LMC Cycling Continues Torrid Run at High Country MTB Challenge

LMC Cycling Continues Torrid Run at High Country MTB Challenge

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae cycling team hosted the High Country Mountain Bike Challenge over the weekend on the campus of Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C.

The Bobcats amassed a total of nine victories and 19 podium placings at their annual home mountain bike race. Over 150 competitors throughout the Southeastern Collegiate Conference were on campus to compete in five separate events at the High Country MTB Challenge: cross-country, dual slalom, team relay, short-track, and downhill. 

Phil Kmetz (Keene, N.H.), two-time defending National Champion in the Dual Slalom and Downhill, secured victories in both events this weekend while teammate Cody Phillips (Monrivia, Calif.) followed with second and third place finishes in each, respectively. 

Kmetz now has three victories this season in gravity and summed up the weekend, "Last year I had a disappointing finish at our home race, so it was good to come out of this weekend with two first place finishes. It's important to make a strong showing in front of a home crowd, and to put on a good show those who came out to watch. For the downhill race, there were +100 enthusiastic fans lining the side of the rock garden, which is more than I saw at most races this year. I think that means we're doing something right!"

Captain Matthew Clements (New Market, Md.) took the lead on the first lap in the Short-Track and never lost it in the 30 minute event. Clements had this to say about his success, "It being my first collegiate victory was amazing and for it to be my senior year and at our home race was perfect. It's really just the first stepping stone on the way to nationals for me and I'm excited for the rest of the race season to come."

Freshman Nolan VanderZwaag (Holland, Mich.) continues to impress as he won both Men B events in the cross-country and short-track, and sophomore Samantha Croft (Auckland, New Zealand) secured two victories as well in Women B in the cross-country and dual slalom.  The Florida freshman duo of Cody Burnett (Lakeland, Fla.) and Tyler Mayer (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) also racked up a couple of podium placings in Men B. 

The team relay foursome of Gunnar Bergey (Ledrach, Pa.), Clements, Emma Klingaman (Idyllwild, Calif.), and Hailey Sarausky (Littleton, N.C.) placed second in the team relay behind King University, just edging third place Brevard College.  "The second place result is our best ever in a team relay event, and without a doubt we surprised ourselves," said Coach Tim Hall.

"Overall we are very pleased with our team's effort and success.  Spirits are high and the determination to improve is there.  To perform this well in the SECCC says a lot about our team's ability and desire, but we still have a lot of improvements to make before nationals in Snowshoe," said Coach Hall.

The Bobcats next mountain bike race is on October 3-4 at King University in Bristol, Tenn.  Full results are posted at USA Cycling: http://www.usacycling.org/results/?permit=2015-3155

Cross-Country - XC
Men A
2nd – Matt Clements
3rd – Cody Phillips
4thJack Perry
7th – Gunnar Bergey
9thSamuel Dobrozsi
11thEvan Christenson
12thMichael Zanetti
19thConnor Stark
20thConnor Simmons 

Women A
4th  – Emma Klingaman
5th – Hailey Sarausky

Men B
1st – Nolan VanderZwaag
3rd  – Cody Burnett
5th  – Tyler Mayer
9thCurtis Hoyt

Women B
1st – Samantha Croft

Men C
2ndCole Kraft

Dual Slalom - DS
Men A
1st – Phil Kmetz
2nd – Cody Phillips
5th – Matt Clements

Women A
6th – Hailey Sarausky
10th – Emma Klingaman

Men B
5th – Jack Perry
7th  – Cody Barnett
13th – Nolan VanderZwaag
18th – Connor Stark

Women B
1st – Sammy Croft

Men C
1st – Cole Kraft
2nd – Curtis Hoyt
5th – Brad Ramsey

Short Track Cross-Country – STXC
Men A
1st – Matt Clements
5th – Jack Perry
8th  – Cody Phillips
9th – Gunnar Bergey
10th – Evan Christenson
11th – Samuel Dobrozsi
20th – Connor Stark
24th – Connor Simmons

Women A
5th – Hailey Sarausky
6th – Emma Klingaman

Men B
1st – Nolan VanderZwaag
2nd – Tyler Mayer
5th – Cody Barnett
9th  – Curtis Hoyt

Women B
4th – Samantha Croft

Men C
4th  – Cole Kraft

Team Relay – Short Track
1st – King Univ.
2nd – Lees-McRae College
3rd – Brevard College #1
4th – Brevard College #2

Downhill – DH
Men A
1st – Phil Kmetz
3rd – Cody Phillips
5th – Matt Clements
16th – Gunnar Bergey

Women A
2nd – Hailey Sarausky
9th  – Emma Klingaman

Men C
1st – Cole Kraft
5th – Brad Ramsey

- LMC -