By Vicky Sama
HSU Cycling team after WCCC championships in Reno. Pictured standing left to right: Kaydee Raths, Marina Marcoft, Nate Abel, Justin Graves, Alex Deich, Ben Barry, Asst. Coach Evan Gibbs, Traci Kroll, Luke Ramseth, Nancy Vargas, Haylay Umayam, Joe Zaizar; kneeling: Alvin Garlejo, Coach Vicky Sama and Moose. Photo by Gregg Ramseth.
Ramseth leads club to Championships
HSU Cycling is the Division II Western Collegiate Cycling Conference Champion in road racing, and HSU’s Luke Ramseth is once again the overall Division II Conference Champion. Twelve members of the HSU’s cycling team raced at conference championships in Reno this weekend. The team participated in the team time trial, criterium and road race events, finishing with enough points to win the title. Ramseth returned to Arcata with a medal, special yellow championship jersey and lucite star given only to the overall conference champions. He finished in seventh place in the Men’s A, 88-mile road race, in a tense finishing sprint with the main pack just seconds behind a lead breakaway of two riders from UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz.
Women and Graves make Podium
HSU’s Hayley Umayam got second and Traci Kroll third in the women’s overall conference standing. Both women received medals. On Sunday, Umayam finished sixth in the Women’s A 69-mile road race, despite the fact that her front wheel was loose and not secured onto her bike. “That was an incredible race for Hayley,” said coach Vicky Sama. “She recently moved up to women’s A– the highest category in collegiate cycling– and she raced like a pro without letting that wheel distract her.”
In one of the most stunning finishes of the weekend, Justin Graves won a hard-fought field sprint for second place in the Men’s C 44-mile road race. One solo rider finished ahead of the pack. About 20 racers survived with Graves on the last long hill and were still together as the pack surged toward the finish line. “I feel so good, I could do another lap,” said Graves right after the race.
Graves, Alex Deich, Alvin Garlejo and Joe Zaizar finished in fourth place in a cold, early Saturday morning Team Time Trial, earning valuable conference points for HSU. A team time trial is an event where cyclists ride together against the clock. HSU’s men’s A and women’s A TTT teams also finished with points.
Other HSU results in Saturday’s campus criterium: Marina Marcroft finished sixth and Nancy Vargas eighth in the Women’s C criterium. Graves got fourth and Garlejo 11th in the Men’s C crit. Deich got fourth and Zaizar 15th in the Men’s D crit. Umayam got ninth and Kroll 13th in the Women’s A crit. Ramseth got ninth, Nate Abel got 26th and Ben Barry 30th in the Men’s A crit.