It was a silver day for two of Durango’s own in West Virginia.
Stephan Davoust rode to second place in the varsity short-track cross country mountain bike race at the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships at Snowshoe Mountain. In the women’s club division race, Emily Schaldach of Durango also took second riding for the University of Colorado-Boulder.
“(Friday’s) race was insane,” Schaldach said in an email to The Durango Herald. “It was rainy and cold, the conditions were not optimal. As soon as the gun went off, though, it was awesome.”
Davoust is a talented short-track racer with a second-place finish at the pro national championships in 2015 and a ninth place finish in 2016.
He crossed the finish line in 27 minutes, 47.1 seconds Friday for the collegiate silver medal over a muddy course. Sean Fincham of Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia was first in 27:39.4. It was the first collegiate cycling medal for his college.
Colorado Mesa’s Elvind Roed rounded out the podium in third place. The Grand Junction native finished in 27:54.4.
Fort Lewis’ Cole Paton of Cashmere, Washington, took sixth in 28:14.5. FLC rider and Carbondale native Henry Nadell was 11th in 28:56.5. Durango’s own Levi Kurlander placed 18th for FLC in 29:58.2, and FLC’s Michael Sampson of Holderness, New Hampshire, claimed 21st in 30:24.5.
Schaldach’s time of 31:27.2 was good for second behind Emily Shields (31:19.9) of North Carolina at Greensboro. Katherine Shields (33:28.8) took third for Wake Forest. Schaldach’s time would have been good for third in the women’s varsity race, which was won by Hannah Finchamp of Lindenwood University in 30:32.9.
“I don’t think I ever worked so hard to catch someone that last lap of a race,” Schaldach said of her chase on Emily Shields. “I didn’t quite make it, but I did everything I could possibly do. The tank was drained at the end.”
Durango’s India Waller took fifth in the women’s short-track varsity race for Warren Wilson College. She finished in 32:52.9.
For the FLC women, Ellen Campbell of Durango led the charge in 11th place in 34:33.2. Carley Endersbe of Lakeville, Minnesota was 15th down one lap. Kelsay Lundberg of Salida was 16th, Anna Schehrer of Salida was 19th, and Libbey Endersbe was 21st down four laps.
Those results helped put FLC second in the team omnium standings after one of three days of racing. FLC has 158 points, and Brevard College leads with 177. Marian University sits in third place with 137 points.
Downhill qualifying was held Friday, and the finals will be contested Saturday. Cross country men’s and women’s races will also be held Saturday.
Racing will conclude Sunday with dual slalom. FLC is seeking a 23rd cycling national championships.