ITTs: Beginner’s Luck?
29th Mar 2012Posted in: Blog 0
ITTs: Beginner’s Luck?

Arriving at the track at 7:15PM after a great meal from the Beta kitchen and a 50-minute power nap, I saw the droves of people and felt just as pumped and confident as I did the morning of qualifications—sure signs that I was about to put down a solid run.

Heading into the event, my goal was to place in the top 20 and hopefully help our team earn Spring Series points in pursuit of the coveted white jersey on race day. Fellow rookies Jacob Gorgol ’14 and Chris Craig ‘15 had already put down respectable times shortly before my arrival. After a light spin on the rollers and going through the motions of check-in and briefing, I was pleased to see my two friends, Rachel Stillman and Kaitlin Seger, ready to clock my times in turn 4. With the loud support of my Beta brothers in the stands, the stage was set for me to drop the hammer.

Pushing the pace out of 4

Taking heed of my veteran teammates’ advice, I paced myself through the first lap where I set my sights on the rider in front of me. With each pedal stroke I knew I was closing the gap on him and decided to overtake during a sprint through the backstretch. At the end of lap 3 I looked up to see 1:49 on the scoreboard—hammer time. I put my head down and pushed it hard all the way through lap 4 for an official time of 2:24.27. Not bad for a rookie.

My 15 minutes of fame at the top of the leader board was short lived as Anderson took the track at 8:35PM. From the looks of it, he held too much back throughout the heat and was disappointed with a time of 2:26. I dropped to second as the winner of this heat, Andrew Morrow (Sigma Chi), put down a blistering 2:20 flat.

Moving on to the matchup we all came to see: Tom Laser ‘13 in turn 4 versus the other fastest returning riders in this years’ field. Judging by his body language and wide turns early on, it was clear that it wasn’t his night. Hard to blame him seeing as the pressure to perform from the media and our whole chapter was very intense. With an official time of 2:27 low, he trailed our Delta Tau Delta friend, RJ Stuart, the eventually winner, who blew up the heat with a blistering 2:18.

Last up to bat was veteran Matt Green ’13 also starting in turn 4. His wild acceleration through the front stretch in classic Green style set him up for a Top 10 finish only .2 seconds behind me. He jokingly berated me all the way back to our cheering section for being just a fraction of a second faster—“beginner’s luck,” I said.

With official results of Laser 23rd, Anderson 21st, Green 9th, and 7th for yours truly, our team is the only squad to have 4 riders in the top 25 this year besides the Cutters. Additionally, 4 of us have now been in the top 10 ITTs at some point in our careers. Damn proud to be a Pi Chapter Beta and a part of Beta Cycling!

We now turn our attention to Miss ‘n Out on Saturday and to our bigger goals down the road. We’ve had a successful few days of fundraising since Quals, but are still short of our donation goals for race day.  Any amount helps!

in _kai_
William C. Kragie

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