The Brevard College Cycling team won five individual national titles, more than any other participating school, and a second-place overall team finish at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships held October 12-15 at Ride Rock Creek in nearby Zirconia, North Carolina.
Brevard College sophomore Nicole Bradbury, making her collegiate nationals debut, won national championships in the Women’s Varsity Individual Omnium (best overall rider) and Dual Slalom. Junior Cole Punchard, the 2022 Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium national champion, also won two national titles with victories in Cross Country and Short Track Cross Country. Senior Cameron Mader, a native of Fairfax, Virginia, won his first career national championship in his final race as a collegiate with a dramatic title run in the Men’s Varsity Downhill.
After finishing third in each of the last three national championships, Brevard (634 points) placed second at the event behind team national champion Colorado Mesa University (672 points) with Fort Lewis College (626 points) finishing third. The result made Brevard College, under the guidance of Head Coach Brad Perley and Assistant Coach Tyler Miranda, once again the highest finishing collegiate program in the eastern half of the United States.
“I’m incredibly proud of the team’s effort this week,” said Coach Perley. “Despite some setbacks, the team showed incredible resilience and dedication to our overall goals. The entire team rose to the occasion and while I’m not surprised by the results, I’m thrilled to celebrate their efforts.”
Brevard’s Bradbury, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, won the Women’s Individual Omnium, accumulating 156 points across the four individual race disciplines to claim the title as the nation’s top overall collegiate rider to go along with her Dual Slalom national championship. Fellow BC sophomore Kiara Lylyk, also making her collegiate national championships debut, placed third in the omnium with 134 points. Lylyk, hailing from Guelph, Ontario, also earned a podium with a fourth-place result in Short Track Cross Country.
The omnium title for Bradbury marked the fourth straight year that a Brevard College racer has won an Individual Omnium national championship in either men’s or women’s competition. Bradbury follows fellow Individual Omnium national champions Punchard (2022), Tyler Orschel (2021) and Tyler Clark (2019) to make it to the top step of the podium in the stars and stripes jersey.
Two BC racers finished on the podium alongside Punchard in the 2023 Men’s Individual Omnium as Leliveld (172 points) placed third and Owen Clark (124 points) was fifth in the final overall standings. Jack Spranger of Colorado Mesa University won the Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium title with 196 points.
This season coming off an injury, Punchard raced in only the endurance events, making him ineligible for the men’s omnium title. Punchard capitalized on the opportunity, winning both the Men’s Varsity Cross Country and Short Track Cross Country national championships to bring the Huntsville, Ontario native’s career total to three career collegiate national titles. Owen Clark also earned a podium finish in Cross Country with a fourth-place result.
Racing in his final event as a collegiate student-athlete, Mader was the fastest qualifier and therefore the final racer down the course in Men’s Varsity Downhill. Needing to defeat Colorado Mesa’s Sterling who had posted a time of 2:04.40, Mader delivered in spectacular fashion winning by just .30 of a second igniting a celebration of the ages for the Tornados. Mader’s win gave BC an impressive 1-3-4 finish in the men’s downhill as Jack Brown (2:06.31) placed third and Leliveld fourth (2:06.98).
Following a preview press conference on the campus of Brevard College on Tuesday, the event began with Thursday’s Dual Slalom. In addition to Bradbury’s national championship in Women’s Varsity Dual Slalom, BC’s finishers included Olivia Hyde (12th place), Lylyk (18th) and Madeleine Pollock (22nd). In Men’s Dual Slalom, Mader (6th place) and Leliveld (7th) both advanced to the quarterfinals, while Brown placed 15th and Gunnar Ensign finished 27th.
On Friday, attention turned to Cross Country for both the men and women. In the men’s race, Punchard (1:22:16) topped CMU’s Spranger (1:24:45) by 29 seconds to take the championship with Clark (1:24:52) placing fourth. Leliveld earned a top-ten with a sixth-place finish followed by Brevard’s Philip Ford (29th place), Matthew Edwards (30th), Dylan Richardson (60th), Ben Sunde (66th) and Liam Smith (69th).
