Phil de Montmollin: Sports Information Director
MISSOULA, Mont. – The 10-time National Champion Brevard College Cycling team will compete at the 2018 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships this weekend on the slopes of Marshall Mountain in Missoula, Montana. The Tornados will be seeking their 11th overall team national championship and seventh Mountain Biking national championship at this weekend's event which features over 60 collegiate teams from throughout the country.
Under the guidance of Head Coach Brad Perley, a total of 11 Brevard College student-athletes have made the trip to Montana for the national championships. Carson Beckett, Tyler Clark, Will Hegedus, Zack Lowden, Scott McGill, Tyler Orschel, Lucas Pound, and Nathan St. Clair will represent Brevard in the men's competition. On the women's side, Hannah Arensman, Hannah Dickson and Nicole Rusden will be competing for the Tornados.
Heading into the national championships, the Tornados are coming off a highly successful fall Mountain Bike season with a multitude of first-place and podium finishes already garnered in 2018.
BC opened the season in Bristol, Tennessee with the SECCC Dirty South MTB Race where Rusden (Women's B Dual Slalom & Downhill), Orschel (Men's A Cross Country), and Hegedus (Men's C Dual Slalom) each won events.
The following week, Brevard College hosted its home race at the REEB Ranch in Brevard, North Carolina. Orschel won again in Men's A Cross Country to go along with a Short Track Cross Country victory, while Hegedus won for the second straight week in Men's C Dual Slalom. McGill won the Men's A Downhill and Dickson won the Women's B Downhill race. Arensman won Women's A Short Track Cross Country.
While most of the Tornados were competing in the Appalachian Mountains in early September, three Brevard College student-athletes were on the other side of the globe at the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Beckett (USA), Clark (Canada) and St. Clair (USA) represented their home countries and Brevard College in the world championships. It marked the first time in school history that the Brevard College Cycling program sent three student-athletes to a World Championship.
With Beckett, Clark and St. Clair back from the World Championships, the Tornados put together a big showing at the Lees-McRae event in Banner Elk, North Carolina. BC swept the podium in Men's A Cross Country as Beckett, Orschel and Clark finished 1-2-3. St. Clair won the Men's C Cross Country, while Beckett won for a second time in Men's A Short Track Cross County. On the women's side, Arensman won Women's A Short Track Cross Country and Dickson won Women's B Dual Slalom.
A dominant performance followed for Brevard College at the following week's Mad Dog MTB Race in Barbourville, Kentucky as the Tornados garnered 10 first-place finishes and 17 total podiums. Arensman, Beckett and Lucas Gomez each won two individual races to the lead the flurry of first-place finishes for the Tornados. Clark, Rusden and St. Clair also won individual races to go along with a win by Brevard's top team relay comprised of Clark, Dickson, Beckett and Arensman.
Orschel and Rusden then traveled to Auburn, Alabama for the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Championship. Orschel won both the Men's A Cross Country and Short Track races in Auburn en route to being crowned the SECCC Men's A Individual Mountain Bike Omnium champion.
Brevard College won Mountain Bike national championships in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 and Cyclocross national championships in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017. The Tornados competed in USA Cycling Collegiate Division II until the 2015-2016 season. This weekend in Montana, Brevard will be seeking its first national title in any discipline since winning Division I Cyclocross in 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut and its first Mountain Bike national championship since winning the 2016 Division I MTB title in Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia.
2018 marks the second straight year that the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships have been held on Marshall Mountain in Missoula, Montana. Last year, Brevard College finished fourth as a team at the national championships.
Racing begins on Friday, Oct. 19 with the cross country events and qualifying in the dual slalom. On Saturday, Oct. 20, a full day of action includes early downhill rounds, followed by the short track and the evening dual slalom. The weekend wraps up with Sunday's downhill finals and the team relay.
Follow @BCTornados and @USACycling for updates throughout the weekend. Go to usacycling.com for more information on events and membership programs.
Brevard College Tornados at the 2018 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships
Hannah Arensman, Junior, Valdese, N.C.
Carson Beckett, Junior, Benton, Ky.
Tyler Clark, Freshman, Killington, Vt.
Hannah Dickson, Freshman, Brevard, N.C.
Will Hegedus, Freshman, Asheville, N.C.
Zack Lowden, Senior, Cary, N.C.
Scott McGill, Senior, Fallston, Md.
Tyler Orschel, Sophomore, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
Lucas Pound, Freshman, Richmond, Va.
Nicole Rusden, Sophomore, Glenmoore, Pa.
Nathan St. Clair, Freshman, Statesville, N.C.
Head Coach: Brad Perley
Assistant Coach: Cypress Gorry
Brevard College Collegiate Team National Championships (10)
Mountain Bike – 6 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships
2016 – 1st (DI) Snowshoe Mountain, W. Va.
2014 – 1st (DII) Beech Mountain, N.C.
2013 – 1st (DII) Beech Mountain, N.C.
2012 – 1st (DII) Angel Fire, N.M.
2010 – 1st (DII) Truckee, Calif.
2009 – 1st (DII) Truckee, Calif.
Cyclocross – 4 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships
2017 – 1st (DI) Hartford, Conn.
2015 – 1st (DII) Austin, Texas
2014 – 1st (DII) Boulder, Colo.
2013 – 1st (DII) Verona, Wis.