It was a banner day for Colorado Mesa University en route to another cycling national championship.
A day after the men turned in a steady performance in the varsity race at the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships in Lakewood, Washington, the women from the Mavericks were dominant behind the championship ride of Katie Clouse in the women’s varsity race. The program from Grand Junction carried that over to a victory in the team relay to claim the overall omnium and yet another national championship this season after the Mavericks also won the mountain bike title narrowly in front of Durango’s Fort Lewis College back in October.
FLC finished third in the team omnium after the Skyhawks took second the previous two years.
Colorado Mesa’s four riders in the four-by-four team relay completed the four laps in 32 minutes, 14 seconds to finish 10 seconds in front of North Carolina’s Brevard College. Savannah College of Art and Design was third in 33:42. FLC finished fourth in 34:02.
Clouse won the women’s varsity race, as she completed five laps in 51:31. Her dominant effort was 1:23 faster than Samantha Runnels of Savannah College. Hannah Armensman of Brevard was third in 53:11.
FLC had a strong showing in the top 10, as Sophie Russenberger placed sixth in 56:44. She was followed by teammates Ellen Campbell, who placed seventh in 57:04, and Katja Freeburn, who was eighth in 57:54.
Katie Scott of FLC was 13th in 59:13, while teammate Tristen Musselman was 14th in 1:00:22. Anna Schehrer gave the Skyhawks another rider in the top 20, as she was 18th in 1:02:33.
Clouse, who races cyclocross professionally, anchored the CMU team relay victory.
Non-collegiate racing will continue Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is a big day for Durango’s Sarah Sturm, as she will try to defend her women’s singlespeed national championship, while several Durango men will race in the men’s singlespeed race. Junior races will fill the rest of Saturday.
Sunday will see many FLC athletes in the under-23 races as well as plenty of Durango talent, including Colorado men’s state champion Stephan Davoust, in the professional races.