Arensman powers Tornados to strong showing in Mars Hill

By Joshua Cole, Brevard College Class of 2016

The Brevard College cycling team had a strong showing in an event hosted by Mars Hill as it continues to gear up for next month’s USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championships in Asheville.

Allison Arensman had the best day of any Tornado rider, taking the victory in the Women’s A race after combining with Blake Stephenson, Joshua Cole, and Sarah Hill for the team relay win.
Brevard overcame difficult conditions to earn the team relay victory in the first race of the day. The teams battled black ice on the paved sections of the course and frozen mud caused by 22-degree temperatures at the outset. The course thawed as the day progressed, challenging riders with vastly different conditions from early events.

“The course changed significantly from frozen in the morning for the relay race and then became slippery later on as the temperature rose,” said Cole after finishing the Men’s A race that saw temperatures over 20 degrees warmer than during the relay event. “That change really made you think and rethink your line every lap.”

The later races featured a course made treacherous with mud. Riders contended with large amounts of climbing coupled with a fast, off-camber downhill section. Jesse Heard nearly matched Arensman’s feat in the Men’s B race, coming home with a runner-up finish, while Hill gave the Tornados two riders in the top five of the Women’s A race with a fourth-place result. Spencer Lowden’s eighth-place finish was the Tornados’ best result in the Men’s A race.

The Tornados will compete at this weekend’s North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville, which is not a collegiate event. The next collegiate race will occur January 8 as the Tornados seek to follow up their third consecutive Division II cyclocross national title with a Division I championship.

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