Case Cycling takes 15th at USAC Collegiate Track Nationals
Case Cycling's track team, the reigning MWCCC champs. From left to rigth: (back): Avery Cross, Matthew Swartwout, Dan Segal, Sam Sprawls, Dan Muskin-Pierret, Evan Guarr (front): Anneke Frankemolle, Daniela Mehech, Jenna Tomasevich, Mallory Busso, Eric Silverman, David Takahashi. Photo credit: Gary Burkholder.
Case Cycling finished the collegiate track season on September 22nd by achieving its second-ever national ranking.
Only in its second year, Case Cycling’s track program sent two riders to the USA Cycling (USAC) Collegiate Track Nationals in Colorado Springs, CO. Graduate student Jenna Tomasevich and senior David Takahashi competed over three days of intense racing against the best in the country. Tomasevich placed 48th in the Individual Women's Omnium and scored enough points to place Case Western Reserve University in 15th place overall for Division II.
Tomasevich had this to say about her experience at Track Nationals:
“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be racing at nationals when I started as an undergrad at Case five years ago … [and] I couldn’t be prouder to have represented my wonderful team and my university at the national level.
The level of competition at nationals was something I had never experienced before… I had the opportunity to race against current and future Olympians, National and World champions, as well as the chance to make friends with some of the country’s best amateur and professional cyclists. While the competition was certainly intimidating on the track and the stage couldn’t have been more dramatic, racing at nationals and representing Case Cycling is an experience I won’t soon forget.”
Prior to competing at Nationals, Case Cycling enjoyed a hard-fought, record-setting track season in the regional Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC). The season consisted of two races: one at the Indy Cycloplex at Marian University and one at our very own Cleveland Velodorome. Case sent seven riders to Marian and saw multiple top-10 finishes. The Cleveland Velodrome race, which doubled as the MWCCC Time Trial Regional Championships, saw Case Cycling emerge on top. In the Individual Men's Omnium Senior David Takahashi took first, with sophomore Sam Sprawls in second. Sophomores Avery Cross and Matthew Swartwout tied for eighth, with freshman Evan Guarr in tenth. Graduate student Anneke Frankemolle took first place in the Individual Women's Omnium, with medical student Daniela Mehech in 2nd place. Graduate student Jenna Tomasevich took 6th place, and junior Mallory Busso placed 7th.
These top finishes gave Case Cycling a commanding lead in the MWCCC Track Team Omnium. Last year, Case finished first in Division II. This year, Case finished first overall, beating every Division I and II school in the Midwest.
For the 2011-2012 season, Case Western Reserve University Cycling was ranked 36th in the Division II Overall (Track, Cyclocross, Mountain, and Road) Omnium after getting 22 points at the USAC Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals. Currently, Case stands at 19 points, with Mountain, Cyclocross, and Road Nationals still to come.
Case Cycling’s coach and staff advisor, Ryan Pierce, was elated with the team’s performance and involvement this season. “More than the results, which were fantastic, I’m excited to see so many new riders really get involved in this discipline. Both of our nats riders were new to the track this year. Out of the seven riders at Marian, six had never raced before. The number of women racing on the team tripled since last year. This means a real pipeline of new talent and room for growth in future seasons.”
Pierce was also quick to point out the importance of having a velodrome so close to campus. “We knew from the start that track competition, through fierce, is often limited to schools with a velodrome nearby – that meant Case’s athletes already had a leg up and a chance to shine. Races can be won or lost by tenths of a second, and getting a chance to practice taking the perfect line around the track can mean all the difference. The engagement and support from the Cleveland Velodrome has been absolutely invaluable.”
Now that the track season has concluded, the team will refocus its efforts onto cyclocross, participating in both collegiate competitions and the Northeast Ohio Cyclocross (NEOCX) Series, and will be co-hosting the NEOCX Season Finale with the Cleveland Velodrome on December 14th.
Interested in learning more about the team, lending your support, or purchasing a team kit? Go to www.casecycling.com and fill out the contact form, or visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/CaseCycling and Twitter @CaseCycling.
Matthew Swartwout is a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University, majoring in Computer Engineering. He is the Secretary for Case Cycling and races road, track, and cyclocross for the team.