On the women’s side, Lylyk was the top finishing Tornado with a 14th place result in Cross Country. Pollock (16th place), Kelly Lawson (33rd place), Jackie Neilon (39th) and Carmen Chirino Hulsund (45th) were the other BC finishers. Bradbury was a DNF in the race, making her individual omnium title even more impressive.
In Saturday’s Men’s Short Track Cross Country competition, Punchard (23:57) edged Carson Beard of Fort Lewis College by six seconds to take his second national championship in as many days. Leliveld earned another top-ten with a sixth-place result followed by Clark in the seventh position. Edwards (27th), Ford (30th) and Sunde (55th) rounded out the competitors from Brevard College.
The Women’s Short Track Cross Country race featured six Brevard College finishers led by a fourth-place podium result by Lylyk (20:45). Bradbury (9th place) earned a top-ten result as well, while Pollock (15th), Lawson (39th), Neilon (43rd) and Chirino Hulsund (49th) also finished in short track.
To go along with the 1-3-4 finish from Mader, Brown and Leliveld in Sunday’s Men’s Varsity Downhill, Brevard’s Ensign placed 14th followed by Watt Hackney (25th) and Clark (30th).
In Women’s Varsity Downhill on Sunday morning, Lylyk (12th) and Hyde (14th) were the fastest Tornados. Following a crash in a practice run, Bradbury made her start time with just seconds to spare to finish 16th in downhill and in turn clinch the women’s individual omnium. Finishing just behind Bradbury in the downhill was Pollock who garnered an 18th place result.
The national championships concluded with the exciting Team Relay as Brevard’s team of Clark, Punchard, Pollock and Lylyk placing third to clinch the second-place overall Team Omnium result as this season’s second-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 UCI North Carolina Grand Prix in Hendersonville, North Carolina on November 18-19, followed by the 2023 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships, December 5-8 in Louisville, Kentucky.
The ten-time national champion Brevard College Cycling program features varsity programs in the disciplines of Mountain Bike, Cyclocross 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.
2023 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships
October 12-15, Ride Rock Creek, Zircona, N.C.
Varsity Team Omnium
1. Colorado Mesa University, 672 points – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Brevard College, 634 points
3. Fort Lewis College, 626 points
4. Lees-McRae College, 535 points
5. Marian University, 522 points
Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium
1. Jack Spranger, Colorado Mesa Univ., 196 points – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Carson Beard, Fort Lewis College, 174 points
3. Matthew Leliveld, Brevard College, 172 points
4. Ivan Slippy, Colorado Mesa Univ., 139 points
5. Owen Clark, Brevard College, 124 points
Women’s Varsity Individual Omnium
1. Nicole Bradbury, Brevard College, 156 points – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Tai-Lee Smith, Colorado Mesa Univ., 149 points
3. Kiara Lylyk, Brevard College, 134 points
4. Maria Doering, SCAD-Atlanta, 110 points
5. Tessa Greep, Lees-McRae College, 107 points
Men’s Varsity Cross Country
1. Cole Punchard, Brevard College, 1:22:16 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Jack Spranger, Colorado Mesa Univ., 1:24:45
3. Carson Beard, Fort Lewis College, 1:24:48
4. Owen Clark, Brevard College, 1:24:52
5. Ivan Sippy, Colorado Mesa Univ., 1:25:35
6. Matthew Leliveld, Brevard College
24. Philip Ford, Brevard College
30. Matthew Edwards, Brevard College
60. Dylan Richardson, Brevard College
66. Ben Sunde, Brevard College
