Mars Hill captured its first national championship last weekend at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships held in Madison, Wisconsin. Along the way, senior Kyle Knott picked up two additional national titles.
Knott, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, took first place in Sunday’s criterium, coming off a strong leadout by fellow senior Paul Webb of Omaha, Nebraska. Combined with his strong finish in Friday’s road race, the win placed Knott at the top of the Division 2 individual omnium competition. Strong performances from the rest of the team added to Knott’s performances to give Mars Hill 428 points in the coveted Division II omnium team title race, besting second place Mesa State College with 416, and third place Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with 413. Duke University finished fourth with 211 points, and the United States Military Academy took the final podium spot with 200 points.
Though Knott shined, there were several other outstanding performances for Mars Hill which figured in the total team points to claim the team omnium national title. Klara Rossouw of Cape Town, South Africa, finished sixth in the women’s criterium on the way to a twelfth place spot in the individual women’s omnium. Stephanie Bunnett of Naples, Florida, finished 21st in the women’s omnium. Sebastian Scherf of Germany finished ninth in the men’s criterium and seventh in the individual omnium. Paul Webb placed 31st in the men’s omnium and Michael Robinson took 39th place in the criterium.
Hugh Moran, Mars Hill College cycling coach, told USA Cycling that he had come to nationals competition hopeful that the Lions could maintain their first-place national ranking and come away with the top podium spot in the team omnium, but after the first two days of competition (which included the team time trials on Saturday), that goal appeared to be almost out of reach.
“Today, we thought it was nearly impossible to win the team omnium,” said Moran said on Sunday. “We knew our women had to do very well; they ended up second in team points and that gave us a shot. We had to come from behind and beat MIT and stay ahead of Mesa. Everything just worked to perfection. All of the women rode well and with Kyle (Knott) winning the crit and the individual omnium — I couldn’t be happier.”
See more at USA Cycling’s Collegiate Road Nationals website
DII Team Omnium Results
1. Mars Hill College 428
2. Mesa State College 416
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 413
4. Duke University 211
5. United States Military Academy 200
DII Men’s Criterium
1. Kyle Knott (Mars Hill, N.C./Mars Hill College) 1:14.29
2. Gregory Alexander (Woodbury, Minn./Brown University) 1:14:42
3. Ian Crane (Bellingham, Wash./Western Washington University) 1:14:30
4. Maxwell Anderson (Waukesha, WI/University of Wisconsin-Platteville) 1:14:30
5. Conor Mullervy (Littleton, CO/Mesa State College) 1:14:30
DII Men’s Individual Omnium
1. Kyle Knott (Mars Hill, N.C./Mars Hill College) 267
2. Maxwell Anderson (Waukesha, Wisc./University of Wisconsin-Platteville) 250
3. Robin Carpenter (Philadelphia, Pa./Swarthmore College) 248
4. Andrew Baker (Easley, S.C./Furman University) 240
5. Nicholas Boulle (Dallas, Texas/Southern Methodist University) 161
DII Women’s Criterium
1 Laura Ralston Cambridge, MA 1:00:31 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2 Elle Anderson Lebanon, NH 1:00:31 Dartmouth College
3 Kimberley Turner Seattle, WA 1:00:31 Seattle Pacific University
4 Kimberly Flynn Hixson, TN 1:00:31 University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
5 Traci Kroll Richmond, CA 1:00:31 Humboldt State University
6 Klara Rossouw Marshill, NC 1:00:31 Mars Hill College