ANGEL FIRE, N.M. --
The Union College cycling team coasted to their second National Championship in program history over the weekend, finishing first as a team in the 2011 NCCA Division II Nationals held in Angel Fire, N.M.
Union ended the event with 667 total points to easily take first place overall, finishing well ahead of second place Warren Wilson (who had 461 points). UC's 667 point total was also the most of any team, Division I or II, as the Division I competition was won by Fort Lewis with 644 points.
"I am so proud of this group of young men and women," said head coach Chuck Coffey
. "With six inches to a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures as low as 11 degrees, not one time did I ever heard them complain or try to make an excuse because of the weather. From the begining of the season they had their sights set on winning the National Championship, and they weren't going to be denied.
"This was one of the most balanced team efforts I can ever remember .We won medals in 6 out of 8 of the events."
Individually, Elisa Otter
and Wesley Lamberson
had the best finishes for the Bulldogs in the event, as they both finished third in their respective Omniums.
The national title for the UC cycling program is their first since 2002. The last two seasons, Union finished second overall in the event.
"This group of riders proved that hard work pays off," Coffey continued. "I was truly amazed at the margin of victory. Usually 50 or 60 doesn't separate the top three or four teams. But winning by over 200 points is unheard of, and on top of that scoring more points and than any team in the country is truly amazing."