Race Report - US Collegiate MTB National Championships

Oct 28, 2013
by Jay Schultz  
With recent success holding the 2011 and 2012 US National Championship at Beech Mountain Resort, USA Cycling and the Beech staff were able to work out yet another deal for a third straight Nationals competition in the High Country of North Carolina, bringing the 2013 Collegiate Nationals to the Southeast.

This NatChamps would allow both Division 1 and Division schools do battle in Short Track, Cross Country, Downhill, Dual Slalom, Team Omnium, Individual Omnium, and new for this season, Team XC Relay. Each with the reward of bragging rights and that 2013 red, white and blue USA jersey.

With the “late” start of the college school year compared to the regular racing season, that pretty much leaves the month of October for the Collegiate Nationals to be penciled into the schedule. Though the weather was not expected to be as "challenging" as previous years (ie. Angel Fire and 12+ inches of snow), considering the old wise tail and adding up the number of foggy days in the month of August, meant snow was highly likely and a good bet for the weekend. The forecast called for a dip in the jet stream, temps to drop, and…. YES, some powder.

With that cold front on the move and some spotty flurries all day Thursday, you had better planned for a Thursday evening arrival. The overnight forecast called for a dip in temps of about 15 - 20 degrees and a couple inches of snow. Early Friday morning travel plans didn’t sound like the best decision as the roads were bound to be nasty.

The House that the Tornado’s Built - Thursday night was load up on the protein and carbs night. Chicken for 20 riders anyone? Thanks to Brevard College’s Dan Ennis, Brian Sheedy and the rest of the crew for their hospitality over the 3 day weekend.

The Weathermen were right this weekend. It was a COLD morning to kick off three days of MTB action and riders were blessed with 1 to 2 inches of snow, depending on where you were on the mountain.

Bitter Cold Practice - There weren’t many riders standing idle before the start of the Short Track Race. It was circles turning circles right up to the whistle just to keep the blood flowing and stay warm.

It’s Official – The first event of the 2013 USAC Collegiate Nationals was the Men’s Division 1 Short Track race. Samuel Morrison of Colorado University got the holeshot from the Moto start and never looked back.

The Attack of the Ralphie – While CU teammate Sam Morrison put some distance between him and the second spot Chris Baddick just hung back behind local Lees-McRae’s Kerry Werner. Ralphie the Buffalo attacked just as they finished lap two ending with a CU 1-2 podium. Home field advantage unfortunately wouldn’t stick for Kerry.

Score One for Colorado – This was just the beginning for the Buffalos. Seems those folks at altitude really can pedal. Your Men’s Division 1 National Champion from CU, Samuel Morrison.

Under View Haus - Local Zach Valdez of Brevard College leads the pack of the Division 2 short track riders under View Haus. The re-occurring theme for the short track events was,…… you take the hole shot, you take the gold = National Champion.

Nothing major, just a short Short Track climb….. It really just came down to a game of sprinting and pedal power.

Short Track Results:

Men Division 2:
1 362.83 Zachary Valdez Hemet, CA 290 Brevard College
2 368.37 Michael Keith Mars Hill, NC 270 Mars Hill University
3 373.91 Timothy Jenkinson Mars Hill, NC 267 Mars Hill University

Men Division 1:
1 310.81 Samuel Morrison Boulder, CO 57 University of Colorado Boulder
2 314.30 Chris Baddick Boulder 4 University of Colorado Boulder
3 317.79 Kerry Werner Banner Elk, NC 1 Lees-McRae College

Women Division 2:
1 406.37 Erica Zaveta Brevard, NC 351 Brevard College
2 412.93 Alexis Skarda Boulder, CO 375 Colorado Mesa University
3 419.49 Sarah Hill Brevard, NC 371 Brevard College

Women Division 1:
1 373.29 Kate Courtney Kentfield, CA 156 Stanford University
2 378.58 Lauren Catlin Fairfax, CA 153 Fort Lewis College
3 383.87 Allie Dragoo Grand Rapids, MI 160 Marian University

Full Short Track Results

Ground Control to Major Tom – The epicenter of USAC Officiating and Race Control

Can Someone Turn the Wind Off Please – Better bundle up, it was a long and COLD five minute ride up. I hope this thing doesn’t get stuck.

