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Little 500 Miss-N-Out
Indiana University, April 3, 2004
Miss and You're Out
Little 500 series events continue at Indiana University
By Mark Zalewski
The second of three pre-race series events, "Miss-N-Out," took place under beautiful sunny skies and gusty conditions last Saturday. Like many spring races around the world, the wind plays an important role.
The key to Miss-N-Out is to never be last. Riders are seeded into heats of 6-7 based upon their individual time trial times from the week before. The heat rolls out for a neutral lap and then the racing is on. Every subsequent lap the last rider is pulled until two riders remain. Those two advance to the next round. Like the saying in the NCAA Final Four, "survive and advance."
One tactic is to just ride at the front the entire four or five laps. However, with a frequent headwind down the backstretch, smaller riders had to race smart, often fighting for the second wheel.
Once the final heats are determined, the race rules change slightly. The first three laps are the same, with the last rider being pulled. Then, when only three remain, another neutral lap is ridden before a final one-lap winner-take-all sprint.
On the men's side, Chris Vargo (Cutters) was the pre-race favorite, having won the ITT and earning the number one seed. However, his advantage was less than a second over Matt Davis (Phi Gamma Delta) and Craig Luekens (Dodds House) -- and in this event, strategy and tactics are everything.
In the men's final it was Vargo and Luekens as expected, along with Team Major Taylor's sprinter Simeon Commissiong, Hans Arnesan and Tom Meersman (Alpha Tau Omega) and Chas Pall (Phi Kappa Psi.)
Tough and physical racing resulted in Commissiong, Luekens and Meersman surviving to sprint it out in one final lap. Luekens, being the largest of the three, led the final lap until Commissiong came around him in the final turn. It was a drag race to the line, with Commissiong edging out Luekens.
The ladies also had pre-race favorites. Bri Kovac (Teter) dominated the women's field in the ITT, smashing a track record under less than ideal conditions. Her size and power would work to her advantage against the wind, allowing her to ride at the front for all of her heats. Her main competition would come from Nicole Vincent (Kappa Alpha Theta) who out-sprinted everyone for the win last year, and has velodrome experience to boot.
In the final it was Kovac leading Vincent and Jessica Sapp (Kappa Kappa Gamma) the entire final lap, with Vincent unable to come around the Teter team captain.
The final Little 500 series event is the Team Pursuit on April 15. Two teams line up on opposite sides of the track and ride against each other for 15 laps (12 for the women). The lowest two times of the preliminary heats square off against each other in the final, which determines the event champions.
Images by Mark Zalewski
Men 1 Simeon Commissiong (Team Major Taylor) 2 Craig Luekens (Dodds House) 3 Tom Meersman (Alpha Tau Omega) 4 Chris Vargo (Cutters) 5 Hans Arnesan (Alpha Tau Omega ) 6 Chas Pall (Phi Kappa Psi) Women 1 Bri Kovac (Teter) 2 Nicole Vincent (Kappa Alpha Theta) 3 Jessica Sapp (Kappa Kappa Gamma) 4 Renee Luzadder (Delta Zeta) 5 Mia Dragan (Teter) 6 Corey Bitzer (Alpah Gamma Delta)Local results 2004