American national track champs

Competition heats up for 2008 USA Cycling Track Talent Pool

Six national titles were awarded on Wednesday as the 2007 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships began at the ADT Event Center Velodrome in suburban Los Angeles.

Four elite titles and a pair of U23 stars-and-stripes jerseys were claimed on the opening day of the four-day competition in which 198 athletes are competing for national championships and a spot in the 2008 USA Cycling Track Talent Pool.

In the day's first national championship event, Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Cody Racing) won the elite men's 250-meter time trial, clocking a winning time of 18.470 seconds. Blatchford's mark was just fast enough to edge runner-up Ben Barczewski (Breinigsville, Pa./T-Town Express) who claimed the silver medal with an 18.536. Both Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo./T-Town Express) and Kelyn Akuna (San Jose, Calif.) also turned in sub-18-second performances to place third and fourth respectively, posting an 18.602 and an 18.987. Rounding out the five-man podium was Dean Tracy (Portland, Ore./Team Rubicon-Orbea) with a 19.136.

None of the 250-meter time trial times on Wednesday were fast enough to meet the Talent Pool time standard of 18.36 seconds, however both Blatchford and Barczewski have already been nominated to the pool of athletes eligible to represent the United States in major international competition throughout the 2007-08 season.

In the women's 500-meter time trial, Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa./T-Town Express) won the national title with a winning time of 35.947 seconds. In addition to earning her a stars-and-stripes jersey, Reap's mark also eclipsed the Talent Pool time standard of 35.98 seconds. Anna Lang (San Diego, Calif./SDBC-Karl Strauss) claimed the silver medal, clocking a time of 36.560. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Cody Racing) was third with a 37.798. Twenty-year-old Shelby Allen (Cerritos, Calif.) earned a U23 national title in the 500-meter time trial with a fourth-place overall performance, clocking a time of 38.210. Also making the podium was Cristin Walker (Houston, Texas/Northwest Cycling Club) with a 38.270 in fifth place.

Racing against the clock continued with the men's kilometer time trial as Stephen Hill (Winston, Ga./East Point Track Club) earned a national title with a 1:06.011. David Espinoza (Breiginsville, Pa./Herbal Life) ticked off a 1:07.740 to place second. Steve Pelaez (San Francisco, Calif./Adobe-Schwalbe) recorded the third-fastest time with a 1:07.836. Kirk Winters (Burbank, Calif./Bicycle John's) and Steven Beardsley (Portland, Ore./CMG Racing) completed the podium in fourth and fifth respectively with a 1:08.169 and a 1:08.531.

Placing 12th overall was Matthew Post (Reseda, Calif./UCSB), whose time of 1:10.842 as a 22-year-old earned him the U23 national title in the event.

None of the kilometer time trial marks were fast enough to qualify for the Talent Pool.

In the only national championship category team event on Wednesday, the Slipstream foursome of Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.), Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.), Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Mike Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo.) rode a 4:20.220 in the men's 4-kilometer team pursuit. The mark fell short of the Talent Pool time standard of 4:15.15, although Huff, Pierce and Friedman are already qualified.

Team Hellyer Park, consisting of Jamiel Danesh (San Jose, Calif.), Roman Kilun (Berkeley, Calif.), Dave McCook (Mountain View, Calif.) and Ben Jacques-Mayne (Watsonville, Calif.) rode a 4:28.082 to place second and the Team Rubicon squad of Dan Harm (Seattle, Wash.), Tom Zirbel (Boulder, Colo.), Kenny Williams (Kenmore, Wash.) and James Strangeland (Seattle, Wash.) was third, clocking a mark of 4:28.877.

The 2007 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships continue on Thursday with six more national championships set to be awarded - the women's keirin, the men's scratch race, and both the elite and U23 categories of the men's and women's individual pursuit.

2007 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships
Carson, CA October 3 - 6

Day One Results:

Men's 250-Meter Time Trial
1. Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif.) 18.470
2. Ben Barczewski (Breiginsville, Pa.) 18.536
3. Giddeon Massie (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 18.602
4. Kelyn Akuna (San Jose, Calif.) 18.987
5. Dean Tracy (Portland, Ore.) 19.136

Women's 500-Meter Time Trial
1. Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) 35.947
2. Anna Lang (San Diego, Calif.) 36.560
3. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo.) 37.798
4. Shelby Allen (Cerritos, Calf.) 38.210*
5. Cristin Walker (Houston, Texas) 38.270

Men's Kilometer Time Trial
1. Stephen Hill (Winston, Ga.) 1:06.011
2. David Espinoza (Breinigsville, Pa.) 1:07.740
3. Steve Pelaez (San Francisco, Calif.) 1:07.836
4. Kirk Winters (Burbank, Calif.) 1:08.169
5. Steven Beardsley (Portland, Ore.) 1:08.531
12. Matthew Post (Reseda, Calif.) 1:10.842*

Men's Team Pursuit
1. Slipstream (Colby Pearce, Brad Huff, Mike Friedman, Mike Creed) 4:20.220
2. Team Hellyer Park (Jamiel Danesh, David McCook, Roman Kilun, Ben Jacques-Mayne) 4:28.082
3. Team Rubicon (Dan Harm, Tom Zirbel, Kenny Williams, James Stangeland) 4:28.877
4. Rock Racing (Austin Carroll, Sterling Magnell, Mariano Friedick, Rahsaan Bahati) 4:31.720

*U23 National Champions

© BikeRadar & USA Cycling 2007

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