News & Events
Mars Hill College Hosts Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Championships
Up to 300 cyclists from colleges and universities all over the Southeast will converge on the campus of Mars Hill College April 17-18 for the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Championships.
In this, its second full season of competition, the MHC Lion’s Cycling Team is proud to host the culminating competition for the region, where potentially 32 collegiate cycling teams could participate from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and western North Carolina.
MHC cycling coach Hugh Moran hopes that the home advantage, together with the successes that the team has experienced this season, will translate into a regional victory for the Lions. MHC continues to lead the regional team overall rankings, and team member Klara Rossouw is currently in first place for individual overall ranks. Paul Webb is currently in third place, but certainly in contention for first, Moran said.
“I think there is a certain advantage to knowing the courses and the terrain,” Moran said. “There’s added incentive if you know the home crowd is with you. So we hope that the encouragement of our supporters, and the talent of our riders will pull us through for a team win.”
The team goal, Moran said, is that the whole team qualify for national competition at the University of Wisconsin in May.
“Team first,” Moran said. “We are very hopeful that several of our individual stars will perform well at the regional competition, but our primary goal is the team placement.”
The regional competition will include a road race, a team time trial and a criterium. The road race will take place on Saturday morning, April 17. Riders will begin and end at Wren Student Union on the campus and will cover a meandering 12.5 mile loop within the town limits of Mars Hill.
The Team Time Trial will begin at 5 pm on Saturday. This event will be an out-and-back 12.5 mile (depending on the rider’s competition level) race, which begins and ends at the intersection of NC 251 and Ivy River Road near Marshall. The criterium, on Sunday morning, will be a contest of agility and technical skill which will take place at Biltmore Square Mall.
As part of the two-day event, Mars Hill College will also host the annual Annual SECCC Meeting in Blackwell Hall on Saturday evening.
According to Moran, the cycling season typically begins in February, with early competitions in Florida and Georgia. As the season progresses, the competitions move to the more northern schools in the conference.
In harmony with its “green team” emphasis, the Mars Hill cycling team planned the date of the competition to coincide with the college’s celebration of Earth Week, April 17 through 23.
“We are the green team,” Moran said. “All of our sponsors are businesses which use and promote ecologically sound practices. The sport of cycling is particularly conducive to this emphasis, since it is a sport that can follow riders throughout their lives, and be part of an Earth-friendly lifestyle.”
In addition to Mars Hill College, sponsors of the Southeastern Cycling Championships are Madison County Tourism Development Authority, First Light Solar, Organic Shopper Magazine, Organic Mechanic, the Mountain Sports Festival, The Biltmore Square Mall, and The Asheville Fitness Club.
Any inquiries regarding volunteering, sponsorship, and participation should be directed to Hugh Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.