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ETSU Cycling Club students place in national event

By Contributed
On January 29, 2014

Joe Welsh and Casey Stallard have set a high standard for the Cycling Club at ETSU in their first year of participation. Over the winter break, the Cycling Club ventured to Boulder, Colo., to compete in the USAC Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals.
Stallard and Welsh competed in the event, along with student coach, Alan Sparks, who helped in the pits between heats. Boulder has a very tough course to race on, but drew many of the most skilled riders in the nation.
Welsh, a graduate student in ETSU's nursing program, raced for Lees-McRae College prior to ETSU.
Welsh had an amazing Cyclocross performance which led him to earning third out of 50 total racers. This is the first time ETSU's team has placed third on the podium in the Cyclocross Nationals.
ETSU's club had only been to Cyclocross Nationals twice prior to this past race due to the vigorous terrain of the event.
Stallard, a graduate student in ETSU's accounting program, raced for King College's varsity team as an undergraduate.
Stallard had a rough start to the race as he was taken out by other riders in the first turn of the heat.  However, he was able to finish the race and place 30th out of 50 total riders in the Division 2 Cyclocross Nationals.
Sparks, a four-year student coach and president for the Cycling Club, said, "I am proud of how far the program has come and able to compete and win against varsity athletes around the nation."
 Before he became the club president, the Cycling Club only had downhill mountain biking.
Sparks has added Cyclocross and road bike racing to the club options.
ETSU's Cycling Club has no scholarships available and is student-funded, while its competitors offer scholarships to recruit athletes to become a part of their teams.

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