Collegiate Track National Championships
UC San Diego returned this weekend from one of its strongest ever showings at USA Cycling’s Collegiate Track National Championships. The championships were held at the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Twelve Tritons traveled to race: Esther Walker, Holly Resh, Lily McCormick, Aileen Tran, Eric Geier, Daniel Yang, Daniel Freilich, Sean Lee, Masato Yoshihara, Todd Woodlan, Chris Bonner and coach Pat Jak. Team members were lucky enough to stay in the Olympic training center and get the real athlete experience (and get to take home their own OTC ID badges!).
Competition consisted of three days of races, which ranged in distance from 200m to 30km. For those unfamiliar with track cycling, racers ride around a 333m banked concrete track called a Velodrome. There are a variety of race formats, each of which might play to a different set of skills. Match sprints pit two racers against each other in short, fast races. Racers face each other one-on-one, tournament style, until a winner is found. The individual pursuit is similar but racers start on opposite sides of the track to “pursue” each other, with final results determined by time. In the time trial each racer has the track to themselves in a race against the clock. The scratch race is a traditional mass-start race of 4 to 6 km – the first rider across the finish line is the winner. The points race is longer and more tactical – placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in certain laps earns the rider more points, and points are tallied after the race to determine the winner. There are team events as well – the team pursuit puts three to four teammates on the track to work together and earn the fastest time. The team sprint is similar, but each lap the team’s leading rider drops out to leave the final rider to sprint a solo lap as hard as they can.
UC San Diego put up some great results, earning top-ten spots in the women’s individual pursuit, men’s match sprint, men’s 1000m TT, women’s scratch race, men’s scratch race, women’s team pursuit, men’s team pursuit, and co-ed team sprint.
Both Esther Walker and Eric Geier earned 6th place in the overall individual omnium, and UC San Diego as a team placed 7th overall. UC San Diego showed they have what it takes to compete with the top schools in the country, and more importantly, have a ton of fun doing it.
Overall Team Omnium: UCSD 7th place
Overall Individual Omnium, Women: Esther 6th, Holly 35th
Overall Individual Omnium, Men: Eric 6th, Yang 41st
Coed Team Sprint: 3rd place
Women’s Team Pursuit (Esther, Holly, Lilly) – 7th
Men’s Team Pursuit (Eric, Yang, Freilich, Lee) – 10th
Women’s Individual Pursuit: Esther 3rd, Lilly 31st, Holly 42nd
Men’s Individual Pursuit: Eric 17th, Masato 47th, Yang 48th, Sean 51st
Women’s Points Race: Esther 7th, Holly 14th
Men’s Points Race: Eric 11th, Yang 27th
Women’s Sprint: Aileen 16th, Esther 18th, Holly 32nd
Men’s Sprint: Eric 5th, Todd 12th, Freilich 20th, Bonner 22nd, Yang 28th
Women’s 500m: Aileen 24th, Esther 28th, Holly 46th
Men’s 1000m: Eric 8th, Freilich 19th, Bonner 43rd, Todd 44th, Masato 60th
Women Scratch Race: Esther 7th, Holly 27th
Men’s Scratch Race: Eric 4th