Tornados Shine at ETSU
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.- The BC Tornados Cycling Team competed over the weekend in its first Southeastern Conference race of the mountain bike season at East Tennessee State University. Brevard traveled with 27 student-athletes to compete in the four disciplines offered, making it the largest racing squad the Tornados have ever brought to an event.
The event began Saturday with the downhill races, which were decided by margins of a second as the track took under two minutes to complete.
In the men's A race, Brevard's Dan Ennis placed 3rd, followed by Mac Banner in 8th. Freshman Callum McEwen and Zach Miller placed 13th and 18th, respectively. The women’s A race saw Erica Zaveta finish 2nd, newcomer Sarah Hill take 3rd, and Nicole Miranda place 10th. First-year BC student-athlete Courtney Carter won the women's B downhill.
Next BC competed in the fast-paced short track event. Held on a short, three-minute, lap-style course, racers are constantly on the attack throughout the race.
For the A races, highlights included a 2nd place finish by new student Zach Valdez and a 12th by fellow newcomer Dylan Johnson. On the women's side, Zaveta stormed away with the race win, followed by Hill in 4th.
In the B races, Carter grabbed a 5th in the women's race followed by teammate Liza Fortenberry in 6th. For the men, Blake Stephenson and Dillon Brown rolled across the finish line in 6th and 7th, respectively.
New student-athlete Colby McAlister placed 3rd in the short track men's C event. Cypress Gorry was riding in 3rd place when his shifter broke off and went into his front wheel, forcing him to abandon the race with two laps remaining.
Lewis Gaffney, also one of BC’s top endurance riders, was racing with his trade team, the American Classic Pro Cycling Team this past weekend.
The final event on Saturday was the four cross, which consists of four riders racing head-to-head on a course barely wide enough for two cyclists. Racers traverse steep, banked turns as well as large jumps.
In the A races, Dan Ennis placed 6th, with Asher Blackmore right behind in 7th. For the women, Hill grabbed a strong 2nd.
The B races showcased more excellent racing by the Tornados, with Stephenson placing 2nd for the men and Carter taking the win for the women. Another new student-athlete got on the podium as Cooper Pursley placed 3rd in the men's C event.
The cross country race, which is held on a rugged and challenging five-mile course, took place Sunday. Racers completed anywhere from one to four laps, depending on their racing category.
Brevard's A men had a fantastic showing, with Gorry and Johnson rolling in for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Spencer Lowden also placed in the top 10 (9th) for the Tornados. For the women, Hill was 8th and Miranda 12th.
In the B races, both Carter and Stephenson took 3rd place in their respective races. Finishing off the cross country was the men's C, where Colby McAlister took home the win. Valdez was riding in 3rd place when he punctured his rear tire and was forced to abandon.
After a fantastic opening weekend for Tornados Cycling, the team travels this weekend to Georgia Tech for another Southeastern Conference event.
Men's A Downhill:
Men's C Downhill:
6th Cooper Pursley
Women's A Downhill:
Women's B Downhill:
1st Courtney Carter
Men's A Short Track:
Men's B Short Track:
Men's C Short Track:
3rd Colby McAlister
Women's A Short Track:
Women's B Short Track:
Men's B Four Cross:
2nd Blake Stephenson
Men's C Four Cross:
3rd Cooper Pursley
Women's A Four Cross:
Women's B Four Cross:
1st Courtney Carter
Men's A Cross Country:
Men's B Cross Country:
3rd Blake Stephenson
Men's C Cross Country:
1st Colby McAlister
Women's A Cross Country:
Women's B Cross Country: