INDIANAPOLIS - On a gorgeous Easter Saturday, the Marian University Cycling team hosted the 16th annual Midwest Cycling Classic on its own turf and put on an excellent performance to continue their quest to repeat as MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference and USA Cycling national collegiate road champions.
The Knights turned in several top performances on a day that saw a record number of racers at the Indy Cycloplex. In large collegiate fields, several riders finished in the top 10 and many raced again in the afternoon to continue honing their form and race craft before nationals.
The Marian women were the highlight of the day, with freshman Stephanie Torres
winning yet another race in the "B" field. The foursome of senior Sinead Miller
, junior Jackie Kurth
, sophomore Kaitlin Antonneau
and freshman Coryn Rivera
escaped from the "A" field to sweep the top four spots, with Antonneau taking her second race win of the season. Teammates sophomore Beth Engwis and freshman Lisha Herold
finished in fifth and sixth place in the field, respectively. The women's team alone scored over 350 points on the day and the "A" squad has yet to lose a conference race.
The men's A race saw more aggressive riding from the Knights who have attacked the field endlessly all season. However, the course and a motivated field that included racers from visiting conferences failed to allow any successful breakaway.
The field sprint unfolded with near disaster as a Lindenwood University rider rolled his tire in the final turn, but managed to stay upright. Great bike handling skills by team leaders senior Alex Wieseler and junior Weston Luzadder
led to their second- and third-place finishes, while junior Sam Stone
finished just behind in ninth place. Wieseler added to his conference individual omnium lead with his result and looks to carry that through regionals.
Other results from the day included freshman John Kelley
's eighth-place finish in the men's "C" race and assistant coach David Williams
winning the USAC category 1/2 race in the afternoon.
Next weekend, the Knights will race in Illinois at the Hillsboro-Roubaix event as well as at Purdue University as they continue to pursue their dual goal of winning the conference and being in top shape to defend their national crown in May.