VERONA, WISCONSIN—Logan Owen (Redline) won easily today in Badger Prairie Park for his seventh consecutive Junior National Championship. That win puts his streak on even footing with Katie Compton, who races tomorrow. “I want her to win,” an ebullient Owen said at the finish line, “but now I kinda want her to lose, too.” Other than his very first try in 2004, when he finished second in what was his very first ’cross race, Owen hasn’t been anywhere but on the top step at Nationals, and he said he was “pretty confident” going into the race today. Owen will return to Nationals next year for a shot at an unprecedented sweep of all the Junior categories: 10-12 through 17-18.
Owen’s victory was never in doubt, as the Redline rider (and Issue 13 cover guy) attacked after going through the holeshot in fifth. His acceleration was obviously faster than any other competitor, and he established a gap no one could cross. Drew Dillman (Red Zone Cycling), in his last race as a Junior, posed the biggest threat to Owen but never factored after crashing near the pits. “I never felt good…I went down a few times,” a muted Dillman said at the finish after taking fourth place. Dillman, a high school senior, is hoping to attend either Marian University or Lees-McRae College, both cycling powerhouses.
Behind the, battle for second shaped up to be a tight battle between Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete), who we profiled at EuroCross Camp, and Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant), once the two passed a discouraged Dillman. Gorry attacked the final climb, passing Ortenblad, but entering into the final pavement finish, the bigger Cal Giant rider sprinted past for the silver.
Owen will head back to Europe to prepare for the World Championships at the end of January. Dillman will be there too, but this time as Owen’s teammate on the US squad.
Full Results beneath Videos; Stay tuned for more Photos
Woodstock Bicycle Club/Killington Mountain School Cycling Team
Lake Geneva, WI
Arden Hills, MN
Lake Mills, WI
Great Dane Velo Club (GDVC)
Gopher Wheelmen/County Cycles
Racers Against Childhood Caner/Team Geargrinder
Big Bear City, CA
Whole Athlete/Whole Athlete-Specialized
Higher Gear- Gear Head Cyclocross Team
ISCorp Cycling Team
The Hype: In the Junior men 17-18 year old race, Logan Owen (Redline), fresh from his trip to Europe with the Euro Cross Camp, will be the rider to beat. Not only has he won the National Championships an impressive six times, but this season he also sealed the overall title for the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross for Elite Juniors. Hoping to steel Owen’s glory are Drew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill), and Zane Godby (Clif Bar Development Team), who took second and third overall in the USGP series. As the highest finishing rider from 2010’s 17-18 nationals, in which he took third, Dillman stands as Owen’s main rival – the pair also recently placed fifth and sixth, with Owen ahead, at World Cup Heusden-Zolder Juniors race. Will Dillman’s extra year in the 17-18 category be enough to stop Owen’s streak?
Also looking to make the podium are Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete-Specialized) and Sam O’Keefe (Charm City), who last year placed fourth and sixth, respectively. Zack Gould (Clif Bar Development Team), Nate Morse (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), and Curtis White (Hot Tubes) all made last year’s top five in the 15-16 category, and will be hoping to make fireworks in their freshman attempt.