MISSOULA, Mt. – The Brevard College mountain biking team wrapped up a successful weekend at the USA Cycling Collegiate Nationals that were held in Missoula, Montana.
Among the top Brevard performers was Walker Shaw, who became the first rider to capture an individual title in program history with his first-place showing in the dual slalom. Shaw was one of five Tornados to post multiple top 10 finishes along with Hannah Arensman (7th-Short Track; 7th-Cross Country), Carson Beckett (3rd-Short Track; 6th-Cross Country), Janelle Cole (10th– Short Track) and Kyle Grau (4th-Downhill; 8th-Dual Slalom).
Brevard capped off the weekend in dramatic fashion by finishing second in the team relay. The unit, comprised of Beckett, McGill, Arensman and Cole, was edged out by Fort Lewis, which crossed the line in a time of 19:19.04, as it attempted to repeat last year’s title.
Three Tornados including Shaw (first), Beckett (third) and Arensman (third) were recognized in the individual omnium, which distinguishes the best all-around rider at the event. They earned the honor based on an accumulation of points in the four-weekend events.
“The team dealt with a lot of ups and downs throughout the weekend but laid it all on the line in every event,” said Brevard head coach Brad Perley. “We are extremely proud of how they represented the school and themselves. It’s often hard to tell from results alone, but the students put in some truly great performances.”
Shaw topped Colorado Mesa’s Quintin Kurtz and Collin Hudson to come away with victory in the men’s dual slalom.
However, the Maverick tandem of Andras Simon and Trevor McCutcheon avenged the setback in the men’s downhill as they finished first and second, respectively, to edge out Shaw, who wrapped up the event in 3:12.06. Garu narrowly missed the podium for the Tornados, crossing the line in fourth in a time of 3:12.87. There were a total of four Brevard riders in the men’s downhill, including Beckett (3:34.81; 25th) and Zachary Hutelin (3:42.55; 33rd).
Beckett earned his highest finish of the weekend, third, in the short track after finishing 18.50 seconds off the pace set by Fort Lewis’ Stephan Davoust. Teammate’s Scott McGill (14th), Tyler Orschel (22nd), Shaw (31st) and Zack Lowden (42nd) also took part in the event.
The men’s cross country event was also a success for Beckett, who placed sixth in a time of 42.51.3. Top honors went to Colorado Mesa’s Liam Earl (39.44.5). The Tornados had five individuals take part in the event, including Orschel (49.43.3; 17th), Shaw (52:23.3; 21st), McGill (59:23.9; 33rd) and Lowden (1:32.7; 32nd).
Arensman was the top individual women’s finisher on the weekend, bringing home a pair of seventh place finishes. One of four Tornados participating in the women’s cross country event, she crossed the finish line in 27:29.7, just 6.85 seconds off the pace of Mackenzie Myatt (Savannah College of Art & Design-Atlanta). Brevard received solid performances from Cole (32:26.6; 15th), Samantha Miranda (50:29.4; 31st) and Payten Manness (53:53.1; 32nd).
The tandem of Arensman and Cole also enjoyed success in the women’s short track event. Arensman earned a seventh-place finish in a time of 1:16.59, while Cole placed 10th in 1:59.04. While top billing in the event went to Lindenwood’s Hannah Finchamp, Brevard had four riders in the top 25 including Maness (19th) and Miranda (22nd).
Arensman and Miranda also took competed in the women’s downhill, placing 16th and 31st, respectively. McCauley Smith (Fort Lewis) captured the event in a time of 3:40.86, with Arensman reaching the line in 4:09.23. Miranda was just over 40 seconds later at 4:50.23.
The Arensman and Miranda tandem also competed in women’s dual slalom, with the pair finishing 21st and 24th, respectively. Marian’s Angelina Palermo edged out Lees-McRae’s Veronia Laughton for first place in the event.
“We are excited about how the team raced and handled themselves throughout the weekend,” added assistant coach Cypress Gorry. “Along with solid results, the students showed great tenacity in dealing with some difficult schedule changes and race conditions.”