Fourteen National Titles Awarded On Day 1 Of MTB Gravity Nationals


Katherine Santos descends the mountain in the category 3 junior women's 15-18 event.  Photo by Weldon Weaver
Katherine Santos descends the mountain in the category 3 junior women's 15-18 event. Photo by Weldon Weaver
Beech Mountain, N.C. (July 20, 2012)
– Fourteen national titles were awarded on Friday as the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships kicked off with a morning fog atop Beech Mountain.
The featured racing of the day was the category 2 and 3 downhill contests.
The fastest time of the day came from Michael Spierer (Raleigh, NC/) who clocked a time of 02:53 over the amateur course to beat out second- and third-place finishers Nick Mileti (Cashiers, NC/) and Ryan Dunn (Raleigh, NC) who posted times of 02:55 and 02:57.
Another notable descent came from Christopher Skolnick (Asheville, NC).  With a time of 03:01, the North Carolina native claimed the Category 2 Men’s 30-34 Downhill national title.
“We had the fog and there was 10 feet of visibility, but it was one of the best courses I think I've ridden,” exclaimed Skolnick after his vicgtory. “This is my first USA Cycling event of this magnitude. I'm nothing but impressed - to handle this many riders of different categories and different abilities - it's been wonderful!"
Skolnick was joined on the podium by second- and third-place finishers Justin Rush (Blue Ridge, GA/) 03:08.0 and Allen Weber (Tijeras, NM/) who completed the course with times of 03:08 and 03:16 respectively.
Jimmy Awad (Kernersville, NC/Paul's Racing /Speci) clocked an impressive 02:54 to best second- and third-place finishers Andrew Ingram (Crossville, TN/) and Rowan Bateman (Ithaca, NY/) in the Category 2 Men’s 19-24 Downhill contest.
Bryce Hermanussen (Golden, CO/) posted a time of 03:12 to claim the national title among Category 2 Junior Men 15-18 while Fred Mudd descended into a Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the Category 2 Men’s 35-39 race by completing the course in 03:07.0.
In the Category 2 Men’s 40-49 race, Jamie Jones (Baltimore, MD/) finished with a time of 03:06 to take the podium’s top step while Clealan Watts (Fairview, NC) claimed top honors among Category 2 men 50+ with his time of 03:06.
Claiming national titles in the Category 3 men’s races were Grayson Richey (Colorado Springs, CO/) in the Junior Men 15-18, Cory Diamond (Ormond Beach, FL/Team Primal Racing) in the Men’s 19-29 race, Patrick Alcisto (Debary, FL) in the men’s 30-39, and Jason Schmidt (Louisville, KY/) in the 40+ event.
Three categories of women took their turns on the course today. Elizabeth Jones (Baltimore, Md.) completed her time test in 4:29 to take the national title among Category 2 Women 19-29.
"It was a lot of fun to come back and hit the same course and hit it a little harder,” said Jones who posted a second-place finish in the 2011 event.  “I used less brake and more pedal. I needed to win this one - being National Champion is a huge honor."
Additionally, Katerine Santos  (Louisville, KY/Red Zone Cycling) won the Category 3 Junior Women 15-18 race with a time of 04:50.0, and Christina Faust (High Point, NC/CTSC Racing/Cyclethe) posted a 04:40.0 to best Marci Panneck (Mooresville, NC/) in the Category 3 Women’s 30+ race.
Racing continues on Saturday with dual slalom competitions across all categories. The event then concludes on Sunday with category 1 and elite/pro downhill competitions. For more information, including a complete schedule, please visit the event’s webpage.
