CLASH of the COLLEGIATES: 2017 Cajun Nationals race report
For the past few years, West Monroe's Ike Hamilton events center has hosted the Cajun Nationals; and this year - with the USA Cycling Collegiate Championships. Just like those locals who toss a stick of dynamite in a lake and call it fishing, this weekend's race was going to blow all of the past ones out of the water.
Saturday's motos were posted and everyone was pleaasantly surprised to see 209 of them hung in the stalls of the Ike Hamilton Events Center.
CLASH OF THE COLLEGIATES:
Among this weekend's festivities was the annual USA Cycling Collegiate National championships. Amongst all of the cycling colleges in America, collegiate teams strive to win the omnium; the overall points lead for all cycling disciplines. BMX Racing is the second to last category, and the points were looking close as they near the Road bike portion that will decide the overall. The familiar blue and black jersey of Marian University currently sits 30 poiints ahead of Fort Lewis College - and after this weekend, they were hoping to stretch that lead a little further. ...but not if Lindsey Wilson had any say in the matter. These two cool schools - along with CMU and Fort Lewis were ready to tango.
Earlier in the qualifying rounds, the boys were trading elbows in the first turn, and the school rivalies were heating up as LWU's Dusty Hammond gave Posey a little bit o' love in the corner, sending him to the top of the berm. Marian's Luke Roarty was also riding a bit crazy, and going for some insane inside-turn action. It was apparent from the get-go that these students didn't come here just for a cool bus ride.
Speakin' of buses - both Marian and Lindsey-Wilson pulled up to the arena in full-blown charter buses, that made you wonder if they stole the keys to their basketball team's transpo before they headed to March Madness.
After day one, it was Lindsey Wilson's Sabrina Bice (the reigning Ladys Champ) scoring the Collegiate Womens win, and 3-time Collegiate Champ Justin Posey taking the Mens victory in a no-holds barred title 'bout.
- 1 SABRINA BICE, DFASTSIGNS /POWERLITE / DFR - AZ
- 2 JAMIE WINDHOLZ, MARION UNIVERSITY - MO
- 3 ELIDA BEEMAN, ANSWER/RENNEN - MI
- 4 KAELI LIXANDRU, JR BICYCLES.COM/CHASE/BOX - AZ
- 5 BAILEE ENLOW, FACTORY FREE AGENT-BOX - ND
- 6 HEATHER COLLMAN, FACTORY YESS - IL
- 7 ADRIAN SANDERS, THRODWN - KS
- 8 KRISTEN BOB - TX
- 1 JUSTIN POSEY, DANS - NC
- 2 COLLIN HUDSON - CO
- 3 ALEC BOB, FREE AGENT-BOX - TX
- 4 JUSTIN RICHMOND, THRODWN - IL
- 5 ALDEN VOLLE, DANS - CA
- 6 BRYCE STROUD, SSQUARED - FL
- 7 RYAN DENTY - CA
- 8 COREY ROSS - IN
Inbetween motos, any rider could go 'n check out the College scene and learn more about their options for a future cycling program at a University. When it comes down to it - just like in all other College sports (whether its football, lacrosse, track and field or whatever), the more a College team WINS, they bigger their budget becomes. Taking this omnium (overall) in USAC will not only secure them the funds to do more for their cycliing team, but also will expand scholarships for future BMXers (and MTB'ers, etc.). Since BMX racers are known for their cross-over talents - able to hop on a mountain bike and kick butt, get in a killer sprint in the velodrome, or do well in the muddy conditions of cyclo-cross, these colleges will obviously be looking to recruit BMXers who are well-rounded athletes and can whup it up on a bike no matter what the wheel size.
Sunday would be the deciding day for the USAC Collegiate championships for BMX, and as the big white busses pulled into the Ike Hamilton arena parking lot, and these college athletes unloaded for their morning warmup, you could feel the intensity. Who would've ever have thought that we'd see the day that BMX riders would get college scholarships - and compete for their schools, doing BMX! It just doesn't get much better than this - and gives hope to all of those parents and young riders of today that what they are doing with BMX racing today could lead to a scholarship and education.