Rutgers still on top in cyclocross standings

By Steven Hopengarten and Bill Palm

Over the weekend thousands of cyclocross racers descended on Look Park in Northampton, MA to take part in the 20th annual Cycle-Smart International. Among the professional and amateur races ,collegiate riders from all over the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference were battling for individual omniums and team overall standings.

Day 1

Things got started on day 1 with the Mens’ C race with On Day 1 the University of Vermont stormed away with the with the victory on the Mens’ side for the team overall with 15 riders contesting for the race. Out of the scrum Dan Homeier came out on top taking the victory for Colby College, with Adam Nawrot (Rutgers) and Andrew Lysaght (MIT) rounded out the podium.

Next was hotly contested Womens’ B race which had Olivia Harkness (Maine College of Art) storm away from the competition to take the win.  Women’s B leader, Molly Hurford (Rutgers) took second and Christina Birch of MIT took a well-earned third.

The third contest of the day was the B men’s race, which had John Herrick (UVM) come out with the victory, Charles Thompson (Rutgers) claiming second and Dan Ipp (RIT) in third both having started well in the back.

In women’s A, Collegiate Division 2 National Champion Arielle Filliberti of Dartmouth College took the win, saying “It was good, definitely a really fun course, always my favorite.”  Second place went to Laura Ralston of MIT who started slow and had a mechanical, but took away a lesson , “I learned how to go into the pit today and change bikes.”  When asked about her national aspirations, she said it was was all about the team, “MIT is going to have a team and we’re looking to do well.” Rounding out the podium was periennial force on the road Anna McLoon (Harvard) who rode her own race off the back and enjoyed her day “I was by myself or with Frances (MHC Alumnus) the entire race, my goal was to not get lapped or pulled and we succeeded, so… mission accomplished.”

The last race of the day was the A men, with the victory going to Chris Hamlin (UVM), who remarked “it was brutal, I crashed on the first lap… but yeah, it was fun.”  Second place went to another Catamount, Matt Mainer (UVM) and Noah Tautfest (Vermont Tech) took third.

At the end of the day  MIT came out on top in the team competition with strong performances on the mens’ and womens’ side, UVM took second and Rutgers took third.

Day 2

The day started with repeat podium from day 1 in the mens’ C race, Dan Homeier (Colby) came out with the win, Adam Nawrot (Rutgers) took second and Abrew Lysaght (MIT) took third.

Women’s B saw Olivia Harkness (Maine College of Art) take the win for the second day in a row. Christina Birch (MIT) and Molly Hurford (Rutgers) swapped spots from the previous day’s podium, taking second and third respectively.

Men’s B saw a major shake up with Tim Janson (RPI) taking the win, Charles Thompson taking another second place and day 1 victor John Herrick (UVM) came in third.

Women’s A saw Ari Filliberti take the win again for Dartmouth College and Laura Ralston finished second for the Engineers of MIT.

In the last race of the day, 2009 ECCC overall winner, Pat Bradley took the win after an absence the day before and was pleased with his result, “It was tough, it was a good battle; the race was fast the whole time, going, going, going.”  Chris Hamlin (UVM) was bumped off the top step from day 1 to take second on day 2 and his teammate Matt Mainer took third.

When the dust had settled the overalls were calculated and MIT took the victory on the day, with Rutgers and UVM tied for second.

Overalls

Halfway through the season, Rutgers remains solidly atop the overall leaderboard. RIT retains 2nd, with a significant but not insurmountable lead over UVM, MIT, and Colby. Will the Tigers’ tenacity be enough to withstand the others’ gender-balanced attacks? Only time will tell.

For individual overalls Molly Hurford (Rutgers) and Arielle Filliberti (Dartmouth) are tied for first in women’s A with Laura Ralston (MIT) in third.  On the Men’s A side, Pat Bradley (Rutgers) has a solid lead over Pete Hagerty (RIT) in second and Chris Hamlin (UVM) in third. On his overall lead and the all important call-up at nationals, Bradley said, “Hopefully I’ll get that front row call-up and each week I’m getting better, so we’ll see how nationals goes.”
This weekend we return to New York for the StatenCX 3.0 in NYC followed by Army’s own Veteran’s Day Cyclocross (note: it’s on 11/14, not 11/11) at West Point. These races will be key to the season overalls, and the collegiate entry fees at West Point are just $15. Registration is currently open at bikereg.com.

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