Buffs win collegiate mountain bike title
The Aspen Times
The Colorado Buffaloes rode their way to the top.
The University of Colorado mountain bike team won the team title at the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in North Carolina last weekend.
The Buffaloes annually host their home event — the CU Invitational — at the Snowmass Ski Area.
The cycling Buffs powered to the Division 1 team championship with deep and balanced performances in the various disciplines at nationals.
Sepp Kuss of CU won the featured men’s cross country race at Beech Mountain Ski Area in North Carolina.
Two years ago, Kuss won the cross country title at the CU Invitational at Snowmass. This year, he was foiled by a mechanical issue.
Kuss edged Luke Vrouwenvelder of the University of North Carolina in the men’s race.
Vrouwenvelder went on to earn overall omnium honors in the men’s Division 1 category.
CU teammate Garrett Gerchar finished sixth overall with Josh Gallen, a CU rider from Crested Butte, in 12th place in the cross country race.
Emily Schaldach led the CU women in fourth place overall. CU teammate Johanne Albrigtsen was 12th.
Schaldach and Kuss both are from Durango and are products of the Durango DEVO junior cycling development program.
Kate Courtney of Stanford won the Division 1 women’s cross country race.
Coryn Rivera of Marian University in Indianapolis was second. Marian is a perennial cycling power at the collegiate level.
Linnea Dixson, a Steamboat Springs cyclist attending the University of Wyoming, finished third.
Stanford’s Courtney also won the cross country short track race at nationals. And Kuss also won the cross country short track mens’ race.
Disciplines at nationals include the cross country race, cross country short track, downhill, dual slalom and a team relay.
The team relay included men and women cyclists competing together.
Marian won the relay title this year with CU second and Fort Lewis College third.
Lees-McRae College of North Carolina was fourth with the University of Vermont fifth.
Stanford finished sixth.
In overall omnium scoring, the University of Colorado won the Division 1 national title with a total of 709 team points.
Marian University was second with 686.
Fort Lewis College of Durango finished third with 662 points.
In Division 2, Brevard College of North Carolina won the national title with 825 points.
Defending Division 2 national champion Colorado Mesa University of Grand Junction finished second with 596 points.
Another Western Colorado university finished third in the Division 2 national standings — Western State Colorado University of Gunnison.
In the individual omnium competition for the best overall cyclists at the championships, North Carolina’s Vrouwenvelder was the men’s champion.
He edged Stephan Davoust of Fort Lewis, who finished second. Andrew Dillman of Marian was third in omnium scoring.
Sofia Gomez Villafane of Fort Lewis won the women’s overall omnium in Division 1.
Sarah Hill of Brevard won the Division 2 women’s omnium.
Walker Shaw, also of Brevard, was the Division 2 men’s omnium champ.
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Peter Arnold’s playing career ended after high school, but his time on the ice continues a few decades later. A longtime USA Hockey official and new Aspen resident, Arnold is searching for the next generation of hockey referees among the youth ranks here in the Roaring Fork Valley.