Photos courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Racing from October 22 – 25, the top up and coming mountain bikers in the country took to West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort for the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship.
Fort Lewis College and King University won the Division 1 and 2 team omniums. Going into the final day, Brevard College led the Division 1 standings, but a team relay and dual slalom victory on Sunday launched Fort Lewis into the top spot as competition closed out. The Colorado school finished the weekend with 741 points compared to Brevard’s 711 and Marian University’s 696 points.
The overall lead changed in Division 2 as well, with King University taking over the number-one spot from Saturday’s leader, Warren Wilson College. With a win in the morning’s team relay, King University came out on top with 699 points while Western State Colorado University placed second with 687 points and Warren Wilson ended the weekend in third with 683 points.
Recognized as one of the top resorts in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, Snowshoe’s Bike Park has gained national notoriety for its more than 40 lift-accessed trails and is known to mountain bikers as one of the top destinations on the East Coast. Several noteworthy events from this past season include a ProGRT downhill event, the Southeastern Gravity Series Championships, the annual Chomolungma Challenge, and an Epic Enduro.
In anticipation leading to the event, Snowshoe Competitive Events Supervisor Andy Nall expressed excitement in their two-year partnership with the MTB Championship. “Our crew has had a blast putting this one together, and we’re excited to get all these collegiate riders up here so they can discover what our bike park has to offer.” Nall said, “Partnering with USAC has always been great for us and we’re excited to have them this year and next.”
Over 60 teams representing colleges and universities from all over the country traveled to the Snowshoe Bike Park to compete in Short Cross, Cross-Country, Downhill, Dual Slalom and Team Relay events.
The weather certainly made things interesting for the final day of racing as riders awoke to a cold and windy morning with heavy fog. After the dual slalom qualification races, it was time for the coed team relays. Fort Lewis beat out Marian and Brevard for the Division 1 team relay title while King University continued its dominating weekend in Division 2 with a win over Western State Colorado University and Warren Wilson College.
Kristen Bob (Marian University) beat out Adrian Sanders (Lindsey Wilson College) for the gold medal in the Division 1 women’s dual slalom while Shayona Glynn (Marian University) bested Heather Collman (Lindsey Wilson College) for the bronze.
In Division 2, Josie Ritchie (Mars Hill University) was the most skilled on the dual slalom course. She beat out King University’s Kaysee Armstrong in the gold medal match-up while Emily Oppliger (Michigan Technological University) won against Sara Schneider (Humboldt State University) for third place.
In men’s Division 1 dual slalom, Zach Graveson (Fort Lewis College) took the win ahead of Phillip Kmetz (Lees-McRae College) while Alec Bob (Marian University) collected the bronze.
Daniel Frentzel (Western State Colorado University) won the men’s Division 2 dual slalom final against Bo Hellams (Humboldt State University). James Averill (Western State Colorado University) was third.
In addition to the team omnium awards, individual omnium titles were awarded to men and women in both divisions. The winners were Sofia Gomez Villafane (Fort Lewis College) and Luke Vrouwenvelder (University of North Carolina) for Division 1, and Kaysee Armstrong (King University) and Robert Rimmer (King University) in Division 2.
The Championship was a long-awaited event for dozens of schools across the nation. Teams participated from: Midwestern State University, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of North Georgia University of Wisconsin-Madison Lees-McRae College, University of Arizona, University of Virginia, University of Vermont, Stanford University, Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, Marian University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Georgia State University, Lindenwood University Lindsey Wilson College Appalachian State University Virginia Polytechnic University, University of New Hampshire Northeastern University, University of Florida, Purdue University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, North Carolina State University at Raleigh San Jose State University, Texas Tech University, Drexel University, Milligan College, Oregon State University, Baylor University, Colorado Mesa University, Colorado School of Mines, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brevard College, Adams State University, Ripon College, College of William and Mary, Michigan Technological University, Western State Colorado University, Mars Hill University, Prescott College, University of Texas-San Antonio, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Texas A & M University, Humboldt State University, US Air Force Academy, Warren Wilson College, San Diego State University, Clemson University, University of Nevada-Reno, California State University-Sacramento, Northern Arizona University, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Connecticut, University of South Carolina-Columbia, University of Wyoming, New River Community College, Lehigh University, East Tennessee State University, Union College-KY, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Duke University, King University, California State University-Chico, Wake Forest University, California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo, and University of Central Florida
“We’re excited to partner with Snowshoe Mountain Resort to run the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships for the next two years,” said Micah Rice, Vice President of National Events for USA Cycling. “Snowshoe has always been a popular destination for world- class mountain biking and our top collegiate racers will have a great experience.”
Snowshoe covers a total area of 11,000 acres in the Appalachian Mountain Range and includes the second highest point in the state at 4,848’ elevation. The resort is owned and operated by Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc., which owns six four-season mountain resorts geographically diversified across most of North America’s major ski regions including the Eastern United States, Rocky Mountains and Canada.