CMU’s Skarda defends mountain-biking title
Colorado Mesa University’s Alexis Skarda defended her national championship in Division II women’s cross country at the 2012 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships at Angel Fire Resort in Angel Fire, N.M.
According to usacycling.org, Skarda was pushed hard by the University of Denver’s Rebecca Gross, but Skarda recovered from an early crash on the final climb and attacked Gross and pulled away to win the race Friday by 65 seconds.
“It was a really good battle,” Skarda told usacycling.org. “I think we were both just hanging on for dear life for most of the race and challenging each other throughout the race. I would try to pass her, and she would speed up, and we would throw in random surges. Finally I got a little bit of a lead and surged up a hill and got a little bit of a gap.”
Skarda followed up with a second-place finish Saturday in the short-track event, this time bowing to Gross, the defending national champ.
Colorado Mesa finished the three-day meet in sixth place in Division II, while Brevard (N.C.) College won the championship. Western State Colorado University was third.
Fort Lewis College won the Division I title, fending off runner-up University of Colorado-Boulder.
Skarda led strong overall showings for the Colorado Mesa women in cross country and short track. The Mavericks had four women in the top 11 in short track as Brooke Bosman finished ninth, Ariana Dittmer was 10th, and Stacy Norris was 11th.
In the cross country race, Bosman was 11th, Norris 12th and Dittmer 13th.
The Colorado Mesa men showed well in the cross country race with Morgan Ryan taking ninth and Geoffrey Williams 11th. In the short track competition, Williams was 15th to pace the Mavericks, and Ryan was the next Maverick to finish, taking 17th.
In the downhill event Friday, Taylor Biner took 10th for Colorado Mesa, and teammate Chris Hale was 18th.
In the downhill Saturday, Hale was 11th and Biner 21st.
The meet concluded Sunday with the dual slalom, and Biner topped the Mavericks with an 18th-place finish, while Adam Degemann was 26th, and Hale was 33rd.