COLUMBIA, Ky. - The defending MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference and collegiate national road champion Marian University cycling team traveled to Lindsey Wilson College last weekend to open their conference schedule and begin defense of their title. The women's team showed traditional dominance in the weekend's three events and the men raced competitively to show their strength and teamwork.
Saturday opened with a team time trial, where the men's "A" and women's "A" squads both earned victories to kick off the weekend. All MU squads, including the second "A" teams for both men and women, placed in the top five on a short 10-kilometer rolling course.
On Saturday afternoon, riders contested a hilly and challenging road race course. In the women's
"A" race, four Knights succeeded in escaping and sealed the top four spots. Senior Sinead Miller
, junior Jackie Kurth
, sophomore Kaitie Antonneau and freshman Coryn Rivera
all broke from the peloton as Rivera earned the win on the final climb.
In the men's A race, junior Weston Luzadder
, the defending MWCCC overall men's champion, earned a second-place finish, while senior Alex Wieseler turned in a fourth-place finish. Other notable weekend finishes included sophomore David Yohe
, who earned an eighth-place finish in the men's B race. Sophomore Will Meger
turned in a third-place finish in the men's "C" race, while senior Mika Jackson
earned a runner-up finish in the women's "B" race.
Sunday's criterium races featured a traditional four-corner criterium with large fields. The women's "A" squad took most of the top spots, claiming first through sixth places.
Junior Jackie Kurth
started a move which saw the same four women, who escaped in the road race, taking a lap on the field and setting up their teammates in the field to take the fifth and sixth spot as well. Senior Sinead Miller
earned the victory, while Kurth, Rivera, Antonneau, sophomore Elizabeth Engwis
and freshman Lisha Herold
finished behind them for the 1-2-3-4-5-6 finish.
In the men's "A" race, juniors Alder Martz
, Luzadder, and Sam Stone
raced aggressively with senior Isaiah Newkirk
and others to set up Luzadder, Stone and Newkirk to take a lap on the field, ultimately allowing Martz to set up Luzadder for a sprint win. Newkirk turned in a sixth-place finish, while Stone finished up in eighth. Wieseler and junior Danny Gerow
also finished in the front group. Jackson also turned in a third-place finish in the women's "B" race.
After the first weekend, the Knights have jumped to an early lead in the overall conference standings with 1,389 points. The Knights will travel to Townsend, Tenn., for a spring break training camp, and then return to competition in St. Charles, Mo., for a weekend of racing hosted by Lindenwood University on March 17-18.