This past weekend was collegiate National Championships in Indianapolis. The event was hosted by Marian University and they did a wonderful job with it. The track looked nice and everything was run smoothly. The weather in Indy however was not as nice. When we landed it was 80 degrees and the next three days it was in the 40′s in the morning. Not very fun to race when it is that cold.
My first event of the trip was the 1 kilometer time trial on Thursday night. I was in the last heat, there were roughly 85 riders in the kilo which was awesome to see that many college students getting into the sport. By the time I went off it had gotten cold but the wind died down a little. I rode a decent kilo with a time of 1:08 considering the conditions. I know I could have done a much faster time on a different track and different conditions. When I settled into the aerobars on the first lap my chest and lungs began to lock up in the cold air so I knew it wouldn’t be a great ride. I was able to just get the win by a few tenths but sadly I came in after the kilo and puked up everything I had in me. It was a rough night and Rodney put a nice picture of it on Facebook.
My second and last event at Collegiate Nats was the Sprint tournament. A 200m time trial early on a cold morning is definately not my thing. I qualified into second spot. I knew I could race my way to first because I always race better than I tt. The morning rounds went well and I moved into the afternoon session. The Marian fans really came out to the race that night and the entire time we were racing they were yelling. Racing Colton in the final made me feel like I had no fans because he was a Marian rider. No matter I was still able to beat him after two great sprint rides. The best part of Collegiate Nats had to be the whole PSU team and a few T-Town riders doing the “We Are” chant during the podium presentation for the sprints.
I had an day off of racing on Saturday and instead of doing my homework I went to the track to help out the other PSU riders in sprints and the points race. It was really weird being in the “coach” position and seeing a different side of the sport. I really enjoyed it though and I think once my career is over I may give coaching a try.
Collegiate Nationals was a totally new experience for me and I really enjoyed it. I would just like to thank Penn State University for allowing me the opportunity to go. Also a big shout out to the Marian staff and volunteers as well as USA Cycling for putting on another great event. I will be heading off to California next week to compete at Elite National Championships and see if I can defend my keirin title.