Sep 18, 2011

Collegiate Track Nats

Yesterday the 2011 USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships wrapped up and to nobody's surprise Marian University once again clinched the team omnium title. The IU boys managed to sneak into 11th with a small contingent of riders and no women's team.

Chris West, Sam Harbison, Kevin Depasse, and Rex Rafferty compete in the 3K team pursuit. Photo from the Indianapolis Star.

Rex Rafferty managed to another top-10 finish in the Sprint (in addition to his 7th place finish in the Kilo). Full results can be found at the official website (https://www.usacycling.org/events/2011/collegiatetrack/) and the final wrap-up from USA Cycling here: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=7058

Great job to all who represented the Hoosiers this past weekend!

23 comments:

Carl said...

Huge props to Rex, Kevin, Chris, Sam and Tim (sorry if I missed anyone) for busting their asses on the track to represent IU and Bloomington.

Evidently, all the talk I hear about Bloomington and IU being the "epicenter of collegiate cycling" only applies to Little 500; we can field 60-some odd Little 500 teams, but just 5 guys (and not a single woman??) nut up, step up to the plate, and commit themselves to represent IU on a national level on a non-cinder track?

I was a bit embarrassed to look around at Major Taylor and see teams from half-way across the country who had many more supporters there bangin' the boards than the IU team did. So -- to the guys who did their damndest to represent IU on the track, big props to you for your effort. To the handful of people who took the time to go to the track and support the team, thanks....

Anonymous said...

This happens because the coaches over the years that have been sucessful over the years at pushing the Track Nat's agenda are continually dogged.

No Tom, No girls team. Get it!?

Anonymous said...

Anon - I agree with your statement that it helps to have L5 coaches push track nats on their riders, but don't lump all those that have helped IU track nats teams into the same boat as Tom. Have any of those folks besides Tom been dogged? I can't really think of any...

Having ridden on and played a critical role in organizing past IU track nat's teams, I'll be the first to say that Tom does help (provides bikes, wrenches, and comic relief). However, what's missing with the current women's L5 field is a female rider who has an interest in cycling OUTSIDE OF L5 and takes on the initiative to rally the troops (see Jenn, Bri, Pam, Nicole, Liz). I just don't see any female riders willing/able to do this.

If you think Tom was the driving force behind past IU track nats team's success you are flat out wrong. Does he (and other L5 coaches) play a role/help?...yes. But if IU wants to compete the women themselves have to step up.

Geraint Parry said...

maybe the problem is that with some hard work it's pretty easy to be really good at Little 500 and therefore be the BWOC (competing against girls who picked up a bike in March..). However competing against the best in the Nation takes a little extra talent, training and practice.

Things can be cyclical and hopefully there will be more competitors next year.... However Track Nats are unlikely to be in Indy in 2012 and last years IU performance should have inspired further participation but.....

Todd said...

Well done to the guys who sacked up and competed.

If I recall, GP and Eric Young led the track charge last year and both are gone this year. Cult of personality vs solid org?

Geraint Parry said...

to briefly correct, I didn't lead the charge, just helped out those that had already committed to the race. Chris Beck had a major role getting the girls to the track in the early summer 2010, credit where it is due....

Anonymous said...

@anon 8:17, I (Bri) with others offered to help with coaching, support, gear, etc. and the woman (former officer) that we contacted not only completely ignored all offers for assistance but then bailed at the last minute herself.

Mad props to the guys who pulled it out. I know Rex did tons of work all summer!

Anonymous said...

As the new IUCC president, I feel I should clear the air on this topic. To my knowledge, the only contact between Tom and Bri and IUCC were the rumors floating around the riding community that they were going to "take over IUCC".  The times they were at the track this summer, they did not attempt to interact with any of the IU riders nor formally offer any assistance with the development of the program. That being said, we will always welcome the idea of receiving help from sources beyond what the club can provide. If you are interested in helping the program then do not hesitate to send me an email so we can discuss the possibility. Please email me at the new IUCC address, indianacyclingclub@gmail.com.

