By Vicky Sama, HSU Cycling Coach
Schiff Wins Gold, Team gets Bronze at Mountain Bike National Championships
HSU Cycling Club members Matt Schiff, Justin Graves, Steven Pearl, Dylan Wright, Nate Abel, Jake Hinlicky, Kaydee Raths and Alex Deich returned to Arcata with several national championships medals from Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Angel Fire, N.M. on Oct. 29.
Matt Schiff won the cross country race and the overall men’s omnium leader. Photo courtesy USA Cycling.
Matt Schiff is the Division II Men’s overall champion. He won the cross country race on Friday, finished second place in Saturday’s short track race and earned the most points to win the individual men’s omnium. He comes home with four national championship medals (two gold, one silver and one bronze).
HSU got the bronze medal in the Division II Team Omnium—for finishing third place among all the Division II teams after the four events at national championships. Each one of the riders was given a bronze medal for their contribution to the team’s finish.
HSU Cycling Club president Justin Graves got the 4th place medal in the downhill race and teammate Jake Hinlicky got the fifth place medal.
Kaydee Raths was the only HSU woman competing at nationals this fall. “Kaydee has worked hard over the past year. I’m so excited for her,” said cycling faculty adviser and coach Vicky Sama. Raths finished 15th in the women’s cross country race and 14th in the short track, earning valuable points toward the team’s overall national standing.
The conditions at Nationals was unusually dangerous. The Angel Fire ski area received several feet of snow in the days leading up to the competition, which covered the race courses in ice and snow. HSU’s Alex Deich crashed during Saturday’s downhill race and hurt his shoulder and was unable to finish the race. Graves and Hinlicky also crashed in the same race but finished in an amazingly fast times to make the podium.