Last year’s returners from the top 10: Aryn Doll (3) – Chi Omega, Emma Caughlin (6) – Teter, Kelsey Tharnstrom (8) – Alpha Chi Omega, Ashton DeHahn (10) – Teter
Last year’s returners from the top 20: Tabitha Sherwood (15) – Collins, Kaitlyn Glennon (17) – Alpha Sigma Alpha
Others to keep an eye on: Kate McDougal – Kappa Alpha Theta, Jenny Goodwin – Kappa Kappa Gamma, Jackie Kober – Phi Mu, Bonnie Mailey – Cru, Anna DeBoer – Cru, Lyndi Hollis – Cru
5:20 p.m. – Doll, Caughlin, Tharnstrom, Sherwood
5:10 p.m. – DeHahn, Glennon, McDougal, Goodwin
5:00 p.m. – Mailey, Kober, Hollis, Corinne Reynolds
More of the top talent returns on the women’s side, with four of the top 10 returning from last year, but it is a field that is much more open than it has been in past years. Kathleen Chleminiak, who won the ITT crown the past two years with Theta, graduated last May. Kayce Doogs, who finished third in ITTs two years ago and ninth last year, and won the race on a last lap sprint for Delta Gamma the past two years, has graduated. Lisa Hutcheson, who finished second in ITTs the past two years and Caughlin said could win the event even without training, has graduated.
That leave the door open for Caughlin, who would really like to win the ITT crown as well as the spring series and race, to become the first Teter rider to win the top spot since Caitlin Van Kooten, who won the title in 2010 and 2011. Cheering on, but not directly competing against Caughlin will be one of her best friends in DeHahn. The two talked, and were unsure of whether they would be placed in the same heat. They were unsure how they would feel about competing directly against each other, but instead, they will be able to cheer each other on during each one’s race. Look for this dynamic duo to possibly end up in the top 5 together.
The other strong contender for the title will be Doll, who swept the Fall Series events, and almost single-handedly led Chi Omega into 20th position on its third attempt. Doll, without a doubt, is one of the single most talented individual riders, as she raced 70 of the 100 laps in last year’s race for Chi O.
Tharnstrom is the fastest rider for pole-sitter Alpha Chi Omega. Her fly lap was a big reason why her team was two seconds faster than everyone else on qualifications day.
Look for Teter, Theta and Cru to come out with the most riders in the top 15.