Omnium Contests Tight Heading into Final Race of Collegiate MTB

Banner Elk, N.C. - After strong performances in Saturday's short track and downhill contests, only a pair of points separate Division I leaders Lees-McRae and Fort Lewis College in the team omnium competition heading into the final race of the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. The Division II field displayed an evenly disbursed depth of talent with six schools in contention for the omnium national title before Sunday's dual slalom competition.

With many of the same players finding success in Saturday's short track contest, Fort Lewis and Lees-McRae College once again dominated in the men's DI race. After settling for second in the 2007 short track contest Fort Lewis' Benjamin Sontag earned his second national title of 2008 with a slim victory over Lees-McRae's Brad Perley and his teammate Rotem Ishay. Perley reportedly crashed into a tree, impairing a late-race surge on his home course.

"I heard the crowd yelling when he hit, but I was glad he wasn't hurt," said Sontag. "Like all competitors I want a win, but not because a rider went down, but simply because we fought to the end."

In the women's DI race Carla Swart bettered her third-place-finish from a year ago to earn another Stars-and-Stripes jersey for her Lees-McRae squad. Colorado State's Amanda Miller came in second while, Eszter Horanyi (University of Colorado-Boulder) repeated her bronze medal performance from yesterday's cross country race.

In DII Brevard's Tristan Cowie grabbed his second national title of the event taking the win on Saturday's much shorter one-mile loop course. Union's Zach Winn once again made it an exciting contest, but settled for second over teammate Greg Gibson. After finishing third in yesterday's cross country race, MIT's Katherine Harris (Cambridge, Mass.) moved up to grab the title in Saturday's DII women's short track contest, defeating Rebecca Tomaszewski of nearby Appalachian State University and last year's champion Kay Sherwood of Colorado College.

"It was another epic race today," said Harris. "My legs were weary after yesterday's cross country race and at some points, you'd hit the mud and your wheels would just spin out. It helped to know that everyone was facing that. It was a great race."

The afternoon's downhill race moved the competition three miles away from the Lees-McRae campus to Sugar Mountain Resort. Joey Schusler (University of Colorado-Boulder) made quick work of the former NMBS course, descending 1,200 feet down the face of Grandfather Mountain in 3:35:43, seven seconds faster than his teammate Brian Buell. Another pair of teammates from the University of Vermont, Adam Morse and Chris Scannel finished just off the winning pace in third and fourth.

Fort Lewis College turned in a dominating performance going one-two-three in the DI women's downhill. Last year's champion Sage Wilderman was upstaged only by teammate Emma Millar who turned in a time of 5:10.41. Their Skyhawks teammate Alisha Gibson joined them in third with rival Lees-McRae's Hannah Trimble earning fourth.

Michael Thomas of Appalachian State University had an impressive 3:49.47 to win the DII men's downhill 10 seconds ahead of his teammate Steve Trottier. Robyn Embrey (Sierra Nevada College) stepped-up her fourth-place performance from a year ago winning the DII women's downhill in formidable fashion and clocking the fastest female time of the day.

The 2008 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National overall national champions will be awarded on Sunday upon the conclusion of the dual slalom competition which is slated to begin at 8:00 a.m. on the campus of Lees-McRae College.

USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships
Banner Elk, N.C.
October 25, 2008

Division I Men's Short Track
1. Benjamin Sonntag (Fort Lewis College)
2. Brad Perley (Lees-McRae College)
3. Rotem Ishay (Fort Lewis College)
4. Martin Kell (Penn State University)
5. Scott Stewart (Lees-McRae College)

Division I Women's Short Track
1. Carla Swart (Lees-McRae College)
2. Amanda Miller (Colorado State University)
3. Eszter Horanyi (University of Colorado-Boulder)
4. Niki Dallaire (Lees-McRae College)
5. Jamie Dinkins (University of Tennessee-Chattanooga)

Division II Men's Short Track
1. Tristan Cowie (Brevard College)
2. Zach Winn (Union College)
3. Greg Gibson (Union College)
4. Logan Wetzel (Western Washington University)
5. Matthew Williams (Warren Wilson College)