Competing in an event such as nationals is extremely time consuming. Not only the event itself, but the amount if time it takes to sufficiently prepare is extraordinary. That being said, the competing members were well aware of who was and who was not going to compete and no one "dropped out at the last minute".

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those that did help us with our track nationals run this year. Thanks to Fred Rose, Erik Hamilton, and Wes Harris for supplying the much needed equipment. Also a huge thanks to Marian cycling coach, Dean Peterson, who did alot of things behind the scenes to help IUCC have the success this year. Finally, thank you to all of our athletes; Kevin Depasse, Tim Nixon, Sam Harbison, and Rex Rafferty for putting forth the time and effort to compete for IU at nationals!

Cheers,
Chris West
IUCC President

Anonymous said...

Whoops, forgot a few people. Also thanks to Jordan Bailey and Eric Anderson for supplying equipment as well. We would not of had the success we did without all of the donated equipment.


Chris

Anonymous said...

Well that's a silly rumor. Anyone who knows me knows I don't have enough time to ride my own bike, or deal with my own team, much less take over a whole IUCC. Tom and I offered to help with Track Nats early on before the track even opened, like we did in 2006 when we helped organize practices, helped with equipment and wrenching, etc. Tom's email (which went unanswered) explicitly asked "how best can I help?" When you've offered and no one responds, it sends a pretty clear message that your help isn't wanted, even if that wasn't the intent.

Just a couple of weeks before nats, Tom was personally asked by the director of MTV to help out IUCC because "all the girls they
thought were going to compete have backed out." Of course, because this was only a couple of days before regionals, it was too late.

Put simply, if you don't capitalize on offers to help, there isn't much room to complain. Props to those who did compete and those who helped out. But as Chris mentioned, it's a huge, huge commitment that begins at the very least at the beginning of the summer, if not the year before. And given the limited days on the track (between getting the required clinic in and working around elite training, beginner training, race nights, etc), the team needs to be organized even earlier.

As always, I'm willing to help.

Bri

Anonymous said...

I apologize if I stepped on any toes in my previous post as it was not my intent. I was merely commenting on the situation that I was aware of at the time. That being said, Bri, please e-mail me at the e-mail listed above if you are still interested in helping out the club in some capacity.

Our goal this year, as it has been in years past, is to increase the competitive level of IUCC in the MWCCC and Nationally, on both the men's and women's sides. We currently do not have an issue with people wanting to join the club, but more of an issue of our members not wanting to put forth the effort to travel and race at MWCCC events. We have a few things in the works to help remedy this, but are always open to any help and ideas from anyone that is willing. Again, if you are willing to help, please e-mail me at indianacyclingclub@gmail.com

Here is an interesting fact: There are more women riding bikes at IU than most MWCCC schools combined. There are approximately 40 girls that compete at each MWCCC race between all of the categories. How many women do we have riding Little 500? You do the math.

Chris

Tom Schwoegler said...

Chris,

Just to clarify things, I mentioned to you and Rachael and the Village Deli in April that Bri and I were willing to help the team. At the Warsaw road race in the late spring, a member of the CRU team asked if I was going to help and I said yes, and I specifically said that I didn’t want people to think that I was trying to run the team. It was a lot of fun assisting at Track Nationals in the past and it was a rewarding experience for everyone. The atmosphere was one of everyone working together representing I.U. Ask any member of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 teams.

On May 10th I sent an email to Rachael with the name of both female and male riders that Pam had provided just to make sure that she had it. She replied the same day in an email that included this comment:

Thanks Tom, we can certainly use the extra help and with you and Bri on board we are shaping up well! Our new faculty advisor will probably be Matt Ewing, who also has experience getting to the podium so that should be a huge asset to us this year. Pam will also be a student in the fall so she will be back on our team which is great!

I sent follow up emails to Rachael on 5/23, 6/2 and 6/5 and received no reply. Bri and I concluded that IUCC had everything covered.