Seasons? We Don’t Need No Stinking Seasons………… What a difference 30 days makes. The picture on the left is from the Beech Mountain Gravity Series Race 3 on Sept 29 and the picture on the right is from this weekend. Mother Nature didn’t waste any time wiping the trees clean and exchanging dirt for snow.

Rider’s Proceed with Extreme Caution - We can’t say we ever recall this much snow on a DH course in the recent past. It’s not enough that it’s a challenge to get the spikes to hook up on polished piece of granite, much less one covered in two inches of snow.

Dirt Berm or Ice Berm - Tom Holaday, University of Wisconsin-Madison, doesn’t seem phased by the fact that berm being one solid piece of ice. Just out of curiosity, I personally tried to put a dent in that berm with my foot, to no avail, it was SOILD and SLICK.

Do I Go Right?......... Nik Benko, University of California-Santa Barbara, did as99% of the field did, Stay right. Either way, it’s a challenge that would keep you on your toes. Day 1 of DH runs claimed lots of victims with the snow/ice covered granite.

Or Do I Go Left? The locals and the skilled were the only brave souls to choose the left line. Those that are in the know, know that standing there looking at it gets into the mind. But if you can keep your momentum it’s a much easier faster line (Easier Said Than Done). Adam Digby, who ended up taking the silver for Fort Lewis College 24 hours later, had no problem.

Andrew Slowey of Front Range Community College and your 2013 Division 2 Men’s DH National Champion gets a vote for one of my personal favorite shots from the weekend. Nicely done dude and Congrats on the Star and Stripes jersey!

Stefan’s at Top of the World - Stefan Gottschalk, representing Northeastern University in Division 1, at the “Top of the World” during Saturday practice.

The Sun Will Come Out……. Just for a Moment – Just for a minute maybe two, the fog, clouds, and flurries would disappear. Though it wouldn’t last, for 5 minutes… tops , it offered a heck of a view across NC’s High Country.

Screw It, I Am Dressing Warm – Cody Scott was dressed to impress. I am sure he was warm, though I struggle to see how he stayed so loose in that bulk. He ended the weekend in 7th in D2 for Western State Colorado University.

Colors, Colors….. Colors. Would it be practice makes perfect for Adam Digby of Fort Lewis College?
He Should be Used to Air Time and Traveling Mach 2 - A 13th place finish in the end for Scott Hoenisch USAF Academy. One would expect the USAF one the podium more often, speed and flight is second nature to these guys.

TQ for Women - It probably was a good bet that Fort Lewis’ Becky Gardner would qual first, and she delivered on that bet. Could she keep the momentum on race day? Hmmmmm. Good bet too? Likely.

Back to the House that Brevard Built - After Friday’s event, it was back to the Brevard College House, to thaw out, refuel, take a quick nap and do some last minute prep work for a full day of XC and DH action on Saturday.

I Smell the Birth of a Love-Hate Rivalry - The sun was hardly up as the D1 Men come around to finish lap one. Luke Vrouwenvelder keeping that CG low on the icy descent. He finished a convincing 5th with an all CU and Lees-McRae top five podium

Kerry Werner of Lees-McRae just focused on the ground in front him pretty much the entire way up the long climb from the base of the mountain to the lift house at the top. I really think the dude should give DH a shot….. on the descent of the final lap, as the course dropped in at Summer road he was 7 seconds behind winner Chris Baddick of CU, but finished just 0.03 sec behind his rival at the finish. It was quite an epic to watch. Unbelievable finish!

Crystalized Roost - A bit different roost than the usual, at least to what we are used to seeing.

It was all about getting the holeshot in Division 1 for the Ladies XC. Division champions got the starting spot choice and lined the front row.

More Moto Action, Without the Motor. “Rider’s, go on the whistle anywhere in the next 30 seconds.” The Women’s Division 2 XC start. After 2 laps, Alexia Skarda, Colorado Mesa U., would be crowned NatChamp.

The 2013 Women’s Division 1 XC National Champion Kate Courtney from Stanford University throws her hands up in celebration as she crosses the finish.