Division II Women's Short Track
1. Katherine Harris (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
2. Rebecca Tomaszewski (Appalachian State University)
3. Kay Sherwood (Colorado College)
4. Melissa Marts (Colorado School of Mines)
5. Julia Tellman (Brevard College)

Division I Men's Downhill
1. Joey Schusler (University of Colorado-Boulder) 3:35:43
2. Brian Buell (University of Colorado-Boulder) 3:42.89
3. Adam Morse (University of Vermont) 3:47.11
4. Chris Scannel (University of Vermont) 3:50.18
5. Erik Nelson (University of Northern Arizona) 3:51.27

Division I Women's Downhill
1. Emma Millar (Fort Lewis College) 5:10.41
2. Sage Wilderman (Fort Lewis College) 5:16.10
3. Alisha Gibson (Fort Lewis College) 5:59.67
4. Hannah Trimble (Lees-McRae College) 6:14.37
5. Soraya Khalje (University of Colorado-Boulder) 6:30.98

Division II Men's Downhill
1. Michael Thomas (Appalachian State University) 3:49.47
2. Steve Trottier (Appalachian State University) 4:00,65
3. Michael Carpentier (Wentworth Institute) 4:06.02
4. Peter Schulz (Mesa State University) 4:11.07
5. Kevin Green (Colby College) 4:12.61

Division II Women's Downhill
1. Robyn Embrey (Sierra Nevada College) 5:09.37
2. Johanna Tuttle (Brevard College) 6:05.57
3. Christen Boyer (Colorado School of Mines) 6:08.86
4. Jamie Bourgo (Michigan Tech Copper County) 6:47.93
5. Rebecca Tomszewski (Appalachian State University) 8:21.90

Division I Team Omnium Standings
1. Lees-McRae College 512
2. Fort Lewis College 510
3. University of Colorado-Boulder 459
4. University of Vermont 263
5. Lindsey Wilson College 251

Division II Team Omnium Standings
1. Appalachian State Uninversity 448
2. Warren Wilson College 417
3. Colorado School of Mines 408
4. Brevard College 385
5. Union College 370

About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization and sanctioning body, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ members, including 57,000 competitive cyclists, 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 350 professional cyclists, and 200 certified mechanics. USA Cycling also sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive organized cycling events throughout the United States annually, as well as 1,800 clubs and teams. Associations of USA Cycling include the United States Cycling Federation (road, track & cyclo-cross), the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), the BMX Association, the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the United States Professional Racing Organization. USA Cycling is also responsible for the identification, development, support and promotion of American cyclists through various athletic initiatives and programs including the USA Cycling National Development Team, the USA Cycling Women's National Team, the USA Cycling Junior Development Team, Talent Identification and Regional Development Camps, domestic and international race calendars, direct athlete funding and support programs, and educational camps and seminars. USA Cycling also fields and supports U.S. National Teams for various international events, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, Continental Championship and World Cups across all levels and disciplines of competitive cycling. USA cycling further supports grass roots and locally-based initiatives through its 32 Local Associations and comprehensive network of licensed and certified coaches and officials. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts National Championship events for amateur and professional cyclists, awarding more than 600 national titles annually to men and women in junior, U23, masters, elite, professional and paralympic categories throughout the various disciplines of competitive cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit For media-related or general inquiries, please contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867 or

About Collegiate Cycling
Collegiate Cycling is a division of USA Cycling that includes over 4,100 student athletes and more than 300 collegiate clubs and teams. USA Cycling-Collegiate is responsible for administering competitive bicycle racing in 10 unique collegiate conferences: Atlantic, Eastern, Southeast, Midwest, South Central, North Central, North West, South West, Western, and Rocky Mountain. Collegiate Cycling also administers all four USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships: Track, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-cross, and Road. Collegiate Cycling also recognizes the achievements of collegiate clubs and student-athletes with the Stenner and Kuck Scholarships as well as the Collegiate Performance Awards. To learn more about USA Cycling-Collegiate, visit

This Article Published 2008-10-25 22:06:42 For more information contact: