Brevard Finishes Third; Punchard Wins Individual Omnium Title at Mountain Bike National Championships

USA Cycling Collegiate MTB National Championships: Day 4 at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado, USA on October 16, 2022. (Photo: Craig Huffman)

DURANGO, Colo. – The Brevard College Cycling team earned a third-place overall team finish with BC sophomore Cole Punchard winning the Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium national title at the 2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships held October 13-16 at Purgatory Resort in Durango, Colorado. 

Brevard (542 points) placed third at the event behind team national champion Colorado Mesa University (688 points) and second-place Fort Lewis College (680 points.  The Tornados edged fellow Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference member Lees-McRae College by one point to make BC once again the highest finishing collegiate program in the eastern half of the United States.  It marked the third straight mountain bike national championship that the Tornados have finished in third place with the same team result at last year’s event also held in Durango and the 2019 nationals in Big Bear Lake, California.  The 2020 collegiate nationals were not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brevard’s Punchard, a native of Huntsville, Ontario, won the Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium, accumulating 196 points across four individual race disciplines to claim the title as the nation’s top overall collegiate rider. Fellow BC sophomore Owen Clark placed third in the omnium with 167 points.  Clark, hailing from King City, Ontario, also earned a podium with a third-place result in Men’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country.

It marked the third straight Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium national championship for a Brevard College racer with Punchard joining BC alumni Tyler Orschel (2021 national champion) and Tyler Clark (2019 national champion) on the top step of the podium in the stars and stripes jersey.

Brevard College junior Cameron Mader earned a podium finish with a third-place result in the Men’s Varsity Downhill competition, the first podium as a collegiate racer at the national championships for the product of Fairfax, Virginia.

The event weekend began on Friday with the Men’s Varsity Cross Country as Clark led the Tornados with a sixth-place finish in a time of 1:19:43.  Punchard finished ninth, while sophomore Philip Ford earned a 14th-place result to give BC three top-15 finishes.  Senior Tyler Miranda placed 18th, while Brevard freshman Matthew Leliveld finished 42nd.

Next up was the Women’s Varsity Cross Country race with sophomore Paige Edwards (1:49:02) leading the way with a 21st place result out of 51 total participants.  Junior Nina Machnowski finished 24th, followed by a 35th place finish by Kelly Lawson. 

Also Friday was the Dual Slalom competition for all classes with six Tornados racing in the Men’s Varsity competition.  Punchard was the highest finishing Tornado with a sixth-place result.  Clark and Mader finished no. 9 and 10 respectively to give BC a total of three top-ten finishes in the competitive event.  Leliveld finished 20th, while sophomore Gunnar Ensign (29th) and senior Bryant Bole (35th) also scored in the final dual slalom standings.  

In the Women’s Varsity Dual Slalom, freshman Olivia Hyde placed 20th in her national championship debut to lead the Tornados.  Machnowski placed 31st with Edwards finishing 34th, providing valuable additional overall points for the Tornados.  

In Saturday’s Men’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country competition, Clark placed third completing 11 laps of the challenging course with a time of 30:20.  Punchard crossed the finish line in 30:58 to finish sixth.  Miranda placed 14th to once again give the Tornados three riders in the top-15.  Ford placed 21st and Leliveld 42nd to round out the short-track scoring for Brevard. 

The Women’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country race featured four Brevard College finishers led by Edwards with a 15th place result.  Machnowski finished 24th just in front of her teammate Lawson, while junior Carmen Chirino Hulsund placed 50th.

Mader shined in the Men’s Varsity Downhill race on Saturday, garnering the top Brevard finish in a gravity event with a time of 3:51.56.  Mader’s score was good for a third-place podium, just four seconds off the eventual race winner’s mark.  Punchard finished 10th with a time of 4:02.44 to place 15th, while Bole earned a 29th place result.  

On the women’s side, Hyde placed 16th in the final Women’s Varsity Downhill results with Machnowski placing 26th. 

The national championships concluded with the Team Relay as Brevard’s team of Clark, Lawson, Machnowski and Punchard finished fifth to clinch the third-place overall Team Omnium result as this season’s third-best collegiate mountain bike team in the nation.

Brevard College Cycling will now turn its attention to the Cyclocross season which will culminate with the 2022 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, December 6-11 in Hartford, Connecticut.

The ten-time national champion Brevard College Cycling program features varsity programs in the disciplines of Mountain Bike, Cyclocross, Road and Gravel Racing.  For the latest news and updates surrounding Brevard College Cycling, follow @brevardcycling on Instagram and ‘Brevard College Cycling’ on Facebook.

To follow the latest news and updates surrounding Brevard College Athletics, follow the Tornados on Twitter and Instagram @bctornados, subscribe to ‘Brevard College Tornados’ on YouTube, follow ‘Brevard College Tornados’ on SoundCloud, and ‘Brevard College Athletics’ on Facebook. In addition, follow ‘brevardcollege’ on Flickr for photos from Brevard College events.

2022 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships

October 13-16, Durango, Colorado

Varsity Team Omnium

1. Colorado Mesa University

2. Fort Lewis College

3. Brevard College

Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium

1. Cole Punchard, Brevard College – National Champion

3. Owen Clark, Brevard College

Men’s Varsity Cross Country

6. Owen Clark, Brevard College

9. Cole Punchard, Brevard College

14. Philip Ford, Brevard College

18. Tyler Miranda, Brevard College

42. Matthew Leliveld, Brevard College

Women’s Varsity Cross Country

21. Paige Edwards, Brevard College

24. Nina Machnowski, Brevard College

35. Kelly Lawson, Brevard College

Men’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country

3. Owen Clark, Brevard College

6. Cole Punchard, Brevard College

14. Tyler Miranda, Brevard College

21. Philip Ford, Brevard College

42. Matt Leliveld, Brevard College

Women’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country

15. Paige Edwards, Brevard College

24. Nina Machnowski, Brevard College

25. Kelly Lawson, Brevard College

50. Carmen Chirino Hulsund, Brevard College

Men’s Varsity Downhill

3. Cameron Mader, Brevard College

10. Cole Punchard, Brevard College

15. Gunnar Ensign, Brevard College

29. Bryant Bole, Brevard College

Women’s Varsity Downhill 

16. Olivia Hyde, Brevard College

26. Nina Machnowski, Brevard College

 Men’s Varsity Dual Slalom

6.  Cole Punchard, Brevard College

9. Owen Clark, Brevard College

10. Cameron Mader, Brevard College

20. Matt Leliveld, Brevard College

29. Gunnar Ensign, Brevard College

35. Bryant Bole, Brevard College

Women’s Varsity Dual Slalom

20. Olivia Hyde, Brevard College

31. Nina Machnowski, Brevard College

34. Paige Edwards, Brevard College

Team Relay

5. Brevard College (Clark, Lawson, Machnowski, Punchard)


Photo Credit: Craig Huffman