On Tuesday Oct 21st, Eleven of Colorado State University’s top mountain bikers piled into a van en route to the 2014 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. Accompanying them was “coach” Sam Morrison, a CSU junior who agreed to accompany the students on their journey to Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Twenty seven hours later they arrived at their location all amped up and ready to race.

CSU’s 2014 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship Roster;

Mark Currie, Jonathan Modig, Drew Faturos, Ricky Pimental, Jordan Cooper, Erin Wilson, Rachael Dye, Brett Donahue, David O’day, Cody Smith, Joe Valbert. Sam Morrison-Coach

Friday Morning was the start of the short track racing. The course was numerous laps consisting of a 200 foot climb then a descent with a half dozen berms. The Men’s A lined up bright and early, Mark Currie, Jonathan Modig, Drew Faturos, and Ricky Pimental all at the start line. From the gun, junior Mark Currie was out in the front fifteen. Mark put down some serious effort in the climbs and pinned the descents finishing in a stellar 8th place. The rest of the Mens A’s finished towards the back around 50th. The Women’s went a bit later in the morning, Jordan Cooper and Erin Wilson went to gave it their all for thirty minutes. The girls had great results, Jordan finished 12th and Erin in 22nd. Erin pushed a remarkably hard gear up the brutal climb all day, and showed all the other ladies how to truly smash gears.

Saturday morning was very similar to the previous morning. The same four men lined up for the cross country race. Six laps up to the top of the mountain, some single track in the trees then a quick decent back down. The climb strung out the field quickly, Mark did a great job staying with the front. The other three stayed around mid pack knowing they had a couple hours to make some moves. After two hours of duking it out Mark finished 21st, Jonathan 39th, Drew 48th, and Ricky 52nd. Then the ladies lined up again Jordan and Erin showed their skills climbing to the top of the mountain with the nations best. Both girls had great starts and were able to contain themselves throughout the day, Jordan finished 10th and Erin 15th.

The downhillers went off in the early afternoon, just our four fastest men were at the start gate. Unfortunately the teams top downhill girl, Rachael Dye hurt her knee in practice on Friday and wasn’t able to race. The boys had some mishaps but all in all good results. Brett Donahue finished 13th followed by David O’day in 21st, then Cody Smith who flatted in 44th, and Joe Valbert in 53rd after taking two crashed in his race run.

On Sunday Mark Currie, Jonathan Modig, Erin Wilson, and Jordan Cooper lined up for one last sufferfest in the team relay, which has each rider doing one lap of the short track course. Mark led the team off, followed by Jordan, then Erin, and finally Jonathan taking up the rear. The team finished 7th after turning themselves inside out for 3-5 minutes. The dual slalom had the whole downhill team racing. They put down some fast times, and took multiple runs on both sides of the track. They all qualified for the top 32. After racing the nations best Brett Donahue finished in 7th, followed by Joe Valbert in 23rd, then David O’day in 24th and Cody Smith in 32nd.

CSU finished 8th out of 39 schools in the Team Omnium.

The team packed up the van after the final race and spend the next twenty five hours on the road back to Fort Collins. The team spirt never died and the road trip was forever known as the ultimate bender trip, filled with gas station energy drinks and candy.