Brevard races well in final tune-up for SECCC Championships

By Joshua Cole

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Brevard College cycling team headed to King University in Bristol, Tennessee to race mountain bikes on Oct. 3-4.

Severe amounts of rain fell all throughout the week preceding the weekend’s racing which created difficult conditions for riders. The Tornados came away from the weekend of racing with an impressive array of results, regardless of how slippery and swampy the conditions became.

Saturday’s racing involved the short track race in the beginning of the day when the rain was still falling with dual slalom racing later on. The team relay event was first; the fastest four riders from each team were chosen—two men, and two women—to compete in any order against the other teams; each rider completed one short lap. BC chose Walker Shaw, Sarah Hill, Cypress Gorry, and Nicole Miranda to represent the relay team. The Tornados rode hard, but missed first place by a few seconds, and ended up in second.

The short track race started with the men’s C riders. The rain was still falling and atop the grass sat an inch of rain, slowing racers down to crawl. Brevard’s Alex Laifer took second followed closely by Eli Hyatt in fifth, one of BC’s newest members to the team.

The rain let up and the men’s B’s went off next with more results for the Tornados. Freshman Zack Lowden won, riding away from the field, pursued by Joshua Cole who, who battled in a sprint for second place before crossing the line in third. Finally, Regis Bryer finished in fifth followed closely by his BC teammates.

Women’s A’s had some very solid results with Hill finishing in second behind Kaysee Armstrong from King University; the two riders battled it out on both days of competition and repeatedly finished on each other’s heels. Behind Hill came Janelle Cole, competing in her first short track race and finishing in third place. Miranda finished directly behind Cole for fourth.

Cypress Gorry took second place in the men’s A’s to round out the short track event for BC, right behind King University rider, Cory Rimmer.

Dual slalom followed short track in the afternoon; the rain had let up for the day, but the hillside the slalom race took place on was still slick and twisty. Just like in slalom skiing, racers have to maneuver between gates and get to the bottom before the other rider. Dual slalom takes place over a long period of time with all racers riding a qualifying round, and then proceeding through a tournament-style bracket. Shaw took first place after narrowly defeating his teammate, freshman, Kyle Grau in the finals.

“Despite the rainy and cold weather, I had a blast spending another weekend with the team,” said Grau. “The ‘old school’ grass course featured some challenging off-camber, wet corners keeping the racers on their toes and the action exciting.”

Day two was focused on cross-country racing to finish up the weekend’s events. By Sunday the rain had cleared up and the sun and wind were strong enough for some of the moisture on the ground to dry up—even still, many of the courses forested single-track was slippery; corners were particularly hard to keep traction in.

Freshman Jason Doroski finished in fourth for the men’s C riders. Lowden, again finished in first on day two in the men’s B race after leaving a trio of Lees McRae riders behind. In the women’s A race Hill finished behind King’s Armstrong for second place. BC’s A riders rode very strong with Dylan Johnson finishing strongly behind King University’s Rimmer for second place and fellow BC teammate Zack Valdez rounding out the top three in third place; both riders finished far ahead of the rest of the pack of men’s A’s.

The Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships are next up for the Tornados at Clemson University on Oct. 17-18. Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals follow on Oct. 23-25 at Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia.

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