everything was ready logistically to finish the trip to Indianapolis.

After a short two hour bus ride the team arrived at Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis to get in a final prep ride before the competition begins tomorrow. Rain was in the forecast and was threatening all afternoon but the team was able to get in their ride and to dinner before the rain arrived. The host school for this event, Marion University, put on a dinner for all teams on campus that included fajitas, chips, and plenty of cookies and brownies for desert. Yes I said cookies and brownies!!!!

Shortly after dinner it was off to the hotel which the team will call home for the next five days. On the agenda was a shower, unpack, mechanical adjustments to bikes, rider interviews, and a team meeting, then it was off to bed as tomorrow brings an early start with races starting at 9 a.m.
The attitude has definitely changed here. You can tell its game time as the riders are becoming more focused and ready to get the job done. Sure there is time for joking around and having fun, but this team knows they have a shot at bringing home several individual national championships and a team title as well, so it's time to put the pedal to the medal. Good night from Indianapolis. GO BOBCATS!!!

Entry #1 - Nate Weston (Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 9:50 a.m.)

Good morning from Louisville, Ky. The Bobcats are still asleep as the morning begins for staff with an early morning breakfast buffet here at the team hotel. The morning will be spent getting the team trailer fixed and ready to depart by 10a.m. to start the final leg to Indianapolis, as the team rests up after a very long day of travel yesterday which unfolded like this.

The morning began with the team getting breakfast at school, loading up the trailer, and filming a quick Minute with Mac (which you can find here: www.lmcbobcats.com). The team departed at 9:15 for an eight hour drive to Indianapolis with a quick lunch stop planned at teammate Wes Rhoads' house in Lexington, Ky. However, a couple hours into the trip, we started to find out there were other plans for us that day. It started with what felt like a loose wheel on the bus resulting in us finding some mechanics in Kentucky, who just happened to be from Beech Mountain, N.C. They were great mechanics and got us back on the road quickly and cheaply.

Our next stop came in Lexington, at teammate Wes' house where his parents had a pasta dinner waiting for us. The home-made meal was just the ticket after an already long day in the bus. This was short-lived however, as the goal was just to get to Indianapolis and get settled in so the team could rest.

A couple hours later while passing through Louisville, Ky., the team noticed a horrendous noise coming from the trailer. After pulling over in downtown, the problem was quickly diagnosed; one of the tires on the trailer had literally disintegrated (mechanical #2). However this was no match for Coach Luke Winger (who I'm pretty sure after witnessing his tire change has worked in a NASCAR pit crew), who fixed the tire and we were back on the road, only two hours outside of Indianapolis.

To our dismay disaster struck again and this time there was no quick fix. While traveling down the interstate, another tuck pulled up alongside us saying our trailer tire was smoking. We quickly pulled over to find the worst. The tire that Coach Winger had just changed now had a bungee cord stuck in it, causing it to flat while the wheel on the opposite side of the trailer now had a blown bearing (mechanicals 3, LMC cycling team 0).

As I said this was no easy fix, for we were stuck waiting on the side of the interstate for over three hours while Coach Winger miraculously organized a plan to get the team into hotel rooms to rest, and the trailer into a shop to get fixed in the early morning. It's times like these when you see a true team come together, and this situation was no exception for the Lees-McRae cycling team. So many things had gone wrong this day, more than anyone could imagine, yet the team still had a positive outlook and spent the time stuck on the side of the road doing things such as games and homework together. This is what separates Lees-McRae from so many other teams in that they are a family, and it shows prominently in situations like these.

The night ended with the team checking into a Holliday Inn just outside of Louisville, Ky. and will hopefully be leaving in the early morning to finish the trip to Indianapolis. You can also follow the team through Twitter at @LMCBobcats. GO BOBCATS!!