Tornados take four individual national championships
Tornados take four individual national championships

Tornados ride their way to 4th place finish behind four national champions

Jo Tuttle wins individual title, while Tristan Cowie takes two events

Banner Elk, N.C. - The Brevard College Cycling team traveled to Lees-McRae this past weekend to compete in the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships against teams from all over the country including Wake Forest, Appalachian State, East Tennessee State, Air Force, Navy, and MIT.

Weather played a huge factor over the weekend as teams battled the cold and the mud as rain. However, the Tornados were able to battle through the conditions as a team to take 4th place overall finish, highest in program history.

The Tornados clinched their first national championship early in the men’s cross country event when Tristan Cowie finished nearly three seconds in front of Union College’s Zach Winn to take the crown. Matt Wells, Matt St. Marie and Tim Reinhart finished in the top 40 for the race while an early crash knocked Dan Ennis out of the race. Jo Tuttle and Julia Tellman jumped out with the lead group on the women’s side, but eventually faded to 5th and 8th respectively.

The short track race was all Cowie as he blew past the field on his way to his second national championship of the weekend. St. Marie finished in 13th for the race while Dan Ennis, Wells, and Marshall Hartley rounded out the group in the top 35. On the women’s side, Tellman placed in the top 5 to earn podium status with Tuttle just on the outside, finishing in 7th.

In the downhill event, Ennis and Danny Cesare finished in the top 15 in what was listed as the toughest event of the Championships. Tuttle finished 2nd for the women behind Sierra Nevada’s Robyn Embrey, while Tellman finishing in 10th in spite of having problems with her bike late in the race.

The dual slalom event was the final event of the weekend. Ennis finished up in 3rd, less than a second behind eventual winner Deider Barrick of Colorado School of Mines, while Cesare fought through a crash to end up in 9th. Tuttle qualified in 1st for the race and held off the pack to take her first national championship. Tellman, like Cesare, finished in 9th after an early crash took her out of the competition.

The Tornados ended up taking 4th place overall in the team competition, behind Appalachian State, Colorado School of Mines and Warren Wilson College. The team was headlined by Jo Tuttle, overall women’s champion, Julia Tellman, 5th place individually, and Dan Ennis who finished in 4th in the men’s individual competition. The Tornados wrapped up their fall season with a total to 10 top five podium finishes and four national champions.

For complete results go to: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=3911

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