Steve Fisher leading the D2 men's race for WWU. © Janet Hill
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BEND, ORE. – Defending collegiate champ Ryan Leech (Savannah College of Art and Design) hung tough early on, but the race quickly became a battler between Western Washington University teammates Steve Fisher and Logan Wetzel. The duo were shoulder to shoulder for much of the final lap, and it wasn’t until the top of the final climb up the stairs that Fisher had a gap of a few bike lengths and some breathing room that he’d hold to the line for the title.
The collegiate D2 men underway. © Janet Hill
Kevin Mullervy (Mesa State) exploded onto the dirt section to string out the pack, with Fisher, Leech, Wetzel, Conor Mullervy (Mesa State), Matthew Willing (Mars Hill College) and Ian Crane (Western Washington University) lined up behind him.
In the second lap, the WWU teammates found each other at the front and started to pull away. “Those guys just kind of went by me, my back jammed up. It felt like both days this weekend I just didn’t have the same feelings that I had last year,” said Leech, who raced his way to seventh in the Masters 30-34 race and is a former national champion in that division. This will be Leech’s final collegiate race, as the grad student just completed his final quarter. “No more old guy in the collegiate race,” said Leech.
Fisher managed to maneuver his way to a slight lead over the next couple of laps, and appeared to have the slight edge in the technical corners as he looked smooth and confident through those sections, but Wetzel’s chase was relentless. The two race many of the local series events in and around Seattle, and they’re well-versed in mud handling.
Just before the penultimate lap, Fisher pitted for a clean bike and the teammates were reunited. Coming into the front of the course for the final half-lap, Wetzel attacked hard to take the lead, and Fisher responded to hold him off. A second attack had Wetzel briefly take the lead, and they continued to battle for position.
“In the back field /upper section, we were throwing some little moves at each other, but really started battling back and forth right here,” said Wetzel, pointing to the drop down into the bowl.
“There’s a little tricky section over there [upper section] where it’s nice to be in front, but I wasn’t ever able to make a gap on him on the last lap, so I tried to ride as hard as I could and not make mistakes,” said Fisher. “But I think that leading in the last corner was probably the most important.”
Fisher had the slight edge as they hit the fly-over, and he fought to keep the lead and hold Wetzel off. They bounded up the stairs with Fisher clinging to a meager lead of a couple of bike lengths – but it was enough to get him onto the pavement first. At the line, he had time to celebrate the win with arms up, with his teammate waving to the crowd and conceding 10 meters back.
Two more teammates, who happen to also be twins, would round out the podium with Conor Mullervy snagging fourth and brother Kevin in fifth for Mesa State. The Mullervy brothers also race for the Clif Bar Development team for cyclocross and Team Exergy out of Boise, Idaho, on the road.
|Place ||Points ||Name||City, State||Time||License||Bib||Team|
|1||150||Steve Fisher||Bellingham, WA||0:42:56||204225||262||Western Washington University|
|2||135||Logan Wetzel||Renton, WA||42:58:00||216334||253||Western Washington University|
|3||120||Ryan Leech||Savannah, GA||43:55:00||20753||251||Savannah College Of Art & Desig|
|4||105||Conor Mullervy||Boise , ID||44:26:00||237726||252||Mesa State College|
|5||90||Kevin Mullervy||Littleton, CO||44:44:00||237586||284||Mesa State College|
|6||85||Matthew Obregon||Folsom, CA||45:55:00||232613||289||California State University-Sac|
|7||80||Richard Geng||Grandjunction, CO||46:09:00||301115||257||Mesa State College|
|8||75||Ian Crane||Bellingham, WA||46:09:00||184284||269||Western Washington University|
|9||0||Brent Poole||Salem, OR||46:17:00||330598||279||Central Oregon Community Colleg|
|10||65||Matthew Willing||Weaverville, NC||46:39:00||284687||255||Mars Hill College|
|11||60||Patric Rostel||Grandjunction, CO||47:05:00||301113||278||Mesa State College|
|12||55||Adam Miller||Colorado Springs, CO||47:14:00||259059||266||Colorado College|
|13||50||Benjamin Dodge||San Jose, CA||47:30:00||178595||280|
|14||45||Kyle Knott||Virginia Beach, VA||47:35:00||274033||274||Mars Hill College|
|15||Exp||Brian Jorgensen||Bend, OR||47:36:00||186022||254||Central Oregon Community Colleg|
|16||38||Benjamin Rathkamp||Bellingham, WA||47:53:00||274079||286||Western Washington University|
|17||0||Alejandro Padilla||Lebanon, TN||47:55:00||269189||267||Cumberland University|
|18||34||Tim Janson||Troy, NY||47:56:00||260577||272||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut|
|19||32||Cimarron Wortham||Cambridge, MA||48:02:00||253757||270||Massachusetts Institute Of Tech|
|20||30||Timothy Jenkinson||Mars Hill, NC||48:04:00||325110||263||Mars Hill College|
|21||28||Logan Luker||Lebanon, TN||48:13:00||226312||259||Cumberland University|
|22||26||Paul Webb||Bellevue, NE||48:43:00||268204||275||Mars Hill College|
|23||24||Benjamin Salibra||Fayetteville, NY||48:53:00||233370||260||Cumberland University|
|24||22||Christopher Mondiek||Dublin, OH||49:36:00||229657||281||Rochester Institute Of Technolo|
|25||20||Connor McCutcheon||Bigbearlake, CA||49:55:00||279388||261||Central Oregon Community Colleg|
|26||Exp||William Palm||Arlington, MA||49:59:00||126801||277||Massachusetts Institute Of Tech|
|27||18||Jeremy Chambers||Murfreesboro, TN||50:54:00||244154||258||Cumberland University|
|28||17||Dan Ipp||Livingston, NJ||51:30:00||301422||271||Rochester Institute Of Technolo|
|29||16||James McCabe||Bridgewater, NJ||51:44:00||267691||273||Wake Forest University|
|30||15||Andrew Lysaght||Cambridge, MA||52:07:00||327318||268||Massachusetts Institute Of Tech|
|31||0||Austin Jones||Lewisville, NC||52:50:00||329052||256||Wake Forest University|
|32||13||Samuel Phillips||Grand Junction, CO||@1Lap||288750||283||Mesa State College|
|33||12||Zachary LaBry||Somerville, MA||@1Lap||235849||285||Massachusetts Institute Of Tech|
|34||11||Patrick Dunn||Ticonderoga, NY||@1Lap||276042||264||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut|
|35||10||Kyle Curtin||Tacoma, WA||@1Lap||328184||282||Pacific Lutheran University|
|36||9||John Wofford||Winston Salem, NC||@1Lap||219168||288||Wake Forest University|
|37||8||Chris Lowe||Winstonsalem, NC||@2Lap||289420||290||Wake Forest University|
|38||7||Matthew Warbrick||Tuxedo Park, NY||@2Lap||244750||265||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut|