Track Nationals: Day Three

I woke up this morning and checked the weather. Rain at 5pm! Uh oh! As a result, today's schedule was heavily altered. The men's tema pursuit qualifier became the finals, the women's match sprints all happened in the morning, and the points race, the headline event, was bumped forward to 4pm. A highly unusual move for a highly unusual situation.

The 3km team pursuit was not our finest. We had a mechanical at the start, and were unable to stay together. Our first two laps were reasonably fast, and I think that if we were to do it again, we would be faster. Our time did not give us a podium position, but did fetch us some team omnium points.

Laura Ralson made it into the match sprints. She won one of her heats in the reps, but was relegated after coming out of the sprinter's lane for the second time. D'oh! It was a really impressive performance nevertheless.

Mike Garrett and I were in two separate points race qualifiers. The points race awards points to the first four across the line every six laps. The top 15 (out of about 25) in each qualifier made it to the grand final. Mike more than qualified - he lapped the field twice! I managed to get a single point, qualifying for the real race. How cool is that?

The 30km, 90-lap points race final was fast and furious. My goal of scoring a single point was unattainable. I was able to work for Mike, helping to block and to establish his break. Mike and four others lapped the field, with Mike placing fifth in the points race.

Our distributed strong results put MIT in a strong position for the Division II Team Omnium standings. We earned some 900-plus points, with the second place team earning some 500 or so points. (Full results will be on usacycling.org shortly.) Our points lead means that the members of the 2009 MIT track nationals team are...


I got a stars and stripes jersey and a gold medal. We all did our part, and it was a fantastic weekend. I'm so glad that I made the trip.

I can also obey USA Cycling rule 1N5(e), regarding national champion regalia. I can't wear my jersey when racing anything other than collegiate track, but I can wear Stars and Stripes trims on my race jerseys, forever!