Tornados kickoff championship defense with Cross Country event
Sykes, Marek, Adams and Gaffney record finishes for Tornados
Angel Fire, N.M. - The Brevard College Cycling team began their defense of their third consecutive USA Collegiate Cycling Mountain Bike National Championship on Friday morning as they took on the snow and mud on the Cross Country course at the Angel Fire Bike Park.
The course, which features a 5.5 mile loop on the South Side of the Ski School, follows a trail that varies between 8,600 feet and 10,000 feet and after a morning practice run, the women took the course first, starting at 9:10 a.m.
Morgan Sykes was the lone BC female rider to take on the course on the afternoon, making her way through the laps to finish with a time of 2:49:48 to lead the Tornados. Sykes finished 19th overall among the riders for the first points in the Tornados defense of their back-to-back titles.
The noon sun warmed the course up as the men took the line at 12:10 p.m. as they began their run among the Division II riders on the course.
Kody Adams, Angel Fire, N.M. native Lewis Gaffney and Keith Marek all took on the field for Coach Brian Sheedy in the afternoon, with Adams leading the Tornados run with a time of 4:06:59 to place 28th overall on the event. Gaffney finished right behind, crossing the line with a time of 4:07:00 to finish 29th, while Marek rounded out the group with a time of 4:26:30 to place 35th in the event.
The Tornados will be back on the course as the teams take on the Short Track Course in the morning with the women starting at 10 a.m., while Kate Weisenfluh leads the BC riders in the Downhill Finals in the afternoon starting at 2 p.m.