ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (11/1/11)– University of Colorado cyclist Joey Schusler continued his dominance in the downhill by picking up his fourth straight national title and helped the Buffaloes to a second place finish at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships on Sunday.
The Buffs picked up 636 points over the three days of competition and finished just eight points behind first place Fort Lewis College. It was the Skyhawks fifth straight mountain bike national championship and the third straight year that Fort Lewis and Colorado finished one-two at nationals.
Lindsey Wilson College finished third with 449 points while Lees-McRae College was fourth with 442 points and Cal Poly fifth with 439 points.
Schusler finished the championships with two first place finishes, in the downhill on Saturday and in the dual slalom on Sunday.
"There was a lot of pressure,” Schusler said on Saturday following his downhill race. “With the ice at the top of the track, it was pretty intense. It was a fight all the way to the finish. I ended up crashing once in my run and then just pushing all the way to the end."
In the women’s omnium competition, CU’s Deidre York finished second with 400 points while teammate Claire Bensard finished third with 380 points. Boulder native Jill Behlen of the University of Wyoming finished as the individual women’s champion.
The competition began on Friday with the cross country races. York and Bensard were the highest placed CU riders in the long trek in fourth and fifth place.
On Saturday, the short-track cross country and the downhill took center stage. Samuel Morrison finished fourth in the men’s short-track race while Bensard also picked up a fourth place finish in the women’s event.
CU picked up two of the top three spots in the men’s downhill with Schusler in first and Michael Larsen in third. David O’Day of Colorado State finished second in the race.
The championships finished on Sunday with the dual slalom. York finished fourth in the women’s race, adding to the already great day CU had after Schusler won the men’s event.
The Buffs will now head into the winter offseason where they will prepare for the spring road season. Colorado finished fifth at the road nationals last May in Madison, Wis.
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