Cyclo-Cross Riders Three-Peat: Swart Crowned DI National Champion

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- The Lees-McRae Bobcats cycling team captured their third consecutive Collegiate Cyclo-Cross Division I National Championship this past weekend in Kansas City, Missouri with junior Carla Swart once again paving the way for the squad.

Swart (Buford, Ga.) finished first in the Collegiate Division I Women's Race in 42.41, beating her nearest competitor by 31 seconds. Ally Stacher (Etna, Calif.) rode to fourth place, followed by Jo Markham (Collierville, Tenn.) in 10th and Kira Shoemaker (Aiken, S.C.) in 12th. Kristi Henne (Plainview, Ark.) and Kathryn Smith (Greer, S.C.) also finished in the top twenty, riding to 16th and 20th respectively.

In the men's Division I race, Eric Thompson (Shoreview, Minn.) finished third. Scott Stewart (Oxford, Mich.) finished 9th and Scott Jackson (Chatham, N.J.) finished 10th to round out the Bobcats in the top 10. Four other Bobcat riders finished in the top 25: Nick Dale (Raleigh, N.C.) 14th, Brad Perley (Kennebunk, Maine)15th, Aaron Bradford (Auburn, Wash.) 19th and Peter Haile (Fort Collins, Colo.) 24th. Chris Pickerell (Harrisburg, Va.) finished 26th just missing the top 25.

Leading up to the Collegiate Championships, Jo Markham placed second in the Women's Under 29B Race, and Nick Dale and Ben Corbalis (Attleboro, Mass.) finished fourth and 15th respectively in the Men's Under 29B Race.

In the Under 23 Races, Ally Stacher finished second on the women's side, and on the men's side Eric Thompson finished eighth, Nick Dale finish 25th and Cruise Bogedin (Rochester, Mich.) finished 36th.

"I can't say enough about the way the team performed last weekend," head Coach Brian Sheedy said. "Everyone gave it 100% and proudly represented Lees-McRae like champions. The culmination of every individual effort was what we needed to capture the win over our strongest rival, Fort Lewis College. Coach Farina and I would like to thank Ben Corbalis and Cruise Bogedin for their selfless roles in supporting the team. It is just awesome to finish the semester with such a team victory."

Cyclo-cross is a combination of a mountain bike course and a road course. Competitors race around track made of elements from a road course and a mountain bike course. The riders travel around the course as many laps as they can as close to forty minutes as they can. The winner travels more laps in the fastest time.

Pictured: Swart