Yale takes 1-2 Twice
Tiahna Harris, UMass
After a day of riding 54 miles among the rolling hills of Lewisburg, PA, the Womens A/B riders were more than broken in and ready to ride on Easter Sunday. The 1.17 mile course for the Criterium was certainly diverse, and it would take a well rounded rider to clench first place. Sarah Bowman of Yale, a B rider, was that individual. After taking second in the Saturday Road Race, Bowman was not returning home from the weekend without a first place finish.
The field was spread into a single paceline for the first corner of the course, which immediately tested riders on their cornering and climbing. With many riders fighting for position to keep with the peloton, Bowman and Maggie Sullivan of Northeastern stayed in the front, though they did fall behind by the third lap. The field was eventually split in two with stragglers here and there.
By the sixth lap, Bowman took the front and Sullivan was back to third. Jena Greaser of UConn eventually started pulling, and while Bowman stayed close behind, Sullivan joined two other riders to chase the escaped trio for the remainder of the race. Sullivan did manage to win the second sprint, however. Greaser pulled for many of the middle laps, and the two Yale riders worked together to stay up top.
Koepsch, Greaser, and Bowman broke away and stayed ahead of the field permanently for the remainder of the race, and the final sprint or first would include them. Penn State and Bucknell attacked, which earned them a third place finish for Lauren Shirock (PSU) and a fifth place finish for Sinead ODwyer (Bucknell).
Yale had a substantial showing this weekend, with Koepsch taking first for the Road Race and Bowman taking second, and then swapping positions for the Criterium. As always, these women showed us what teamwork is all about!