26th Mar 2012Posted in: Blog 0
Betas Seize Pole!

IDS Cover, 1965

After our practice run last Tuesday night, we felt extremely confident about our Quals chances heading into Saturday.  We had the fastest time by almost 4 seconds, so we knew that if we kept our exchanges clean we would have a great shot at becoming only the 3rd team in Beta’s history to qualify in first position.  We’ve had this newspaper framed in the archive room for a while, so we were excited to have that opportunity.

Here’s the timeline of our day:

10 PM – IU vs. Kentucky tips off.  Massive brotherhood event takes place in the kitchen, where 60 or 70 guys gathered around a projector to watch our Hoosiers in Sweet 16 action.  We knew there was no way we were going to miss the game so we all made sure to take some solid late afternoon naps and were ready for what could turn into a historic night.

11:05 PM – Pritchard misses a dunk with us up 43-39.  Game goes south quickly.

11:15 PM – Halftime.  I’ve already finished half a bottle of wine (antioxidants!) without realizing it and decide to limit myself to one more glass for the second half.  Scour the kitchen for some food and find a late plate with some chicken, which I then devour quickly.

~12:30 AM – Final buzzer sounds, I fight the urge to throw/break things out of anger.  Decide instead to drive to the grocery store to buy supplies for the morning.  After getting eggs, sausage, and bananas, realize I left my wallet back at the house.  Frustration builds.

~1:00 AM – Get in bed and attempt to fall asleep.  It’s amazing that even as a senior I still get such intense anxiety about Quals, but needless to say I toss and turn for quite a while.

2:45 AM – Send a text to our sophomores to turn the bass down.  After hearing “Call Me Maybe” for the fourth consecutive time, I just can’t take it anymore.

2:47 AM – Music finally stops, actually fall asleep.

6:00 AM – Wake up.  Relieved to already see a text from Laser.  Wake Green and Kragie up, get ready to leave.

6:10 AM – Kroger round 2 (with wallet).  Decide to spend the extra dollar on the cage-free organic brown eggs, because we deserved it.

6:27 AM – Get to liveout at 7th+Fess, where my 3 teammates are waiting with everything ready to go.

6:29 AM – Eggs cracked, sausage in frying pan, stove not starting.

6:31 AM – Stove still not starting.  Assume liveouts haven’t paid the gas bill and start brainstorming alternatives.

6:34 AM – Arrive at Theta liveout at 9th+Fess, cook, eat.

7:05 AM – Back at Beta, throw on the skinsuits, get ready to warm up.

7:20 AM – Mount our Schwinn bicycles and ride over to the football stadium.  Judging by how fast I felt spinning down the extension, I knew it was going to be a great day.

7:55 AM – Arrive at Bill Armstrong Stadium, check in, set up rollers.

8:00 AM – Start stretching as Fiji takes the track.  Track looks fast but the turns look a little loose.

8:05 AM – Suspicions confirmed with Fiji’s 2:24.85.  We realize that we’re not going to break any records and re-focus on keeping the turns safe and exchanges clean.

8:20 AM – Hop on the rollers as Phi Delt puts down a solid 2:23.92.  VeloBeats in my ears, it’s time to start getting in the zone.  Head to the infield, get the Quals bike, check the tire pressure, take our group photo, get on the stationary bikes.

8:40 AM – 10 minutes ’til showtime.  One last effort on the spin bikes and it’s off to final race briefing.  Judging by the smiles on my teammates’ faces, confidence is at an all-time high.  Switch over to Skrillex and get ready to drop the hammer.

8:50 AM – “Beta Theta Pi, you may take the track.”  The crowd roars.  A couple last-minute stretches, set the pedals, get my feet set, and it’s go time.

8:51 AM – Full throttle through the line.  I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of the adrenaline rush that accompanies flying by the crowd near 30 MPH.  Take it wide into one and am able to pedal through two.  Out of the saddle spinning as fast as I can down the backstretch.  Once again, wide into three, all about maintaining speed at this point.  Out of four, Kragie in perfect position, start thinking about the exchange.  In less than a second: slam on the brakes, pivot off the bike, watch Kragie get on the bike, fist pump.  Not my fastest fly lap ever, but it was clean and it was quick.

8:52 AM – Tell Green and Laser to be careful in the turns.  15 seconds later, watch as Kragie brings it in stupidly hot to Green, who somehow manages to grab the seat, grab the bars, then mount the bike with ridiculous speed.  Kragie shows off his tennis skills with a nice clay court slide and Green’s accelerating before the clock strikes 1:10.  We’ve got this.

8:53 AM – Green rounds turn 4 as Laser starts running.  Time slows to a standstill as Laser toes the line just inches from the gutter, but miraculously avoids the concrete for our last clean exchange.  Look up and see 1:45, nothing better.

8:54 AM – Laser crosses the line with perfect form, stopping the clock at 2:21.05.  The machine actually manages to show some emotion, raising his fist in celebration.  Not as fast as we might have liked, but we know we’re well on our way to our goal of qualifying in the top 3.

8:55 AM – Picture taken, our sign placed in the top spot, and it’s time to relax.

We greeted the fans that hung around to congratulate us and headed back to the house to enjoy the Qualidays for an hour or so before our pair, Delta Zeta, made their Quals attempt at 10:40.  After they safely made it into the race, it was off for a road ride to spin out the legs and get some additional intensity in.  I killed my phone battery 3 or 4 times trying to keep up with the times pouring in throughout the day while at Southport’s Dance Marathon on the south side of Indy.  We breathed a little bit of relief after BKB didn’t knock us off at 11:15.  Exhaled much more after we dodged Sigma Chi and the Cutters just after 2.  After CSF narrowly missed beating us at 3:05, it was just a matter of time until we were finally able to celebrate shortly after 6 PM.

Final Standings

As excited as we are to be in the pole position and to have won the green jersey, this was just a nice bonus for us.  Quals is a fun event that really gets the house excited, but in the grand scheme of things all it really means is that we’ll be able to stay out of the trouble on the first lap and have an awesome pit on race day.  We now turn our focus to the spring series, where we’re confident we have the tools to make a run at the white jersey.  ITTs are Wednesday, so stay tuned for times.

To be at our best on race day, we need your support.  We’re looking to raise an additional $2k in the next few weeks to replace the wheelset that was damaged in last year’s race and to ensure all of our bikes are operating smoothly and safely to prevent any injuries.  If you can spare any amount, please head on over to the sponsorship page.

Feel free to check out our new Facebook page as well:

in _kai_
Eric Anderson

Leave a Reply