HSU Cycling is now ranked fourth out of thirteen teams in the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference following successful mountain bike racing at the University of Nevada, Reno this weekend.
HSU’s women won three of four events at Peavine Mountain near the UNR campus. Erika Mittermaier won the Women’s C cross country race on Saturday and the Super D event on Sunday, where racers sprinted to pick up their bikes off the ground before descending for about 20 minutes down a fast and technical course.
HSU freshman Elena Dolitsky won the Women’s C short track on Sunday, celebrating her first victory in collegiate cycling after only two weeks of bike racing under her belt. The short track event is a dirt trail loop that climbs up a hill before descending a rocky canyon. Competitors race several laps around the loop, which took some of the fastest riders about three or four minutes per lap. Dolitsky had a strong lead right from the gun—climbing strong and descending smoothly. In the final lap, she gained at least 30 seconds on the next rider. Mittermaier finished third in the same event after crashing and cutting open her arm in the rocky canyon. Mittermaier received five stitches and was back racing and winning on Sunday. “This are my first stitches ever,” she said.
Team spirit helped with the strong finishes in Sunday’s short track event. Kevin Cage finished second in the Men’s B short track followed by teammate Alex Deich, who competed the entire race in the desert at high noon, wearing jeans and carrying a giant, stuffed, Rasta banana casino prize tied to his backpack.
Cage raced consistently all weekend, also getting second in Saturday’s cross country and fifth in Sunday’s Super D behind teammate Shaun Summa.
Michael Malocha won the Men’s D short track on Sunday—his first victory in his second bike race ever. Malocha’s mother flew in from Seattle to watch her son. “I haven’t cheered for him since he was in grammar school,” she said. “I’m so proud.”
Joe Mulleary raced well for his first time after upgrading to and competing in the top collegiate racing category—the Men’s A group. Mulleary’s top 20 finishes qualify him for the Collegiate National Championships in Tahoe next weekend. Also on the roster for nationals will be HSU Cycling Club President Justin Graves, Kevin Pabinquit and Jake Hinlicky, who all had top 11 finishes at UNR. Graves had a stunning third place finish in the Men’s A Super D on Sunday… almost catching second place at the finish line. Hinlicky finished seventh in Super D and Pabinquit, racing with a strained wrist and fingers, finished eleventh in Saturday’s downhill that included a high-air ramp jump. Josh Schultz won the Men’s D Super D.
HSU showed its power in Sunday’s Men’s C short track. Andrew Spickerman got second, Dylan Wright third and Schultz finished sixth, all gaining valuable points for the team’s overall standings.
Cal Poly leads the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference followed by UC Berkeley, UNR and HSU. Western Collegiate Cycling Conference rankings can be found at http://www.wccc-info.com/.