2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships
Beech Mountain, N.C.  – July 20-22, 2012
Category 3 Junior Men 15-18 Downhill
1. Grayson Richey (Colorado Springs, CO/) 03:14.0
2. Zach Miller (Canton, GA/) 03:17.0
3. James Crowley (Zanesville, OH/) 03:53.0
4. Zachary Hutelin (Plantaion, FL/) 03:56.0
5. Trey Crowley (Zanesville, OH/) 04:09.0
Category 3 Men 19-29 Downhill
1. Cory Diamond (Ormond Beach, FL/Team Primal Racing) 03:11.0
2. David Morgan (Canton, MS/) 03:19.0
3. William Poehlman (Great Falls, VA/) 03:25.0
4. Blake Bass (Asheville, NC/) 03:28.0
5. William Hinton (Douglasville, GA/) 03:28.0
Category 3 Men 30-39 Downhill
1. Patrick Alcisto (Debary, FL/) 03:15.0
2. Eric Needham (Columbia, SC/) 03:21.0
3. DAVID Petutsky (Osteen, FL/) 03:22.0
4. David LaMond (Hendersonville, NC/) 03:22.0
5. Chad Meyerhoefer (Hellertown, PA/Once Again Nut Butte) 03:23.0
Category 3 Men 40-99 Downhill
1. Jason schmidt (Louisville, KY/) 03:03.0
2. Michael Ward (Belews Creek, NC/) 03:08.0
3. William Miller (Ocala, FL/) 03:10.0
4. Christopher Hunter (Candler, NC/) 03:19.0
5. Michael Watson (Oak Ridge, NC/) 03:21.0
Category 2 Men 19-24 Downhill
1. Jimmy Awad (Kernersville, NC/Paul's Racing /Speci) 02:54.0
2. Andrew Ingram (Crossville, TN/) 03:08.0
3. Rowan Bateman (Ithaca, NY/) 03:13.0
4. james guidry (Greenwood, SC/) 03:15.0
5. Christopher Patino (Boone, NC/) 03:16.0
Category 2 Junior Men 15-18 Downhill  
1. Bryce Hermanussen (Golden, CO/) 03:12.0
2. Sawyer Alix (Southington, CT/) 03:13.0
3. Sam Redman (Corte Madera, CA/) 03:14.0
4. Josh Standish (Murphy, NC/) 03:17.0
5. Conner Linton (Apex, NC/) 03:19.0
Category 2 Men 25-29 Downhill
1. Michael Spierer (Raleigh, NC/) 02:53.0
2. Nick Mileti (Cashiers, NC/) 02:55.0
3. ryan dunn (Raleigh, NC/) 02:57.0
4. Geoff Boone (Sellersburg, IN/) 03:06.0
5. Ian Lupo (Coraopolis, PA/) 03:07.0
Category 2 Men 30-34 Downhill
1. Christopher Skolnick (Asheville, NC/) 03:01.0
2. Justin Rush (Blue Ridge, GA/) 03:08.0
3. Allen Weber (Tijeras, NM/) 03:16.0
4. Zachary Slaybaugh (Charlotte, NC/) 03:32.0
5. adam darling (Jupiter, FL/) 03:34.0
Category 2 Men 35-39 Downhill
1. Fred Mudd (La Grange, KY/) 03:07.0
2. Tommy Francis (Clover, VA/) 03:15.0
3. charles duckett (Morganton, NC/) 03:16.0
4. Reid Allred (Hillsborough, NC/) 03:24.0
5. Robert Pavsner (Charlotte, NC/A Culture of Speed) 03:37.0
Category 2 Men 40-49 Downhill
1. Jamie Jones (Baltimore, MD/) 03:06.0
2. James Crowley (Zanesville, OH/) 03:07.0
3. Carlton Noles (Stanley, NC/) 03:13.0
4. Thomas Learman (Woodstock, GA/) 03:13.0
5. Kristian Jackson (Boone, NC/Boone Area Cyclists) 03:14.0
Category 2 Men 50-99 Downhill
1. Clealan Watts (Fairview, NC/) 03:06.0
2. Michael Cobler (Clemmons, NC/Cycletherapy  Ske) 03:25.0
3. Alan Daum (State College, PA/) 03:53.0
4. Dan Allyn (Kent, WA/) 04:01.0
5. Phil Marsh (Waynesville, NC/) 04:11.0
Category 3 Junior Women 15-18
1. Katherine Santos (Louisville, KY/Red Zone Cycling) 04:50.0
Category 3 Women 30-99 Downhill
1. Christina Faust (High Point, NC/CTSC Racing/Cyclethe) 04:40.0
2. Marci Panneck (Mooresville, NC/) 05:21.0
Category 2 Women 19-29 Downhill
1. Elizabeth Jones (Baltimore, MD/) 04:29.0

This Article Published July 20, 2012 For more information contact:
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