Cycling Team Takes Honors in Weekend Races

The HSU Cycling Team danced onto the podium in several categories this weekend with dazzling finishes in the Crockett Road Race and downtown Berkeley criterium.

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HSU Cyclist, Haley Umayam (right), at the Berkeley Streets Criterium.

Berkeley Streets Criterium

Hayley Umayam, known for her speed up hills, took second place in the Women’s B crit on Sunday, which ended on the block-long climb up Bancroft Way, right in front of the Berkeley Art Museum. Teammate Alvin Garlejo rode like a rock star, at first winning a prime and then finishing sixth in the Men’s D crit. Joe Zaizar got 11th in that same race. Ryan Spaulding flatted during the Men’s A crit, but made a wheel change faster than you can kick off your cha-cha shoes, and got back in the race to finish 7th. Making a brave return from an injury suffered during a crash in Stanford a few weeks ago, Stephen Allen placed ninth in the Men’s C crit. Nancy Vargas finished third and Marina Marcroft fifth in the Women’s C. Garlejo, Zaizar, Vargas, Marcroft and Daniel Draskins, who finished the Men’s D race, are all newcomers to collegiate cycling. They are making incredible gains in their performance each week, certainly showing the depth of HSU’s Cycling program.

Crockett Road Race

Saturday’s road race started near the town of Crockett, a few miles north of Berkeley. The course winds along Carquinez Scenic Drive on the San Pablo Bay before turning sharply right up the steep McEwen Road just a few miles before the finish line. Some riders dread the climb. Steven Pearl embraced it like a conga line, stomping on his steel Surly Pacer up the beast of a hill to get third in the Men’s B road race. Nate Abel finished behind him in fourth. Umayam, again showing she is a dancing, climbing queen, finished 5th in the Women’s B road race. Garlejo got 2nd and Zaizar 14th in the Men’s D. Vargas and Marcroft finished in the top five in the Women’s C.

Top finishers in each race are awarded points that go toward their upgrades and to the team’s overall conference standing. Cyclist Nate Abel earned enough points this weekend to upgrade to Men’s A–the highest category in competitive collegiate cycling.