Mountain Bike Gravity Nationals Continued On Saturday With Dual Slalom Contests

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Beech Mountain, N.C. (July 20, 2012) – Racing at the 2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships continued on Saturday with pro downhill qualifying and dual slalom competitions across all age groups and categories. In all, twelve riders stood on the top step of the podium at the end of the day.

A short but heavy rain came down just before the finals began, making for slick conditions in the amateur finals. The course tightened up pretty quickly though, and by the time the pros went off – it was in perfect condition.

The pro dual slalom events were the features of the day, and Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing) and Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.) were the ones to ride into Stars-and-Stripes jerseys.

In the big final, Mulally beat out Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.) to take the gold medal while Brian Buell(Jamestown, Colo./Team Geronimo) bested Cody Kelley (Riverton, Utah) in the bronze medal round.

“It means a lot. Dual Slalom is kind of like an American heritage. This is our thing and to be the national champion is really special,” Mulally said after his win. “I rode consistent runs every time and I think that’s what won the title for me.”

In the women’s race, Buhl outraced silver medalist Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif.) in the final andJacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.) picked up the bronze after winning against Katelyn Parhiala (Arlington, Mass.) in the small final.

“It’s always a good title to win,” Buhl said. “I love the area. I love the people. The energy here is amazing. The people who put on the races did a good job with the course and a lot of work went into it, so ‘well done’ for those guys.”

In the Category 1/2/3 women’s race, Crystal Kalogris (Fort Wayne, Ind./Kovachi) claimed the gold medal ahead of silver medalist Nicole Kendle (Loveland, Ohio/Warren Wilson College).

Ethan Burns (High Point, N.C.) stood on the podium’s top step after winning among junior men 14 and under. In the Category 1 Junior Men’s 15-18 event, Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.) came out victorious whileChase Hines (Summerville, S.C./Factory SE Racing) claimed gold in the Category 1 Men’s 19-29 contest andJason Sherrill (Matthew, N.C. ) was the winner in the Category 1 Men’s 30-39 race. In the Category 1 Men’s 40+ competition, it was Kevin Liebig (Havre de Grace, Md.) to claim top honors.

Among Category 2/3 Junior Men 15-18, Ian Turner (Purceville, Va.) was the top racer of the day while Kevin Quillan (Boone, N.C.) rode to the win in the Category 2/3 Men’s 19-29 race. In the Category 2/3 Men’s 30-39 event, Kevin Burkhead (Asheville, N.C.) was the winner, and Ian Starr (Frederick, Md.) won the Category 2/3 Men’s 40+ dual slalom.

Racing concludes on Sunday with category 1 and elite/pro downhill competitions. For more information, including a complete schedule, please visit the event’s webpage.

Photo Gallery

2012 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships
Beech Mountain, N.C. – July 20-22, 2012

Pro Men Dual Slalom
1. Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing)
2. Blake Carney (Camarillo, Calif.)
3. Brian Buell (Jamestown, Colo./Team Geronimo)
4. Cody Kelley (Riverton, Utah)
5. Cody Johnson (San Diego, Calif.)

Pro Women Dual Slalom
1. Melissa Buhl (Chandler, Ariz.)
2. Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif.)
3. Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)
4. Katelyn Parhiala (Arlington, Mass.)

Cat 1/2/3 Women Dual Slalom
1. Crystal Kalogris (Fort Wayne, Ind./Kovachi)
2. Nicole Kendle (Loveland, Ohio/Warren Wilson College)
3. Caroline Westray (Charlotte, N.C./Appalachian State University)
4. Coleen Parcurariu

Junior Men 14 and Under Dual Slalom
1. Ethan Burns (High Point, N.C.)
2. David Dressler (Clayton, N.C.)
3. Michael Kane
4. Owen Witcher (Woodstock, Ga.)

Category 1 Junior Men 15-18 Dual Slalom
1. Luca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C.)
2. Bas Van Steenbergen
3. Jay Fesperman (Davidson, N.C.)
4. William O’Brien (Durham, N.C.)
5. Davis Nonno (Massillon, Ohio)

Category 1 Men 19-29 Dual Slalom
1. Chase Hines (Summerville, S.C./Factory SE Racing)
2. Joshua Patton (East Bernstadt, Ky./Lindsey Wilson College)
3. Brandon Hopkins (Columbia, Ky./Lindsey Wilson College)
4. Alex Dawson (Cary, N.C.)
5. Danny Cesare (Pigsah Forest, N.C./Brevard College)

Category 1 Men 30-39 Dual Slalom
1. Jason Sherrill (Matthew, N.C.)
2. William Murray (Charlotte, N.C.)
3. Shawn Metcalf
4. David Bethea

Category 1 Men 40+ Dual Slalom
1. Kevin Liebig(Havre de Grace, Md.)
2. Andy DeVault (Martinsville, Va.)
3. Jerry Mailloux (Newton, N.J.)
4. Kurt Dressler (Clayton, N.C.)

Category 2/3 Junior Men 15-18 Dual Slalom
1. Ian Turner (Purceville, Va.)
2. Zachary Hutelin (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
3. Dylan Vecchione (Rockport, Mass.)
4. Josh Standish (Murphy, N.C.)

Category 2/3 Men 19-29 Dual Slalom
1. Kevin Quillan (Boone, N.C.)
2. Christopher Barber (Kings Mountain, N.C.)
3. Ryan Dunn (Raleigh, N.C.)
4. Cory Diamond (Ormond Beach, Fla./Team Primal Racing)
5. Rowan Bateman (Ithaca, N.Y./Cornell University)

Category 2/3 Men 30-39 Dual Slalom
1. Kevin Burkhead (Asheville, N.C.)
2. Bryan Morgan (Cameron, N.C.)
3. Reid Allred (Hillsborough, N.C.)
4. Allen Weber (Tijeras, N.M.)

Category 2/3 Men 40+ Dual Slalom
1. Ian Starr (Frederick, Md.)
2. Mike Suddeth (Debary, Fla.)
3. Jason Schmidt (Kokomo, Ind.)
4. Doug Tate (Louisville, Ky.)

Source: Keri S. Kahn

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