XC Results:

Men Division 2:
1 280.42 Zachary Valdez Hemet, CA 1:26:26 290 Brevard College
2 287.30 Timothy Jenkinson Mars Hill, NC 1:28:15 267 Mars Hill University
3 294.18 Dylan Johnson Mclean, VA 1:28:32 269 Brevard College

Men Division 1:
1 231.96 Chris Baddick Boulder 1:19:24 4 University of Colorado Boulder
2 236.22 Kerry Werner Banner Elk, NC 1:19:27 1 Lees-McRae College
3 240.48 Sepp Kuss Durango 1:23:03 41 University of Colorado Boulder

Women Division 2:
1 456.09 Alexis Skarda Boulder, CO 1:07:55 375 Colorado Mesa University
2 460.55 Kaysee Armstrong Whitesburg, TN 1:11:16 391 King University
3 465.02 Erica Zaveta Brevard, NC 1:11:34 351 Brevard College

Women Division 1:
1 368.07 Kate Courtney (1 - Cat1) Kentfield, CA 1:06:29 156 Stanford University
2 373.62 Lauren Catlin Fairfax, CA 1:06:34 153 Fort Lewis College
3 379.17 Sofia Gomez Villafane Durango, CO 1:09:37 214 Fort Lewis College

Full XC Results

Where’d the SnowGo? The sun decided it wanted to come out and play on Saturday. Adam Gagne of the University of Massachusetts Amherst kicking off the late afternoon practice session.

UC Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Team
Lead and Follow – Unsure of your line through the nastiness? Hook up and run the train with someone who’s got it all figured out. Nik Benko, University of California-Santa Barbara, leads the train with a fellow teammate.

Pump It Cody – The “small” rock garden tried to warn riders what they were in store for. I think most of the first time visitors to Beech had more than a few pucker moments. Cody Scott riding for Western State Colorado University with some pump action during the Saturday afternoon practice session.

Zach Graveson of Fort Lewis (9th Division 1) was a pleasure to watch/shoot all weekend. Another Brook Mac, always gas on, always pinned. Thanks dude, makes our job easy and fun!

UC Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Team
Just Be Nice! - Josh Coit representing Ripon College is a heck of a guy. Be nice, say “Hi”, and don’t be afraid to shoot the sh&T with your photogs. I might be old and look like a long haired hippy, but I don’t I am that scary. Good to see you Josh and congrats on the 12th place finish in D2.

Everything’s Better with Bacon - As expected the Rock Garden was the place to be for qualifying and race run. They say everything’s better with Bacon….. and the occasional photo bomb, props to the dude in the blue hat.

Quite a different view of the Rock Garden 24 hours later with just traces of snow and warmer temps. That made for some more grip and faster course times. University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Adam Gagne finishing 17th in Men’s D1.

Max Morgan is known down in these parts, though this weekend he was representing the University of Vermont. He kicked off the weekend in stellar fashion with the top spot in qualifying, but literally lost his momentum during his race run and settled for P4 with a time of 2:29.447, 3.5 secs off the pace.

Another snap worthy of the report. Like I said, Zach Graveson = always pinned = GetMorrrPhotos!

The defending Champion JD Swanguen was back going for the two-fer representing Lindsey Wilson College with the star-n-striped sleeve. Seems it wasn’t his weekend with a wash out in qualifying right in front of me and race run time of 2:26.291 (bronze) which was only 0.321 off the top spot. Three tenths splitting the top three is some tight ass racing.

Always Head Down Elbows Out - Even when Lees McRae’s Cody Phillips is riding slow, he looks fast. Always pinned with head down and elbows out. He’s been a pleasure to shoot all season and you can count on him to keep it interesting. He finished 19th in Men’s Division 1.

Men’s Division 1 local Lees McRae College rider Brian Jorgensen shows us his version of “Hump Day” in the open slope which was good enough for the lucky number 13 spot.

Evening Shadows - With qually runs running into the 1700 hour, the sun set behind the trees and mountain casting it’s shadows over a majority of the course. Lukas Erdmann launches into the G out before the Hip. Luksas ended the day in the 34th spot Men’s Division 1 representing the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

There were only a handful of ladies that were putting space between their bike and the ground during race runs. Felicia Stancil of Marian University with a bit of a huck, good enough for P6 in Division 1. Nicely done!

Miranda Gajda of the University of Vermont in the machined lower part of the course rounding a berm. She finished in the 13th spot with a 3:41.462 in Division 1.

