The Southeastern Conference ended this weekend with MHC Cycling atop the podium. The team won the overall team title in Division II ahead of King College and Brevard College. MHC’s Klara Rossouw held on to her lead, winning the overall individual women’s title (Division’s I and II combined) over Lees-McRae’s Rachel Warner, who came on strong during the final weekend by winning both the Road Race and Criterium but ended up just 31 points shy of the lead. Cinthia Lehner rode to a strong 3rd overall finish. Yolanda Colon’s consistent efforts in support of Rossouw and the team earned her enough points to place 3rd overall in Div II.
In the men’s individual competition, Paul Webb fought to hang on to his overall lead heading into the weekend but was passed by Clemson’s Ben Zawacki and had to settle for 2nd overall with Zach Felpel in 3rd. Still, Webb claimed 1st overall individual in the Div II rankings, meaning that MHC swept the top podium spots in our Division II. Kyle Knott was 2nd overall in Div II and Matt Willing placed 5th. Both Nikola Milanovic and Francisco Fuster sacrificed their personal chances all season long in order to help the team. Without their efforts, we may not have earned the right to take all of our team to the national championships in Madison, WI, on May 7-9.
Other strong results include Melissa Holloway’s 1st place in the Conference Championship Road Race and 2nd in the Criterium (women B). Melissa is graduating this year and is going out on a high note. She will be joining Yolanda Colon and Klara Rossouw in the women’s Team Time Trial event at nationals, a well-deserved ending to her 3-year stint with the team.
Also, Matt Willing had a very strong ride in the Conference Road Race, finishing 5th; Ryan Levander rode to a fine 7th in the Criterium; Yonatan Arnold crashed hard in the Road Race and broke his bike but returned battered and bruised to finish the Criterium; and Aaron Wells, the team’s newest member, finished both the Road Race and Criterium, his first bike races ever.
Full season results and points tabulations can be found at www.collegiatecycling.org/seccc. The riders heading to nationals include:
Thanks to Mars Hill College for supporting the team and seeing the value in collegiate cycling. And much thanks to MHC, and our many sponsors, supporters, and volunteers who made our Conference Championships event such a great success.