Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Snowshoe Mountain

After a long season of going Full Send, three of our riders qualified for collegiate nationals: Steve, Downhill Dan, and Sarah.  The crew arrived at Snowshoe Mountain, WV this past Thursday to scout the courses and prepare for the premier collegiate mountain bike competition.

Temperatures dropped into the 40s on Friday, and frigid rain drenched the course and our heroes.  Sarah raced the short track XC event, and placed 17th.  Afterwards, Downhill Dan and Steve did some practice runs on the downhill course.  

Steve missed his start time for the qualifying downhill race, but our generous friends at USAC let him race anyway.  Dan came in 34th.

The temperature dipped even lower on Saturday, and the overnight snowfall created an additional challenge for the contestants.  Sarah was all smiles racing the XC event, and placed 27th while Steve and Dan cheered from the sidelines.

Steve took a nasty crash during the final downhill race, but still finished the race and placed 28th. Dan took 26th.
Overall, it was a great end collegiate mountain bike season.  Thanks again to all our friends in the ECCC.

     DD sends it


UNH/RIT Easterns

The mountain bikers once again found themselves in New England for the final weekend of collegiate mountain bike racing.  Rainy conditions kept the weekend cold and slippery, and going full send was the only option.  With mountain bike nationals in the near future, Penn Staters put up fierce competition in all categories, and are sitting eighth in the conference.  Here's a brief recap of the individual results: 

Sarah Rutledge:
Cat A XC: 8th
Cat A short track: 8th

Steve Clayton:
Cat A downhill: 13th

Downhill Dan:
Cat A enduro hill climb: 13th
Cat A downhill: 8th

Brandon Endurbro Thomas:
Cat B enduro: 2nd
Cat B enduro climb: 7th
Cat B downhill: 7th

Jake Hanczar:
Cat C enduro climb: 15th
Cat C Enduro: 4th


Army Mountain Classic

This past weekend, our mountain bike crew ventured to New Jersey and New York for the Army Mountain Classic.  As always, Penn State riders made a good showing in all the races.  A fall rainstorm kept the enduro and downhill courses slippery, which led to an abundance of spills and mistakes for all riders involved.  The unexpected conditions shifted riders' finishing places, and kept the races unpredictable and exciting.  All Penn State riders scored points this past weekend, putting Penn State at 5th on the ECCC leaderboards. 

Avi Moore:  Avi busted his toe in the cat B downhill race, and his boot will keep him off the bike for a few weeks.  That being said, he still got 7th in cat B enduro and 10th in cat B downhill.  Worth it. 

Sarah Rutledge:  Decorated mountain bike racer Sarah Rutledge joined the mountain bike crew this past weekend, after taking a break from open category racing.  She placed 8th in cat A cross country and 7th in the cat A short track event.  Overall, she earned 75 points for the Blue and White. 

Kirsten Pearsons:  Kirsten got 4th in the muddy enduro event.

Steve Clayton:  Steve earned 9th in cat A downhill and 10th in cat A enduro.

President Hazlett:  Prez broke his finger in the cat C downhill race, but still earned 9th. 

Handsome Rob:  Rob broke his head after his tires slipped off of a wet bridge during the downhill race.  Thankfully, his concussion was minor and he will be back on the bike shortly.  He made the best of his situation by heckling the other teams.  Despite his serious injury, he's managed to stay handsome.

Downhill Dan Lewis:  Dan sent it downhill in cat A for a 6th place finish.  Not to be outdone, he placed3 7th in cat A enduro. 



Episode III: UVM Maple Mountain Bike Madness

For the third race weekend of the season, Penn State riders trekked up to Vermont for UVM Maple Mountain Bike Madness.  The crew competed in Saturday’s slalom and Sunday’s downhill race, and had riders in almost every category.  UVM did a great job organizing the race, and Penn Staters agreed that Vermont featured some of the best courses so far.  The slalom race took riders around swooping banks, moguls, and jumps.  The downhill race featured a good mix between steep loamy sections and fast rocky trails. 
Courtesy of UVM's Nate Cassidy

Downhill Dan:  Generic soda and insufficient snacks kept Dan out of the cat B slalom race.  Thankfully, he managed to get a chocolate croissant in time for the cat A downhill race, and placed 17th.  Considered to be a hero at Mountain Creek, Dan is expected to crush it this coming weekend. 
Jake Hanczar:  State College BMX legend Jake Hanczar joined the PSU mtb crew last week for the cat C slalom and DH races.  Although he had never raced mountain bikes before, Jake got 3rd in the cat C slalom, and won the men’s C downhill race with 12 seconds on his competitors.  Catting up is in his future.  You should also check out his BMX footage, because he does sick backflips.     

Brandon Thomas:  A fully clothed Brandon appeared in Vermont this weekend.  Brandon competed in the cat B DH event, but he flatted halfway through his run.  Nonetheless, he still got 12th

Avi Moore:  Avi’s steezy two-finger brake levers finally paid off, and he raced despite having a broken pinky.  After the previous week’s setback, he went hard and finished 4th in cat B downhill.

Steve Clayton:  Steve was still stuffy after battling a nasty cold all week.  He cleared out his system racing the cat B slalom, and placed 10th.  He was on the mend by Sunday, and placed 3rd in the cat A downhill race in a death-defying descent.