Senior Isaiah Newkirk and junior Weston Luzadder ride to a 1-2 finish at Purdue. - photo by Keith Miller
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The two-time defending collegiate road national champion Marian University cycling team had yet another successful weekend in their quest to defend their regional and national collegiate road championships. Individual performances by several Knights showed that the team is in great form near the end of their regular season.
On Saturday, the men's "A" squad traveled to Illinois to compete in the regional classic Hillsboro-Roubaix event, where senior Alex Wieseler and junior Weston Luzadder
finished second and third to represent their trade team.
The women's team raced the team time trial and road race hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette and earned the victory in both events. Junior Jackie Kurth
won the road race in rainy conditions. Freshman John Kelley
also raced at Purdue and notched a third-place finish in the men's "C" road race.
On Sunday, the Knights traveled to Purdue as a full squad and placed more than 15 riders in the top 10 throughout the day's races on a four-mile circuit with one steep climb and brutal crosswinds.
Freshman Stephanie Torres
won her fifth race of the season in the women's "B" field, and John Kelley
placed second after winning the field sprint in the men's "C" race. Sophomore David Yohe
rode to a sixth-place finish in the men's "B" competition.
In the men's "A" competition, senior Isaiah Newkirk
and junior Weston Luzadder
escaped from the pack early to ride to a solo Marian 1-2 finish. Freshmen Josh Johnson
and Matt Gittings drove it home for third and fifth to help the Knights stack results and score enough points for another winning day.
Next weekend, the Knights travel to South Bend, Ind., for the MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference and Regional Championships road race, team time trial and criterium hosted by the University of Notre Dame.
Headed into the regional championships, the Knights hold a significant lead in the MWCCC standings and is all but guaranteed the team omnium win and maximum possible starting spots at Nationals.
Additionally, junior Weston Luzadder
holds a slight 32-point lead in the individual men's omnium and hopes to cling to that over the weekend to repeat as conference champ.
On the women's side, three MU riders are closely bunched and will race it out to see if junior Jackie Kurth
can repeat or if sophomore Kaitie Antonneau will claim the individual women's omnium this year.