ASHEVILLE, North Carolina—Friday’s Women’s Division 1 National Championship race would have been hard for anyone to call ahead of time. With a field jam-packed with talented women, many of whom also have their sights set on Sunday’s Elite U23 race, the event promised to be exciting. This year, it was Sofia Gomez Villafane (Fort Lewis College) who walked away with the gold after an impressive ride.
At the start, Laurel Rathbun (Marian University) took the holeshot, narrowly squeezing out Melissa Seib (University of Vermont). By the time the field reached the first off-camber section Gomez had edged her way around the competition and was working to put as much real estate as possible between herself and a chase group made up of Rathbun, Allison Arensman (Brevard College) and Hannah Finchamp (Lindenwood University). A stumble on the off-camber put Gomez Villafane into third behind Arensman and Rathbun but moments later she was back in front.
The end of the first lap saw Gomez Villafane leading by six seconds with Arensman clearly putting in the work to catch her. Hannah Finchamp was doing her best to chase down third place Rathbun, who had finished just in front of her in fourth in 2015.
Tiziana Dehorney (University of New Mexico) last year’s eighth place finisher, was fighting hard to shake off Jennifer Malik (Ohio State University) and make her way up to Finchamp and Rathbun’s back and forth battling.
Finchamp managed to make her way around Rathbun but Rathbun showed no intention of giving up. Instead, the two traded attacks for nearly half the race as Dehorney struggled to catch the dueling pair.
As Gomez Villafane passed through onto her third lap her lead had more than doubled to 13 seconds, while Arensman had managed to gap her nearest chaser by over 40 seconds. During the rest of the race, Gomez Villafane’s lead continued to grow and she finished first by an impressive 39 seconds. Arensman finished second by an even larger margin of 50 seconds over Rathbun.
Rathbun managed to shake off Finchamp just before the beginning of the bell lap to claim that bronze medal, while Dehorney, who seemed to grow stronger as the race went on, came just shy of out-sprinting Finchamp, who finished fourth.
Watch Gomez Villafane discuss her victory and view full results below.
2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships Collegiate Women's Collegiate D1 Full Results
|1||Sofia GOMEZ VILLAFANE||Fort Lewis College||36:07.|
|2||Allison ARENSMAN||Brevard College||36:46.|
|3||Laurel RATHBUN||Marian University||37:34.|
|4||Hannah FINCHAMP||Lindenwood University||37:48.|
|5||Tiziana DEHORNEY||University of New Mexico||37:50.|
|6||Jennifer MALIK||Ohio State University||38:27.|
|7||Emily SHIELDS||University of North Carolina at||38:56.|
|8||Emma SWARTZ||Marian University||38:56.|
|9||Ksenia LEPIKHINA||University of Colorado Boulder||39:10.|
|10||Melissa SEIB||University of Vermont||39:47.|
|11||Mackenzie GREEN||Marian University||40:05.|
|12||Gabriella ARNOLD||Marian University||40:06.|
|13||Jenna MACPHERSON||Fort Lewis College||40:12.|
|14||Emily ELBERS||Marian University||40:48.|
|15||Kimberly FLYNN||University of North Carolina at||41:15.|
|16||Katherine SANTOS||Marian University||41:47.|
|17||Melanie BEALE||University of Colorado Boulder||41:57.|
|18||Janelle COLE||Brevard College||42:24.|
|19||Samantha MIRANDA||Brevard College||42:35.|
|20||Sarah HILL||Brevard College||42:54.|
|21||Emma KLINGAMAN||Lees-McRae College||43:21.|
|22||Elizabeth WHITE||University of Vermont||44:02.|
|23||Corrie KARAS||Marian University||44:18.|
|24||Kathleen ONEIL||Virginia Polytechnic University||44:43.|
|25||Emily BRAMEL||Lindenwood University||45:37.|
|26||Nicole MIRANDA||Brevard College||46:32.|
|27||Meghan OWENS||University of Vermont||47:12.|
|28||Erin QUINN||Fort Lewis College||47:25.|
|29||Mackenzie KOTH||University of Florida||36:04.|
|30||Emily NEICE||Marian University||36:55.|
|31||Ashley WEAVER||Lindenwood University||43:33.|
|32||Mccauley SMITH||Fort Lewis College||26:54.|
|33||Maria HYDE||University of Florida||31:02.|
|34||Kaitlyn LAWRENCE||Lees-McRae College||16:42.|