September 25, 2006

Lees-McRae Cycling Team Clinches First Div I Mountain Bike Conference Title

Banner Elk, NC-- This past weekend the LMC Bobcat Cycling Team hosted their first ever home mountain bike race here on campus. With the development of trails over the past year the team was happy to not have to travel to host a home race. The weather held up for an exciting weekend of racing.

The first event of the weekend, Dual Slalom, was one of the most thrilling. The Dual Slalom Race is where each rider does one qualifying round and then they race off two at a time with only one left standing. The Men's A race was exciting as PJ Post beat the 2005 Junior Expert National Champion, Travis Bond, to take first place over all. Aaron Bradford showed his excellent racing form by finishing third overall. PJ Noto finished 8th, Max Wittenburg 9th, Scott Stewart 11th and Wes Shirey 20th. In the Women's A race Mo Hein worked to protect her Indivicual Conference lead by finishing first. Olivia Maurey took 3rd, Kristi Henne was 4th, Ally Stacher finished 7th,and Carla Swart was 12th. In the B Men race Paul Davis got his second win of the year while Eric Jackson finished in 4th and Chris Consorto 9th.

Saturday mid-day brought the Downhill Race. 450 vertical feet of pure excitement. In the Men's race PJ Post took 2nd, Aaron Bradford 5th, Steve Solt 7th, Scott Stewart 18th, Wes Shirey 23rd and PJ Noto 29th. In the Women's A race Mo Hein won, Olivia Maurey 3rd, Ally Stacher 9th and Carla Swart 12th. In the Men's B race Eric Jackson, Paul Davis, Andrew Lowd and Chris Consorto finished 1,2,3,4 respectively to sweep all of the top positions.

Saturday afternoon brought the Short Track event . This event is fast-paced with the riders racing around a short distance over a set time period. The LMC team totally dominated this event with Scott Stewart riding away from everyone for the win. Rounding out the finish was Danny Marquardt 2nd, Ed Burress 3rd, Wes Shirey 4th, Will Hoffarth 5th, Robert Jameson 7th, and Carson Worts 8th. In the Women's A race it was once again Mo Hein winning, with Carla Swart finishing 8th, Kristi Henne 9th, Ally Stacher 13th and Jo Markham 14th. In the Men's B race the LMC train took control of the race early with Paul Davis getting the win. Chris Pickerel was 2nd, Eric 3rd, Chris C 4th, Adam Kovaly 6th, Sean Condron 7th, Chris Saxton 10th, Diego Ramirez 12th, and Jesse Hayes 13th. Brett Collins won the Men's C race.

Sunday morning brought rain and mud for the long Cross Country Race. With a lap of 5 miles and 600 feet of climbing, it would prove to be a day of determination to finish. Scott Stewart and Wes Shirey rode away from the field early in the 20 mile race and held on, with Scott finishing first and Wes second. Danny finished 3rd, Will 4th, Ed 7th, Robert 9th and Carson 10th. In the Women's A race a flat tire on the second lap eliminated Mo for a disappointing finish to the race. Overall Kristi finished 5th and Ally finished 8th. In the Men's B race Chris Consorto finished first, Chris P 2nd, Paul 3rd, Sean 5th and Jesse 6th.

Overall the weekend showed the strength of the team with wins in all but one of the Men's A and Women's A events and a complete sweep of all of the Men's B races.

The team will now take a week off to help out with the Cycle North Carolina event coming to Banner Elk this weekend and will then head to Florida for the Conference finals in Cross Country and Short Track. In three weeks the team will head to New Mexico to compete in their first Div I Mountain Bike National Championship after wining three straight Div II titles.