Cycling finishes up season, Frisbee wins regionals
Special to The Observer | Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Notre Dame cycling club team hosted the other Midwest Cycling Conference teams over the weekend in the final action of the regular season. Team time trials and road races took place Saturday in Niles, Michigan, while the short-course criterium race was held Sunday around Eddy Street Commons.
The Irish finished second overall for the season, behind only defending national champion Marian.
On a rainy and cold Saturday, both the women’s B and men’s D squads took home titles in the team trials, while the men’s A team finished in third, only a second behind second-place Lindonwood.
Graduate student John Cerney won the afternoon road race in the D category, sprinting to the line ahead of a pack of riders that included his teammate, graduate student David McKenna, who crossed the finish line in fourth.
Sophomore Sarah Cullen finished second in the women’s B race, falling just short of the victory while teammates freshman Kelly Valenzi (fourth), junior Maggie Schmid (ninth) and Saint Mary’s sophomore Emma-Kate Conlin (13th) rounded out the top-15 riders the Notre Dame team.
Sophomore James Pratt (flat tire) and graduate student Tom Frederick (crash) struggled in the men’s B race, but seniors Jim Snitzer (seventh) and John Pratt (10th) and graduate student Luke Tilmans (13th) all worked their way to top-15 finishes in the men’s A race.
Cerney lead the men’s D race for most of the event, holding off a charge from a few riders late to claim the victory Sunday in the short-course event. Valenzi also claimed victory in the women’s B race after being placed in strong position by her teammates. Graduate student Lillie Romeiser (fourth), Cullen (fifth), Schmid (seventh) and Conlin (11th) also earned strong finishes in the race.
John Pratt also sprinted to a third-place finish in the men’s A race. Pratt and Snitzer will represent the club in Ashville, North Carolina, at collegiate nationals May 8-10.
The No. 10 Notre Dame women’s ultimate team defeated rival Michigan in the regional tournament final last weekend in Rockford, Illinois. The victory earned the undefeated Irish a spot at the College National tournament in Milwaukee, which will take place over Memorial Day weekend.
Notre Dame reached the regional tournament on the heels of allowing only four points in four games of pool play during the conference tournament. The Irish met Purdue in the conference finals, emerging with a 12-9 victory to claim the top spot in the regional tournament the next weekend.
Notre Dame defeated 2013 national qualifier Northwestern (13-3), Michigan B (13-2) and Purdue again (13-4) in pool play. The Irish advanced to the finals with victories over Indiana (15-4) and Illinois (15-5) in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
Awaiting the Irish in the finals were the rival Wolverines, last year’s national qualifier. After trading points early, Notre Dame pulled away to an 8-5 halftime lead and extended the lead to as much as 12-7 before Michigan eventually rattled off four straight to pull within one at 12-11. Notre Dame slipped in a final point to ice the game as time expired to reach the final margin, 13-11.