With Quals coming up this Saturday, we decided to take a look at which teams return the most Little 500 experience, and which teams return a majority of their riders from last year.
While race experience isn’t everything, it certainly helps. And being familiar with your teammates certainly helps on Qualifications day, when the most important thing is your ability to exchange cleanly. Teams who have worked on exchanges together for years tend to have an advantage there.
So, without further ado, here’s a look at the most experienced Little 500 teams for 2015.
This independent team has five riders on its roster who have race experience, making it by far the most experienced team in the field. The five, consisting of Julie Daugherty, Fallon Lilly, Rose Mullaney, Elizabeth Murzyn and Katie Reynolds boast a combined eight years of Little 500 race experience coming into this season. Mullaney is one of the most experienced riders in the field, with three years of race experience. She’s one of just three racers in the women’s field with three years experience. Reynolds, also a senior, has two, while the other three each have one year of race experience.
Delta Sigma Pi
DSP returns three riders with Little 500 experience, led by Andrea Schroering, who has three years of race experience. The team has a combined six years of race experience entering this Little 500 season.
Cru returns three riders for a total of five years race experience.
While each rider for DZ has just one year of previous race experience, Delta Zeta returns all four riders from last year. Besides Melanzana, it is the only team returning all four riders from last year’s race to the race this year.
This one’s interesting. Phoenix Cycling is a new team, but it’s made up of riders with previous race experience. The team is led by Tabitha Sherwood, who was one of the top riders in last year’s field. She was second overall in ITTs last year, making her the top returning rider in the field this year. Three other riders each have one year of race experience, giving this team four riders with a combined four years of previous race experience.
Other teams with three riders with race experience, combined four years of experience
Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, CSF, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Delta, Teter
Ski returns three riders from last year’s all-rookie team that qualified seventh and finished seventh. Natalie Laser, another returning rider from that team, has moved from a rider role to a student coach role.
Defending champion Kappa Alpha Theta returns two riders from last year’s team. Veteran Sara Kinney will serve as student coach.
Alpha Xi Delta has two returning riders with a combined four years race experience thanks to Maddie Hayford, the third rider in this year’s field with three years of race experience.