2011-12 Collegiate Outlook: Lindsey Wilson College
By Imelda March
2011-12 Collegiate Outlook: Lindsey Wilson College
Earlier in the year the Daily Peloton Cycling News explored collegiate cycling programs in the U.S.; among them we featured Ride and Learn: Lindsey Wilson College With the academic year upon us, we reached out to coach David Grigsby of Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) to provide updates for the 2011-12 academic and athletic years.
Daily Peloton: How are recruitment efforts progressing at Lindsey Wilson College?Coach Grigsby: LWC Cycling has definitely concentrated on quality recruiting this year. We have traveled from Southern California to Cleveland to Texas to see some of our top recruits in action and get a real personal feel for who they are while showing them who we are. While we graduated 15 riders this year, lost three others to moves to other schools, we feel that this is still going to be one of our stronger years. We have added one international female rider in Yessica Mendoza from Barrancabermeja, Colombia and have several applying for next year. Some of our graduates have gone on to Masters Programs at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and Western Kentucky University among others.
How many new women have been recruited?Coach Grigsby: This year our womenís squad will have its greatest numbers in the programs history with 16! With our total number of riders at around 45 (we are still working to land some late applications), this represents over 1/3 of our squad. We are well on our way to our ultimate goal of a 50/50 squad.
What new developments you would like to share with our audience?Coach Grigsby: As of this writing, our own Chase Hines is in Copenhagen racing in the BMX World Championships. Chase won multi national USA Cycling BMX National Championships this year in the states and now he is taking his game on the road hoping to follow in the footsteps of our recently graduated Weston Pope, who earned three-World Championships while at Lindsey Wilson. Weston begins his graduate program here at LWC this semester but wonít be racing collegiate as he is concentrating on his studies and his pro racing career.
We have done two of our three planned video projects and both can be found by visiting Lindsey Wilson College.
First, is a video campus tour specifically for cyclists who are considering coming to LWC. It shows them our campus and our facilities and walks them around the college. Its great for anyone who lives too far away to visit the college.
Second, is a mile-by-mile video tour of our annual collegiate road race course. We cover every mile, every turn, every climb to show riders what our home course is like. Its brutal but so beautiful that we just couldnít help ourselves. 24 miles and only one car encountered per mile on average.
The third is in production now and simply shows scenes filmed from some of our hundreds of riding and training routes in this area. We have one of the most beautiful riding and training areas anywhere in the country and we are out to show it off. Who wants to spend their college years training daily in urban sprawl and spending half their ride trying to Ďget out of towní? One look at where we train every day and the choice is a no-brainer.
Finally we are proud that this year we have added new state-of-the-art testing equipment with two new CycleOps Powerbeam Pro wattage trainers for testing and evaluation as well as a digital jump mat to help our gravity riders gauge their explosions onto the pedals. We are looking forward to doing lots of Power Profiling and FTP testing as well as sprint testing again this year on a monthly basis.
Probably the biggest news of the year is the fact that one of our own former LWC cyclists, Dakota Meyer, will be the next Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery and valor as a Marine in Afghanistan.
Corporal Dakota Meyer (photo above) raced for the team in 2010 on the gravity squad before taking a position with a top military optics company in Texas. He got the call from President Obama two weeks ago and the date of his official recognition in Washington DC where he will be awarded the Medal of Honor is currently being determined. We are beyond proud of this local hometown boy and so honored to be associated with him in this small way. He left active duty in June 2010 and he will be the first living Marine in 41 years to receive the nationís highest award for valor.
What are your predictions for the upcoming season?Coach Grigsby: We truly hope that we can once again bring the dominance in gravity like we did last year when we took 1-2-3 in the womenís and 2-3-4 in the menís at Nationals in Truckee , CA. On top of that we believe we can place a little better in DH and in cross country and short track. We want to be in that top-three of the overall podium at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships this year. We have the #1 and #2 Southern California High School girlsí mountain winners coming to the team for 2011 in Tiana Row and Vhasti Schmidt. We also have some strong talent that can make things happen at both the USA Cycling Collegiate National Road and Track events this year with the signing of Justin Lowe of the Hincapie Development squad as well as Yessica Mendoza who is a road and track specialist from South America.
What 2010-11 accomplishment is your team most proud of?Coach Grigsby: Without question it was our performance at MTB Nationals when we nearly swept both menís and womenís podiums in gravity. Another point of pride was our menís Pursuit team at track nationals who took 3rd in a stacked field of track specialist. But honestly the one that tops them all was our team GPA of 3.2. LWC isnít an easy college, especially for upper classmen and still our riders got it done where it counts.
How do you see collegiate racing changing in the 2011-2012 season?Coach Grigsby: We raced an out of conference mountain bike race last season because we really wanted to do a challenging course to prepare for Nationals. When the race was over we had taken so many points (that didnít really count as we werenít part of that conference) that there was a rule change proposed and passed so that other colleges cant show up and take points from in-conference schools. It was quite flattering and we totally agree with the ruling. We like to think of it as the Lindsey Wilson rule. (Laugh)
Have you signed or looking to sign more sponsors/supporters?Coach Grigsby: We are always looking to sign new sponsors. This season we have been so blessed to have sponsorship from Pedal Power bike shop in Lexington Kentucky as well as Profile Racing and Rocky Mounts. Don Walker Handmade Cycles remains our most supportive sponsor which allows us to remain a points threat at USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships. Without Don we might be unable to even field a track team so his contribution cannot be overstated.
Have you increased the amount of scholarships dollars available to riders?Coach Grigsby: We remain one of, if not the college with the highest amount of cycling scholarship in the country. We havenít increased our overall this year but our total dollar amount would absolutely shock most D-1 schools and we are very proud of that.
What are 2011-2012 goals for LWC?
Our goal is to maintain our high team GPA and to make a podium at every national championship.
Visit, Lindsey Wilson College cycling team for more information.
About the author: Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on womenís cycling issues and general peloton ramblings. Imelda is an experienced racer who also holds an MBA and is a marketing strategy expert. RELATED ARTICLERide and Learn: Lindsey Wilson College