For a team that has to travel to either Boulder or Colorado Springs to practice in a velodrome, the Colorado Mesa cycling team's national runner-up finish in the USA Cycling Collegiate Track Nationals is impressive.

"The only thing we missed out on is winning that national title somewhere," said Patric Rostel, CMU's cycling manager of operations, who coached the track team at nationals Sept. 12-15 in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

"We're so close. They (Marian University, Indiana) have that little edge on us, unfortunately, in how they train. You have to train hard on the road and the two weekends we're on the track in Boulder or Colorado Springs, you have to make it work and be the best we can be.

"We've shown consistently we're the No. 2 program on the track. That's pretty impressive."

The Mavericks placed second with 890 points in the varsity omnium team standings behind Marian, which won its 14th straight team omnium national championship with 998 points.

Mesa's men's team was a fraction of a second off the track record in team pursuit, with Torbjorn Roed, Caiden Plummer, Alexander Marr and Ian Anderson teaming to finish in 4 minutes, 23.7 seconds.

"I think we got within a tenth of a second of breaking the track record and then Marian came in four seconds faster," Rostel said.

"I was joking with the coach from Marian and he asked how fast I thought we would go and I told him under 4:30. He said 'I don't believe that,' and I said, 'You'll see.' We did it and he was in disbelief. They have that advantage of the velodrome there and can practice every day."

Dalton Walters, a senior from Richardson, Texas, was second in the sprint, Anderson was fifth and Evan Boone seventh.

The sprint finish helped Walters place fourth in the men's individual omnium with 176 points. He was fifth in the time trial, just ahead of Boone in sixth and Anderson in ninth; and ninth in the scratch race.

Anderson was fifth in the omnium with 170 points.

Josi Dreier, a senior from Berlin, Germany, was eighth in the women's omnium with 138 points, racing in every discipline except the team sprint despite a nasty crash.

"The next morning we didn't know if she was going to race," Rostel said. "She raced and placed sixth in the points race. It was amazing. She fought through it and did an amazing job; you don't see that often. Some people shut down after a crash, but she was fighting for us."

Dreier was seventh in the flying time trial, 10th in the scratch race, 11th in individual pursuit, 12th in the sprint and 20th in the time trial.

The women were fourth in the team pursuit and Dafne Theroux Izquierdo, who was 11th in the omnium, was fifth in the pursuit. Kaeli Lixandru placed third in the women's time trial and seventh in the sprint race.

The Mavericks were second in the team sprint, with Lixandru, Walters, Anderson, Boone and Marr finishing just behind Marian.

Birgit Morris of Grand Junction, racing for Marian, placed eighth in the women's individual time trial, 16th in individual pursuit and 17th in the flying time trial and sprint race.

Four cyclists were recently selected to compete at the UCI world championships, three in mountain biking and one in road racing.

Assistant mountain biking coach Alexis Skarda, a 2013 CMU graduate, placed 60th in the women's elite Cross Country Olympic race in Mont Saint Anne, Canada, last month.

Junior Gwendalyn Gibson was 25th in the women's U23 division and freshman Alexis Bobbitt was 40th in the women's junior division.

Freshman Katie Clouse races in the road world championships Sept. 22-29 in Yorkshire, Great Britain.

As the mountain biking team gears up for its national championships Oct. 11-13 in Bear Lake, California, the track cyclists are taking a needed break.

"They'll stop riding for three or four weeks, hopefully put their bikes in the corner and study," Rostel said. "Nationals not just physically drains the athletes, it's mentally draining and it's hard for them to catch up in school."

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