Keepin on in Truckee: Western State mountain bike team takes 11th place at Nationals in Truckee, Calif.
Oct. 21, 2009 -- Eric Booton, president of the Western State College mountain bike team, said that the group wanted to show the nation that they are still a force in the collegiate scene.
Jordan Newth of the Western State College mountain bike team, headed toward a 6th place finish in the downhill race at the USA Cycling's Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Truckee, Calif.
He was one of five riders who qualified to compete in the USA Cycling’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in Truckee, Calif. held Oct. 16 to 19.
The WSC team took 11th place in the Division II category, out of 25 colleges. In Division II Brevard College took this year’s championship, with Fort Lewis College securing the Division I title.
The team is in the process of rebuilding itself. In 2006 the team, which is part of the club sports program at Western was Division II champions. Last year they did not even make an appearance at the national championships.
In fact Booton, who is in his first year as president, explained that they weren’t really considering making an appearance at nationals, until they saw the potential in this team’s athletes. “We had a rough start with a lot of our riders not returning from last year,” he said. “But as our season progressed, we did well at our races, and decided to make an appearance for Western in Truckee.”
The championships took place over three days at the North Star Resort. The different types of races were: downhill, 4 cross, short track and cross country. On an individual level Jordan Newth took 6th place in the downhill event out of 50 riders. Booton took 23rd, Samuel Degenhard took 36th and Owen Tulip took 50th, the result of a broken rear shock. Overall in the downhill category, WSC was the 6th place team. In the 4 cross race, Jordan Newth took 12th place. In short track Dylan Stucki took 7th place. Stucki also took 6th place in the cross country race.
This was Stucki’s first year racing for WSC. He previously raced for the cycling powerhouse Fort Lewis, a team that continually dominates the collegiate circuit.
“Racing with Western this year has been more about just having a good time versus getting on the podium,” he said. “At Fort Lewis I was on a team that has 200 some riders. Here we have less than 20.”
Booton said that the riding was similar to some of the riding in the Crested Butte area.
“There was some rocky terrain, riding in the woods, all in all some really fun riding.”
All of the riders on this year’s team will be returning next year. Booton said that the team is in need of some female riders to truly strengthen the group.
“The schools that have women on their teams make it to the top.”
“We feel we represented Western really well this year,” he added. “Everyone was truly excited to be there.”
Story by: Luke Mehall, assistant director of public relations and communications