Brevard College sophomore Tyler Clark won the Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium national title to cap off a highly successful trip to the 2019 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships for the Tornados Cycling team which earned a total of nine podiums and 16 top-ten finishes at the event held in Big Bear Lake, California.
As a team, Brevard finished third in the final Team Omnium standings behind team national champion Colorado Mesa University and second-place Fort Lewis College. The Team Omnium finish was solidified by a strong second-place result by the quartet of Clark, Carson Beckett, Emma Schwab and Hannah Arensman in the Team Relay, the final event of the championships.
The third-place team result, up one position from last year’s fourth-place team omnium, marked the 11th time in the last 12 years (including six Mountain Bike national championships) that Brevard has secured a top-four finish.
Clark won the Men’s Varsity Individual Omnium national championship, given to the best overall rider, by accumulating the most points of the 86 entrants in the male varsity competition. Clark accumulated a total of 184 points, across the four individual events of Cross Country, Short Track, Dual Slalom, and Downhill.
Clark, a native of King City, Ontario, topped second-place omnium finisher Trevor McCutcheon of Colorado Mesa by 10 points. Brevard College teammates Carson Beckett (168 points) and Tyler Orschel (135 points) finished third and fourth respectively to join Clark on the omnium podium.
By winning the Individual Omnium title Clark becomes the second Brevard College rider to win an omnium national championship this calendar year, joining BC alumnus Scott McGill who won the 2019 championship in road racing. Clark also becomes the first Brevard College rider to win the Individual Male Omnium in Varsity Division I competition and the first BC rider to be crowned omnium champion since Walker Shaw won the Division II omnium championship in 2014.
“It’s really hard for me to express how proud we are of these students,” said Head Coach Brad Perley. “Despite having a comparatively small race roster, most of our students raced multiple events in order to achieve this result. It’s extremely exciting to have claimed our first Division I men’s omnium title with Clark’s victory. Each individual result and podium appearance was supported fully by teammate support. These students invest such an incredible amount of time and work to make these happen and it’s gratifying to see the result.”
The national championship weekend began for the Tornados with Cross Country competition on Friday at high elevations at Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake, California. Clark earned his first podium of the weekend with a third-place result to go along with top-ten results for Beckett (6th) and Orschel (10th) in Male Varsity Cross Country. Sophomore Ryan Johnson (22nd) and freshman Tyler Miranda (24th) each posted solid finishes as well in their collegiate national championships debut.
Led by a ninth place result by Arensman, a total of six Tornados finished in Female Varsity Cross Country. Schwab placed 26th in her collegiate national championships debut to go along with results by returners Nicole Rusden (32nd) and Hannah Dickson (38th). Freshmen Michaela Gray (33rd) and Aliza Tobias (45th) also made their collegiate nationals debut at Friday’s cross country race.
Saturday’s action in Men’s Varsity Short Track saw three more top-tens for the Tornados and another podium for Clark who finished fourth. Orschel placed sixth, while Beckett finished in the subsequent position in seventh place.
Arensman placed in the top-ten again with a seventh place result in Women’s Short Track. Schwab finished 18th to lead the remaining five BC women’s racers in the short track event.
Sunday began with the Male Varsity Downhill Finals with Beckett, Orschel and Clark each competing for Brevard. Beckett placed 10th to give BC yet another top-ten result, while Orschel (17th) and Clark (20th) earned results to solidify their omnium totals.
Brevard College newcomer Rachel Pageau earned a podium in Women’s Varsity Downhill with a fifth place result. Arensman (11th) and Dickson (37th) also raced in the Downhill finals.
The national championships concluded with the much anticipated Team Relay. The Tornados used the foursome of Clark, Beckett, Schwab and Arensman for the event. Fort Lewis won the relay, with Brevard earning a silver medal and Colorado Mesa finishing third.
For complete results and information for the USA Cycling national championships, go to usacycling.org
Brevard College is consistently recognized as one of the best liberal arts colleges. The College’s focus on experiential learning, small class sizes, and location the mountains of Western North Carolina near Asheville makes Brevard a top choice college for students around the world.