BANNER ELK, N.C. - Kaysee Armstrong capped her impressive fall mountain biking season for King University with a second place finish at Mountain Bike Nationals on Saturday. Her call up on the starting line was to the second row of riders so she began the race in ninth or 10th position.
Armstrong was sitting in about seventh or eighth position before she began to make up time during the climb at Beech Mountain. This consisted of riders climbing a 10 minute climb up the ski slope and when Armstrong reached the top, she had gained five spots up to third place.
Then there was a crash where Armstrong moved into second place past Erica Zaveta, the SECCC champion. From that point, Armstrong stretched her lead, eventually taking second place by 30 seconds over her nearest competitor. She also passed many of the Division I riders whose race started more than five minutes earlier.
Prior to, and at the beginning of the race, it was difficult for Armstrong to stay calm as she was filled with so much excitement. But, she was able to calm those nerves of racing in her first national competition. Once those nerves passed, she took good lines throughout the race en route to the second place finish.
"I was anticipating good things from Kaysee today," said head coach Dan Kreiss, "but she far exceeded my expectations. She is leading the King cycling program to new bike disciplines and we are glad to have her on our team."
She will now look forward to the cyclocross season which starts November 16. The Tornado host their own cyclocross event on November 23 and 24.