Your Men’s Division 1 DH National Champion, local App State’s Alex Dawson with a time of 2:25.970 over Adam Digby. Home field advantage? ………… In Division 2 Andrew Slowey of Front Range Community College took gold with a 2:27.765.

Your Women’s Division 1 DH National Champion, a name everyone in the DH scene recognizes, Becky Gardner of Fort Lewis College. She laid down a time of 2:58.418 some 20 secs over her closest competitor in Division 1. In Division 2, it was Brevard College’s Erica Zaveta, whom racked up a number of other medals in other competitions over the weekend, with a time of 3:08.401. Erica is a machine!

Downhill Results:

Men Division 2:
1 Andrew Slowey Martinsville, NJ 2:27.765 322 Front Range Community College
2 Daniel Ennis Pisgah Forest, NC 2:29.680 309 Brevard College
3 Mac Banner Etowah, NC 2:33.608 299 Brevard College

Men Division 1:
1 Alex Dawson Cary, NC 2:25.970 92 Appalachian State University
2 Adam Digby San Juan Capistrano, CA 2:26.279 93 Fort Lewis College
3 John Swanguen San Diego 2:26.291 123 Lindsey Wilson College

Women Division 2:
1 Erica Zaveta Brevard, NC 3:08.401 351 Brevard College
2 Coleen Pacurariu Usaf Academy, CO 3:17.669 387 US Air Force Academy
3 Christen Boyer Aspen, CO 3:19.414 383 Colorado School of Mines

Women Division 1:
1 Rebecca Gardner Marlboro, NY 2:58.418 196 Fort Lewis College
2 Shayona Glynn Norco, CA 3:20.956 216 Marian University
3 Hailey Sarausky Littleton, NH 3:25.457 185 Lees-McRae College

Full Downhill Results

Dual Slalom Practice started at 0730, before the sun came up. To give some time for everyone to roll out of bed and fuel up for one final day of competition, USAC officials extended practice about another 30 minutes. The first qually runs commenced just as the sun played peek-a-boo over the ridge.

Brevard College’s Dan Ennis took the gold in Men’s Division 1 Dual Slalom. The entire BC team is one heck of a force to be reckoned with. No other team held more combined podium spots after the 3 day competition. Also, thanks again Dan for the lodging invite. Greatly appreciated!

Logan Luker of Cumberland University. He finished 41 of 54 in Men’s Division 1.

Phil Cowan (Bib 91) of Fort Lewis College took the Bronze and Tanner Hurst (Bib 35) of Cumberland University the 13th spot in Men’s Division 1 Dual Slalom.

Dual Slalom Results:

Men Division 2:
1 506.63 Daniel Ennis Pisgah Forest, NC 309 Brevard College
2 509.08 Mac Banner Etowah, NC 299 Brevard College
3 511.54 Robert Rimmer Friendsville, TN 280 Virginia Intermont College

Men Division 1:
1 437.87 Joshua Patton East Bernstadt, KY 119 Lindsey Wilson College
2 440.74 John Swanguen San Diego 123 Lindsey Wilson College
3 443.61 Phil Cowan Durango, CO 91 Fort Lewis College

Women Division 2:
1 502.22 Essence Barton Thousand Oak, CA 389 California Lutheran University
2 506.84 Coleen Pacurariu Usaf Academy, CO 387 US Air Force Academy
3 511.46 Christen Boyer Aspen, CO 383 Colorado School of Mines

Women Divison 1:
1 459.04 Brittany Clawson Sandpoint, ID 154 Fort Lewis College
2 463.89 Crystal Kalogris Fort Wayne, IN 211 Marian University
3 468.74 Shayona Glynn Norco, CA 216 Marian University

Full Dual Slalom Results

Full Team Relay Results
Team Ominum Results
Individual Ominum Results

That’s a wrap. Congrats to all the riders and their respective colleges for a great showing. Thanks to USA Cycling and the Beech Mountain Resort for yet another great event. Is the season officially over yet? The trail is calling. We’ll see you out there!

