Cycling shines at conference

MARS HILL, N.C. – The Brevard College Cycling Team traveled to Mars Hill, N.C. this past weekend to compete in the 2016 Southeast Cycling Conference Championship. The Tornados did not disappoint, turning in multiple top-five finishes throughout the weekend.

Freshman Carson Beckett (Benton, Ky.) captured the Men’s A cross-country competition podium taking first place, while Walker Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.) finished with an impressive fifth-place showing. Beckett also finished in third-place in the Men’s A short track, later wrapping up his impressive weekend with a second-place finish ride in the team relay, pairing with seniors Zach Valdez (Hemet, Calif.), Sarah Hill (Bryanston, Johannesburg), and sophomore Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich.).

On the women’s side of short-track racing, Hill earned a second-place podium in the Women’s A race and landed on the podium again with her third-place finish in the Women's A cross-country event, just ahead of Cole, who claimed a fourth-place finish to wrap up the women’s A cross country results.

“My season’s goal was consistency,” said Hill. “This weekend I really got a chance to finish strong and feel confident in all the work that I have put in to get to this point. It hasn’t just been one season of effort. This semester is an accumulation of all my years in the USA. I am thrilled to have come to the end of my college career, feeling strong both physically and more importantly, mentally. I look forward to a fun-filled Nationals with the best team I could have ever asked for!”

Cole said racing to finish top-five with her friend and teammate Hill was the highlight of her collegiate career thus far.

"Sarah is one of so many people (coaches, friends, random sympathetic strangers) who gave time and advice to a terrified and super sketchy roadie, making me into a slightly apprehensive and only somewhat sketchy roadie… Both of us riding to the top-five just was not only fun, but hopefully a foretelling for an incredible Nationals.” Cole said.

In the Men’s A dual slalom, sophomore Kyle Grau (Terrace Pack, Ohio) finished in second-place while Junior Walker Shaw rode to a third-place podium behind Grau.

Junior, Eli Hyatt (Monroe, N.C.) finished in fourth-place in the Men’s C cross-country event.

“Earning a top-five finish for my team today felt great,” said Hyatt. “Race weekends are a blast with everyone, and we definitely finished this mountain bike season on a positive note.”

In addition to the Tornados' impressive weekend at Mars Hill, freshman Hannah Arensman (Valdese, N.C.) who is competing in the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar Oct. 9-16, received a fifth-place finish in the junior women's individual time trial.

After an impressive showing at conference, Brevard will now begin its preparation for the upcoming USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in Snowshoe, W.Va on Oct. 21-23.

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