69. Liam Smith, Brevard College
Women’s Varsity Cross Country
1. Makena Kellerman, Colorado Mesa Univ., 1:27:56 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Bailey Cioppa, Fort Lewis College, 1:29:36
3. Lina Dorscht, Lees-McRae College, 1:29:49
4. Michaela Thompson, Fort Lewis College, 1:30:16
5. Jette Aelken, SCAD-Savannah, 1:30:43
14. Kiara Lylyk, Brevard College
16. Madeleine Pollock, Brevard College
33. Kelly Lawson, Brevard College
39. Jackie Neilon, Brevard College
45. Carmen Chirino Hulsund, Brevard College
Men’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country
1. Cole Punchard, Brevard College, 23:57 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Carson Beard, Fort Lewis, 24:03
3. Ivan Sippy, Colorado Mesa Univ., 24:43
4. Jack Spranger, Colorado Mesa Univ., 24:58
5. Zach Fernau, Lindsey Wilson College, 25:35
6. Matt Leliveld, Brevard College
7. Owen Clark, Brevard College
27. Matthew Edwards, Brevard College
30. Philip Ford, Brevard College
55. Ben Sunde, Brevard College
Women’s Varsity Short Track Cross Country
1. Michaela Thompson, Fort Lewis College, 19:58 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Jette Aelken, SCAD-Savannah, 20:20
3. Bailey Cioppa, Fort Lewis College, 20:39
4. Kiara Lylyk, Brevard College, 20:45
5. Lizzy Gunsalus, Marian Univ., 20:46
9. Nicole Bradbury, Brevard College
15. Madeleine Pollock, Brevard College
39. Kelly Lawson, Brevard College
43. Jackie Neilon, Brevard College
49. Carmen Chirino Hulsund, Brevard College
Men’s Varsity Downhill
1. Cameron Mader, Brevard College, 2:04.10 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Matt Sterling, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:04.40
3. Jack Brown, Brevard College, 2:06.31
4. Matthew Leliveld, Brevard College, 2:06.98
5. Thomas Allison, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:09.10
14. Gunnar Ensign, Brevard College
25. Watt Hackney, Brevard College
31. Owen Clark, Brevard College
Women’s Varsity Downhill
1. Erin Bixler, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:30:37 – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Jazlyn Smith, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:30.86
3. Madelyn Roberson, Fort Lewis College, 2:31.83
4. Sophie Allen, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:32.03
5. Tai-Lee Smith, Colorado Mesa Univ., 2:32.10
12. Kiara Lylyk, Brevard College
14. Olivia Hyde, Brevard College
16. Nicole Bradbury, Brevard College
18. Madeleine Pollock, Brevard College
Men’s Varsity Dual Slalom
1. Matt Sterling, Colorado Mesa Univ. – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Dominic Mudry, Lees-McRae College
3. Ethan Bergdolt, Western Colorado
4. Jack Spranger, Colorado Mesa Univ.
5. Evander Hughes, Colorado Mesa Univ.
6. Cameron Mader, Brevard College
7. Matthew Leliveld, Brevard College
15. Jack Brown, Brevard College
27. Gunnar Ensign, Brevard College
Women’s Varsity Dual Slalom
1. Nicole Bradbury, Brevard College – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Breanna Winter, Marian University
3. Jazlyn Smith, Colorado Mesa Univ.
4. Ari Soto, Colorado Mesa Univ.
5. Sophie Allen, Colorado Mesa Univ.
12. Olivia Hyde, Brevard College
18. Kiara Lylyk, Brevard College
22. Madeleine Pollock, Brevard College
1. Colorado Mesa Univ. – NATIONAL CHAMPION
2. Fort Collins College
3. Brevard College (Clark, Punchard, Pollock, Lylyk)
Brevard College Podium Finishes in BOLD
PHOTO CAPTION: Cameron Mader of Brevard College celebrates a national championship alongside teammates Matthew Leliveld and Jack Brown on the Men’s Varsity Downhill podium at the 2023 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships at Ride Rock Creek.
PHOTO CREDIT: Burke Ulrey