Photos courtesy of Tim Hall
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - The Lees-McRae College cycling team competed at the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) road championship event hosted by Milligan College over the weekend (Apr. 6-7).
Day one (Saturday, Apr. 6) consisted of both a team time trial and also road races, while the criterium events took place on day two (Sunday, Apr. 7).
Men on Day One - The first team of Matthew Armstrong, Liam Flanagan, Daniel Jeske and Nolan VanderZwaag won the A team time trial conference championship by 14 seconds over Milligan College with a time of 21:48, while the second team of Brendan Bengtson, Will Hardin, Kent Ayers and Joseph Penley also finished fifth. Flanagan led the Bobcats with a sprint victory and conference championship in the A road race, while Jake Jones also finished close behind in 10th. VanderZwaag took 19th in the race, while Hardin and Andrew Sparks finished back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd respectively. Bengtson also crossed the line in 26th in the A race.
"Liam's sprint win was outstanding considering the quality of racers he was up against," said head coach Tim Hall. "The team did a great job holding the field together for 66 miles and getting him to the line. He delivered in impressive fashion."
The Bobcats would post three top-five finishes in the combined B/C race, with Ayers getting the win solo by several minutes over the field. Penley would finish third, while Zachary Ross would cross the line in fourth. Nicholas Sdrenka won the C category, while James Kreuzburg also finished sixth.
Women on Day One - The quartet of Svetlana Mack, Dagny Palmer, Erin Sferrazza and Marla Cline took second in the team time trial event with a time of 27:14. Ashlyn Woods led the women in the afternoon A road race event with an eighth-place finish, while Palmer finished 12th, both from a pack sprint. Sferrazza also finished close behind in 17th in the A event. Cline would take third in the B/C event as the lone Bobcat in the race.
Men on Day Two - Jones led the way finishing fifth in the A criterium event, while VanderZwaag finished eighth. Hardin would finish 14th, while Flanagan would take 18th. Jeske would finish 23rd, while Armstrong would also finish 25th. Penley won the B/C combined criterium by lapping the field in a three-man breakaway, while Ross and Ayers finished seventh and eighth respectively. Sdrenka would pick up his second win of the weekend in the C category, while Kreuzburg finished right behind him in second.
Women on Day Two - Woods took second in the A criterium, while Palmer also finished seventh.
"Ashlyn and Dagny did a great job to make the lead split and survive all the attacks coming from Milligan," said Hall. "Ashlyn was positioned well on the final lap to finish off strong for second, and was close to taking the victory. It was a great confidence booster for Dagny to be with the leaders too."
Sferrazza finished 16th in the event, while Mack also crossed the line in 21st. Cline would finish fourth in the B/C criterium as the lone Bobcat in the event.
SECCC Conference Standings - The Bobcats finished in third place in the varsity team omnium competition behind second-place SCAD-Atlanta and conference champion Milligan College. The team began the Milligan weekend 298 points down to Piedmont College in third, but the team's success at the conference championship pushed them just ahead in the end. The standings reflect points earned by members of the team during the entire six race conference schedule, two of which the Bobcats did not attend.
The Bobcats will race again on Apr. 27-28 at Appalachian State.