Tornado Cycling Take Second at SECCC Championships
BREVARD, N.C. – The King College cycling team met the rest of the conference in Brevard, N.C. for the 2012 Southeast Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships, hosted by Brevard College. The Tornado saw a host of successes and finished second overall as a team. They placed three individuals on the podium between three different divisions.
The Tornado made a good showing at the SECCC Championship eight top-10 finishes and five top-5 finishes between the weekend's road races and criteriums. They also had one individual victory and one runner up performance to help the Tornado to a second place overall team finish.
King came into the event ranked first in the conference and fell one rider short of winning the championships. They finished just six points behind overall team winner Mars Hill College in the final standings. The University of the Cumberlands finished third overall.
Leading the way with his seventh win of the season was Blake Adams (Sevierville, Tenn.) who took first place in the men's 'C' criterium on Sunday afternoon. He and teammate Brad Hughes (Gray, Tenn.) rode well together to bring together two top-5 finishes in the same race. Hughes placed fifth in the men's 'C' crit, his final race of the senior's collegiate career.
The Tornado's success in the criterium continued with Caroline Gentry's second place finish in the women's 'B' crit race, her first of two top-5 finishes on the weekend. The Bristol, Tenn. native also rode to a third overall in the women's 'B' road race on Saturday afternoon.
In the men's 'B' criterium, Casey Stallard (Bristol, Va.) chipped in a top-5 performance taking fifth overall in the race. On Saturday, the Senior rode to an 11th place finish in the men's 'B' road race.
In the men's and women's 'A' division, Julian Cabra (Greenville, S.C.) contributed a pair of seventh place finishes in the road race and criterium. In Saturday's men's 'A' road race, Cabra finished seventh and in Sunday's criterium, led a pack of Tornado that took three spots between seventh and 14th overall. Also in that pack of riders were Alex Jensen (Tampa, Fla.) and Brent Baker (Kingsport, Tenn.) who finished 11th and 14th, respectively.
Rounding out the group of top performers was Stephanie Cucaz (Atlanta, Ga.) in the women's 'A' road race. The Freshman finished seventh overall as the only rider in that division for King.
After the dust settled and the points were tallied, King had three individuals place on the podium as an overall season points winner. Blake Adams took the top spot on the podium with the most points in a season in the men's 'C' division. In the men's 'B' class, Casey Stallard took second place and Stephanie Cucaz was third in the women's 'A' division.
"I am very pleased with the progress the team has made this year. We have added some key individuals that have helped the team surpass all expectations. Several coaches have commented on the strong King team this year. I believe it sets a solid benchmark for our program going forward."
The Tornado will gear up for a trip to USA Cycling Nationals, which they qualified for on April 14 after competing at the Clemson Open. The championships will be held in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, from May 4-6. King will bring eight individuals from its men's and women's 'A' teams including: Stephanie Cucaz, Caroline Gentry and Amanda Komestat for the women and Zach Nave, Brent Baker, Julian Cabra, Alex Jensen and Brent Baker for the men.