Truckee, Calif. - The Brevard College cycling team did it again, capturing their second consecutive team national championship at the Northstar at Tahoe Resort, scoring 630 points as a team throughout the three-day event.
Led by Tristan Cowie’s men’s omnium national championship, the Tornados held a 20-point lead over Union (Ky.) College going into the final event on Sunday morning and were able to hold off both Union and Warren Wilson College in clinching their second team national title in the first five years of the program’s history.
Cowie, who finished on the podium in both the Cross Country and the Short Track events, finished 10th overall in the Four Cross and the Downhill races to give the program their first Men’s Omnium National Champion. This is Cowie’s third national title overall in his mountain bike career, having won the Cross Country and the Short Track events back in 2008. Cowie also joins former BC cyclist Jo Tuttle as the program’s second Omnium National Champion, as Tuttle took the women’s crown last year in Truckee, Calif. in leading the team to their first team national championship.
On the women’s side, Alexis Decosimo also had a strong showing for Brevard in the omnium, improving on last year’s 10th place finish, to take home the bronze medal with her third place finish. Decosimo had two podium finishes on the first day, including the individual National Championship in Short Track, and finished out the weekend with the Four Cross and the Downhill events, placing 12th in the Four Cross and 10th in Downhill.
Following Saturday morning’s race in the Short Track, the cyclists moved on to the Four Cross event in the afternoon, with the women taking the course first. Essence Barton from California Lutheran University took the women’s national title in the event, while Kate Weisenfluh was the top finisher for Brevard, narrowly missing the podium by coming in sixth. Decosimo finished in 12th overall in the event, while Morgan Sykes rounded out the women’s group with a 14th place result.
Blake Carney made the California Lutheran sweep complete on the men’s side, taking the title with his victory, while Thomas Bagnal was Brevard’s top finisher on the afternoon, coming in seventh overall. James Chaput finished right behind Bagnal, coming in eighth overall, while Cowie rounded out the top 10 with his 10th place result. Matt St. Marie and Park Baker also took to the course for Coach Thad Walker in the Four Cross, finishing 23rd and 31st overall against the top riders in the country to conclude action on Saturday.
Sunday morning saw the Tornados clinging to a 20-point team lead over Southeastern Conference Cycling champion Union (Ky.) as the teams took to the Downhill course for the final event of the three-day National Championships.
Weisenfluh led the Tornados in the first action of the morning, finishing second overall in the downhill event behind Christen Boyer from the Colorado School of Mines, for her first podium finish at nationals in her collegiate career. Weisenfluh finished the course with a time of 5:23.48, holding off Bridgette LeBer of Montana State University-Bozeman by three seconds to take the silver medal in the event. Decosimo finished 10th overall in the event, while Sykes took 12th to complete the women’s portion of the championships.
Bagnal led the Tornados again on Sunday, finishing just off the podium in sixth place overall in a highly competitive race which saw the time difference from National Champion Justin Graves of Humboldt State University to 10th place finisher Cowie sit at just over 11 seconds. Cowie, with his 10th place finish, clinched the men’s individual omnium title at his last collegiate mountain bike championships. Chaput, St. Marie and Baker all rounded out the group in 26th, 34th and 37th to finish the three day event.
The Tornados Cycling program continues to build in their fifth season of existence and will be back in action in the spring as they compete in the Road Race portion of the schedule.