Tornados look to turn heads at USA Nationals

BREVARD, N.C. – Following a stellar performance at last year’s Division I Mountain Bike Nationals in Snowshoe, W.Va. The Brevard College Cycling team returns to Snowshoe hoping to turn heads yet again. With a plethora of experienced riders and the addition of several highly talented freshmen the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals will be a chance for Brevard to continue its tear though this fall’s competition.

“We are extremely excited about the upcoming weekend of competition,” said head cycling coach Brad Perley. “Although we have been here before, the race courses are different, as well as the competition. We have a handful of returning BC competitors, but our team is quite different than in previous years. The coaching staff has been extremely impressed by the work and dedication leading up to this point. Unlike other sports where teams practice in a public area that’s very clear to see from the public eye, our athletes are on their bikes putting in the time and hard work all over the state. There are many things we can’t control on these big race weekends, but we are as prepared as can be.”

The 2016 Brevard College national team will be composed of 14 riders, from all classes and locations throughout the world and United States. Headed by senior riders Ray Danglemaier (Brighton, Mich.), Sarah Hill (Bryanston, Johannesburg), Allison Arensman (Valdese, N.C.) and Zach Valdez (Hemet, Calif.), along with juniors Samantha Miranda (Valley City, Ohio), Zachary Hutelin (Plantation, Fla.), Callum McEwen (Philadelphia, Pa.), Walker Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.) and Trever Kingsbury (Petoskey, Mich.), this year’s national team will be sure to leave their mark on the trails of Snowshoe, W.Va.

"My focus for the weekend is to take each day individually and leave it all out there for the team,” said Arensman. “In last year's National Champs I was able to finish 5th and 6th in the short track and cross country races. This year I am coming in to Nationals having built better form than last year and know what to expect with the courses, so my aim is to get top 3 finishes in the endurance events. I'm also racing the gravity events this nationals for the first time, so hopefully I can give a solid performance in those events and grab some points for the team! It's always awesome to join the BC team for nationals, but I've never seen them so prepared and amped to give it everything to take the team gold as they are this year. Can't wait to do battle alongside my fellow Tornados! Varsity omnium, here we come."

"This year we have brought a very stacked team of riders out to Nationals here in West Virginia,” said Valdez. “I think we all have high expectations of ourselves individually, as well as the overall team results. This is my senior year, so it would be rad to go out on the top step, and there's no doubt that we could attain such a result. Though, no matter how things turn out this weekend, I'm stoked to be a part of such a great group of people and have the opportunity to contribute some helpful results.”

In addition to Brevard’s loaded upper class, this years team welcomes a trio of coveted freshman riders, along with two returning sophomores who could make immediate impacts in the coming weekend. As Sophomore’s Janelle Cole (Rockford, Mich.) and Kyle Grau (Terrace Park, Ohio), along with freshman Carson Beckett (Benton, Ky.), Scott McGill and Hannah Arensman (Valdese, N.C.), fresh off her fifth-place finish at USA worlds will round out the Tornados national roster.

Beckett, McGill and Arensman arrive at nationals for the first time, however, following a tremendous fall campaign to this point, look for this trio to turn in several podium times. Despite being freshman, all of these riders bring seasoned experience to the course.

"I'm super excited to be racing for Brevard this weekend in Snowshoe for my first Collegiate Nationals,” said Beckett. “I'm looking forward to spending the week with the team and to be able to kick back and enjoy our time together. Since I'm doing the omnium, I know I'll have a busy schedule, but it will be super fun to prep for and participate in all the events. I'm hoping to have the legs I need on the Short Track and Cross Country events specifically and would be very pleased with top 10 finishes in those. Although, if all goes well I would love to see myself battling for top 5. I'm mostly excited about just spending the week with the team here in Snowshoe and getting some quality time on the bikes and on the mountain!"

The Tornados will get underway tomorrow October 21 with short track racing, followed by cross county and downhill action on Saturday, October 22. Brevard will than close out the weekend’s events with dual slalom and team relays on Sunday, October 23, before omniums will be handed out later that afternoon.

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