On August 31st I got an email from Julie Kukola, the manager at the velodrome (who is an IU grad, former Steering Committee member, and even though her son rides for Marion, was willing to work with the I.U. team to have the track available for us to train on) called to ask if I had any women available to compete. She said that: “all the girls they thought were going to compete have backed out.” I told her that unfortunately, 2 days was not enough time for me to get the members of my team to the track.

I find it extraordinarily frustrating and unfortunate that rumors are the reason that Bri and I were not allowed to help the team. It is absurd that she and/or I were trying to take over IUCC. What would the point of that be? Perhaps that should have been your question to the member(s) of the riding community who provided that rumor; one that had absolutely no basis in fact.

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Like I said, I apologize if I stepped on any toes with my previous comments, I was merely going off of what I knew at the time. Please feel free to e-mail me at the new IUCC e-mail address if you are still willing to help IUCC or want to discuss this further.

Chris

Tom Schwoegler said...

This got cut off of my last post...

“It is however, great that other alumni stepped up to help and I am sure the team appreciated their help.”

Chris, let’s look at possibilities and also your question. 8 years ago, I sat on a panel at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado for a Collegiate Cycling Coaching symposium and someone in the audience was marveling at how many new cyclists IU produces. We, however, do a poor job of moving them beyond their Little 500 potential. This does a disservice to those who could excel at representing I.U. and to IUCC. When people think IU and cycling, they think Little 500. But it would not be that hard for them to think IUCC in the same breath. All it takes is some leadership, leadership that you are both willing and more than capable of providing. If you are looking for an example, you need only to look back at the tenure of Kevin Moore, who was an outstanding club president, ambassador and leader. If you are looking for a club to emulate, look at UC Boulder. With 300 members, they have a formidable racing program and an outstanding social program. And the overall membership dues fund the racing program.

We have alumni who occupy senior positions at companies like SRAM and these people are willing to reward the team if the team is willing to work hard at being their best. If you can forge a tight relationship with riders of all types on campus, alumni and the cycling industry, IUCC can stand as a model that every other school will admire, and most importantly fear when it comes to regional and national competition.

Tom

Wes said...

I have said for years that the L5 bike should be a inexpensive version of a real velodrome bike that the students could at little expense convert. (get rid of the single piece BMX style crank) This would bring in even more riders from L5 to USA cycling. New riders have always told me its the extra cost of a bike that prohibites them from trying out the track. IU should partner in some event with Marion and get an interstate rivalry going with Purdue, Depauw, Marion, and other Universities that have established programs. That will increase intrest. Ken N needs a job hire him as full time coach. Ok those are just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

IU should win track nationals next year!

Anonymous said...

you misspelled prohibits and interstate means between states, you probably mean intrastate. common mistake. just saying

Wes said...

Sorry I didn't run spell check just rattled my thought off in a hurry.

Geraint Parry said...

pedant (Anon 2.08)

Tom Schwoegler said...

The word on the street is that the 2012 Track Nats will be either in Texas or Colorado Springs. But it has not been announced yet. Colorado Springs would be ideal do to Clayton, Caroline and many other I.U. Alumni being in that area. Texas may be too hot.

Tom

Anonymous said...

speaks to the level of education americans receive

Anonymous said...

who is going to be able to ride track next year? if i'm not mistaken west, rafferty, depasse are all graduating, or west has already graduated?

Anonymous said...

At Wes

I agree that changing the Little 500 bikes to work on the velodrome would be a great way to support involvement in Track Cycling ... However, this is not as easy as it seems. We're talking about a lot of technical changes (not just the one piece cranks) that would have to be made on the bikes - a lot of which Schwinn would not be a fan of as it would cost them much more. Not only that but the geometry itself is far from a correct. Truthfully speaking the bikes are pieces of shit to put it plainly. A better option might be for IUSF to talk to Schwinn about getting bulk discounts on their urban single speed bikes which MSRP at around $200. If $MSRP is that low then the discounts could be HUGE due to our current involvement with Schwinn. Still the problem is that at the price range we're looking at the bikes are absolute shit.