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Beta Seizes Pole! Again…
30th Mar 2013Posted in: Blog 0
Beta Seizes Pole! Again…

After last year’s pole-winning qualifications run, and all of the hype and responsibility surrounding it, we decided that this year we would place as little emphasis on Quals as possible, and save our focus for the upcoming spring series events and race day.  Nevertheless, our relaxed approach proved to be fast enough, and to our surprise, we claimed the pole position for the second year in a row!

To give you an idea of what the hours leading up to our run were like, here is an itinerary chronicling our pre-quals preparation…

5:45am: Wake up, make coffee, head to Anderson’s for breakfast

6:15am: Walk into Anderson’s, where Kragie and Anderson are making scrambled eggs with peppers and bacon, as well as toast and fruit salad.  No surprise, house music is present to calm the morning nerves.

6:30am: Eat breakfast together, talk about the day to come and about how unbelievably badass our new white skin suits are going to look (wish I was joking here).

6:50am: Head home to change, get everything I need for the day in my bag, more coffee, and ride over to the Beta house to help the pledges get everything to the track.

7:20am: With the pledges headed to the track with rollers, shoes and bags, we set out on a quick road ride to wake up our legs.  Keeping with tradition from last year, we did a few laps around the football stadium, with a few high-intensity sprints to counteract the cool morning air.

7:45am: Arrive at the track, check in, change shoes, and hop on rollers to stay warm.

8:00am: Watch Fiji throw down the first run of the day, a solid 2:25, a sure sign the track is in great condition.

8:05am: Head to warm-up in the infield.  Throngs of rowdy Betas and Gamma Phis arrive, ready to watch us hit the track.

8:10am: Pre-run huddle.  The focus remains the same, “Clean exchanges, hug that inside line on the turns, and let’s get this done in one run.” Continue warming up, break out the skin suits, and focus.

8:15am: “Beta Theta Pi, you may now take the track.”  Anderson steps out, mounts his Scwinn bicycle, and starts out on the opening lap.

~8:16am: Anderson hits the starting line fast for the first lap.  He keeps it fast through turns 1 and 2, gets out of the saddle on the backstretch, and keeps his speed through 3 and 4, bringing it into Kragie, still flying.

~8:16:31.4am: After coming through in one of the fastest opening laps in Little 500 Quals history, Anderson hands off the bike to Kragie.  After a little slip on the pedals, Kragie is off and running into turn 1.

~8:17am: Exchange from Kragie to Green is clean and fast as usual, with Kragie’s signature clay court tennis-style slide after dismounting the bike.  A crowd favorite.

~8:18am:  Green brings the bike into me, and I hit the pedals hard for the final lap.  Crossing the line, knowing that our run could have been much faster, none of us are expecting that great of a time.  However, to our surprise, the final time is 2:21.295, a great time considering a sub-par run.

8:20am: In the post-run huddle, we are all surprised with the fast time, and sure that although we may not hold the pole position at the end of the day, we will certainly be in the first row or two.

After our run, we are all still a little surprised with the great time, but very relieved to have gotten it over with.  We stick around for a few minutes to put our time on the top of the leader board, snap some pictures, and change back into some warm clothes.  Before heading out on a relaxing morning road ride, we stop by the Beta house to thank the fans for coming out, and stop over at the track to watch our Little 500 week pair, Gammi Phi Beta, take the track for a great qualifications run (they qualified 7th).

On our road ride, we intermittently check the IUSF Twitter feed to see how our competition does.  Despite great runs executed by Black Key Bulls, Christian Student Fellowship, and numerous other teams, we were able to hold our position at the top of the leader board.

While winning Qualifications is certainly an honor, we are not letting it get to our heads.  With all of us being very experienced on the track, we know well that there is a big difference between a successful 4 lap team and a successful 200 lap team. Moving into the spring series events, we plan to keep up the hard work training and keep our minds on what matters, winning the race on April 20th.

Thanks goes out to all of our supporters.  We have received a great deal of donations lately, and we really cannot thank you enough!  Stay tuned for spring series results and other information regarding the race.

in _kai_
Tom Laser
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