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  • 35 0
 I wish cycling was bigger at more schools.
  • 5 0
 I think every cyclist wants that! Even when I was at FLC (2008 ) students didn't even know we had a team Frown
  • 6 0
 Come to Colorado then most of the top finishers were Colorado schools
  • 3 1
 Pretty big in California. Going all the way across the nation was pretty tough for a lot of people during the school year.
  • 2 0
 I feel ya man, we went to angelfire, nm the past 2 years and northstar, ca the 2 before that. It was real nice to be able to drive up in a couple hours this year.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I bet, just how it works for college students, awesome you guys could make it out to this side of the country. We only sent one guy this year, even last years women's DH d2 national champion couldn't go from our school (although injuries played a part)
  • 8 0
 i remember racing collegiate dual slalom at Parkfield by cal poly san luis obispo back in like 1998. good times. damn i'm old.
  • 3 0
 Me too man. Raced for UNR 96-01. Parkfield, pixie races in Chico, dual courses with plywood and hay bale jumps on Peavine Mt. in Reno...good times indeed. Great memories.
  • 2 0
 I grew up in SLO and went to Cal Poly and have been going to Parkfield for 9 straight years...I got really stoked seeing your two comments, by far my favorite race! Holds a special place in my heart...
  • 3 0
 Parkfield was insane this year! UNR had a sweet slalom course this year at Sky Tavern. Nice little sender on it. Chico is this weekend but our venue isn't the best. Hard to get a permit in Chico.
  • 1 0
 UNR and Cal Poly SLO always had really strong teams. I went to UCSD - we were only good at drinking beer whilst on the indoor trainer, which is something to be proud of.

this track was up by SLO too. like just east of shell beach on the north side of 101: www.pinkbike.com/photo/7616254
  • 1 0
 Great to see a lot of top BMXers on scholarship getting it done in the mtb world. Lindsey Wilson and Marian have a lot of talent in Danny and Stephanie Caluag, Chase Hines, Tyler Whitfield, Crytal Kalogris, Shaona Glynn, and Felicia Stancil (among others).
  • 4 0
 Whooo hooooo!!! WSCU represent!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 5 0
 Good ol Wasted State baby!!!! alumni 97'
  • 2 0
 Hopefully going there next year, and repping at the national races!!! Just need to apply first...
  • 4 0
 Way to go Cookie Monster Digby! Great way to cap off a fantastic season.
  • 5 2
 to the MAX Morgan was 3.5 seconds off of first WITH a Huge crash in finals. Think about that!!!! East coast#
  • 2 0
 At a quick glance the blue tape against the snowy backround looks like maple syrup lines strung tree to tree.
  • 2 0
 Felicia Stancil, current Junior BMX World Champion - she is a beast on two wheels of any size. Great coverage Jay!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the awesome coverage Jay! Very cool what you are doing and it is appreciated. Congrats to all the racers and colleges that took part in the races!
  • 2 0
 Opps FLC did it AGAIN!!! 8 times ina row D1 champs! WOO WOO!
  • 2 0
 thats so sick. iwish my college had a better biking program. stupid la
  • 2 0
 jd swanguen is back to school!
  • 1 0
 Congrats to all the Guys and gals at Brevard!!!! great job! Dan you are the man!!!
  • 2 0
 Thanks Tripp. Lets get on the moto's soon!!
  • 1 0
 Great photos and awesome racing, but maybe a bit more proof reading in the descriptions.
  • 2 0
 so cool! shout out to brevard, such a stellar college!!
  • 2 0
 Kerry Werner gettin it done, nice weekend for LMC at home
  • 1 0
 In order to race collegic/NICA XC and enduro do you have to have a hard tail or can i ride a full suspension?
  • 1 1
 I'm so proud to be the director for the southeastern conference. Our riders crushed it all weekend. Hands down the most competitive conference. Way to go guys and gals!
  • 2 1
 Im a wussy.just looking at that cold makes me cringe
  • 1 0
 Congrats Andrew!!! Super stoked for you.
  • 1 0
 Proud of my FLC teammates!!
  • 1 0
 Glad to see art least one from my alma mater was racing - go Penn State!
  • 1 0
 Yeah Adam, you rock my socks off brother
  • 1 0
 Yeah CU! Another dominant xc performance by Sam, Chris, and Sepp!
  • 1 0
 I'm surprised they schedule this mid Autumn!
  • 1 0
 Great write up, Jay! Miss collegiate racing a ton...
  • 1 0
 Go Kaysee! Awesome job!
  • 1 0
 Yaa Becky!!
  • 1 3
 way to much spandex for pinkbike, sweet shots and looks like a good time!

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