Cycling team finishes successful season

The Penn State cycling team, based at the Lehigh Valley campus, recently completed a successful racing season that included winning their division at the Eastern Championship in State College, Pa., in April. That race qualified four Penn State Lehigh Valley students to attend the national championship, which was held in Madison, Wis., May 6-8.

Under the leadership of local cycling legend, Jim Young, a number of team members had individual success throughout the season including wins and top finishes for Rodney Santiago, Jeremy Shirock, Kevin McGuire, and Mandy Marquardt, who qualified for nationals with their performance.

Mandy Marquardt, a first-year student majoring in business management/marketing, hopes the team can build on its success and attract new members, noting that previous experience is not necessary to join the team and start racing.

"There are races for every level of experience, from beginner on. As you race, you begin to move through the different levels based on finishes. And there's no better place, in my mind, to gain experience than right here in the Lehigh Valley."

The team is fortunate to have the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown, Pa., as a training and competing facility, making Penn State Lehigh Valley a destination for student cyclers like Marquardt.

"I started cycling at age 10 in Florida where I lived, and during the summers I'd come to New York to train and come to Trexlertown to race," said Marquardt. "I applied to Penn State Lehigh Valley because I love the area, the school is definitely one of the best, and the riding is great. Track racing in the summer is incredible with all the international riders coming in from New Zealand, Poland, Canada, and others!"

With opportunities to get involved throughout the year, Marquardt and her teammates are eager to spread the word about cycling at Penn State Lehigh Valley, and they, along with Coach Young, look forward to the next collegiate competitive season.

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Last Updated May 11, 2011