The Lees-McRae cycling team finished third in the Division I Collegiate Cross-cyclo National Championship, while tallying 192 points. Senior Kerry Werner
claimed his second consecutive individual title over the weekend on the men's side in Boulder, Colo.
"It's a wonderful way for him to finish his career at LMC as a national champion." said head coach Tim Hall. "He's been an extraordinary ambassador for the college and will be sorely missed."
Werner (Birdsboro, Pa.) won the men's individual Division I Cross-cyclo National Championship with a time of 47:26. Sophomore Cody Phillips (Altadena, Calif.) performed well while finishing 27th with a time of 52.47 while teammates Gunnar Bergey (Ledrach, Pa.) (54:08) and Kevin Burgess (Charlotte, N.C.) (54:19) claimed 36th and 38th, respectively.
"I wanted to put the pressure on early," Werner said. "I figured if I did that, I would be able to ride my own race. I really didn't want to sit in and let the other guys battle it out because something technical could have happened. I didn't want to leave it up to chance."
"Kerry's accomplishments as a cyclist for Lees-McRae College have furthered our cherished tradition of having elite level cyclists wearing the green and gold. I am very proud to know his last ride in our kit was done while earning the top podium spot," said vice president of Athletics and Club Sports and Athletic Director Craig McPhail. "He is a great young man and his efforts have brought positive notoriety to our campus and cycling program. We wish him the very best and look forward to following his accomplishments."
Marian University claimed the team title with 282 points while Fort Lewis College accumulated 249 to grab second place. LMC racked up 192 points and bettered cross-town rival Appalachian State by 56 points.
"Our goal going into nationals was to come out on top," said Hall. "After team relays on day one, we knew it'd take extraordinary efforts to close the point's gap."
The Bobcats finished fourth in the team relays with a time 37:08, while Marion (35:23) and Fort Lewis (36:05) earned the top-two spots, respectively.
On the women's side, LMC placed two in the top-ten in the individual race while Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) (43:04:00) and Emily Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) (43:36:00) grabbed eighth and ninth.
"Everyone raced their hearts out, but Marion and Fort Lewis were more consistent than we were," said Hall. "But, I'm very pleased with third place and believe we can build on that in the future."
It marks the second consecutive season that LMC has finished third at the Cyclo-cross Nationals.
Photo Courtesy: Kerry Werner, LMC Athletics