We’re keeping a running commentary on Quals throughout the day here. Check back in for updates. The live running order is constantly updated on our page “2015 Running Order.”
10:14 p.m. – So, things got pretty tight at the end, updating the board, and I neglected this. Very exciting end to the men’s qualifications, as ATO just barley edges out Sigma Chi for the 33rd spot. Also a huge story, Phi Psi does not qualify for the race. Three faults. First time ever Phi Psi will not be in the Little 500 field. Had qualified for all 64 races. I’ll have a more complete story up on the site tomorrow.
8:15 p.m. – We’ve got 33 men’s teams in the field now. Bumping begins. Air Force on the bubble with a 2:47.45
7:00 p.m. – Also, another big storyline coming out, how about the performance from 3PH today? All-rookie team, and they’re going to have a very good starting spot.
6:44 p.m. – Wow. Another huge surprise on the day. Evan’s Scholars with a time of 2:24.03. Independents have had a very strong showing this year.
6:34 p.m. – Really interested to see Phi Mu. I think they’re the only team with a chance at knocking off Melanzana. And I think Cutters is the only men’s team left with a shot of knocking off Wright. But in all likelihood, I would say Wright is going to be your polesitter.
5:33 p.m. – So, there are officially six teams from this morning who will attempt to qualify after the rest of the field is done. Phi Kappa Sigma, Sigma Chi, Beta Sigma Psi, Cru women, Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Pi will all throw out their current times and try again tonight. Phi Kappa Sigma starts at 9:10, with the rest to follow, in order, in 5 minute intervals.
After those are done, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Beta Tau will each have their third attempt of the day after faulting on their first two attempts.
5:03 p.m. – Times continue to be put up here. Big question: Can any team take down Wright? Can any team take down Melanzana? And if both of those teams stay on the pole, when was the last time two independent teams sat on the pole?
4:05 p.m. – It sounds like the Cru women’s team is the only team that qualified early this morning that plans on trying to qualify after the rest of the field tonight. Teams were offered the chance to requalify after the track had to be closed due to poor conditions.
3:44 p.m. – Well, that was fast. Wright Cycling steps right up and takes BKB off the top spot, putting up an amazing 2:23.10. No one had even come close to that time before.
3:42 p.m. – Black Key Bulls does the first time under 2:27 of the day, clocking a 2:26.89. Now on pole!
3:25 p.m. – New top time on the women’s side! Melanzana crushes AGD’s time, putting up a 2:41.46. That’s almost six seconds faster than previous pole time.
3:17 p.m. – We have a new pole leader on the women’s side! Alpha Gamma Delta just sneaks by Alpha Chi Omega with a 2:47.002. AChiO did a 2:47.01
2:57 p.m. – The track looks beautiful. SAE on track and ready to qualify. I expect times to be much faster now.
1:58 p.m. – QUALS WILL RESUME AT 3 PM.
So, pretty big delay here at Bill Armstrong, but the track finally looks like it’s back to normal. Should be a pretty fast track in an hour.
And some big news: Teams who previously qualified this morning will have the option to withdraw their times, and attempt to qualify again tonight after the rest of the field has gone. They have to notify IUSF by 5 that they intend to do that. It will cost them another attempt, though. So teams like Beta and PDT who have already used two attempts would be putting everything into that third attempt.
And of course, the first six teams who will start at 3, the last six who were on the track, will have a fresh start with zero attempts to their name.
11:12 a.m. – BREAKING: Race Director Jordan Bailey informs us Qualifications are on an official delay which will last indefinitely due to poor track conditions. All six teams who were in this last block of qualifying, which is Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Chi, Theta Chi and Alpha Delta Pi will all get a clean slate of qualifications.
So, even though SAE was supposed to be on its third attempt, that will be wiped away. Their next attempt will officially go down as its first. Same goes for all the other teams: they get 3 fresh chances to qualify for the race.
This is definitely the right move by IUSF, as the track looks horrendous. Wet spots everywhere, and, as we chronicled here on the blog, there were multiple riders who fell on the track because it was too slippery. Teams were having to take extremely high lines on the track to try to avoid the wet areas.
It’s only fair to these teams they get a decent track to attempt to qualify on. Track was frozen this morning, but at least it was dry. Now that it’s thawing out, completely soaked. This move evens the playing field.
11:07 a.m. – A Theta Chi rider wipes out between the first and second turn. This track looks a little ridiculous right now. It’s a complete swamp. Water everywhere. Can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to ride on right now.
11:01 a.m. – Riders are having to take an extremely wide line on the track. Can’t get anywhere near the gutter. Way too wet down there. The track is starting to look a little muddy.
10:54 a.m. – SAE faults on its second attempt. That’s the first team that was really expected to make the race, and have a good run, who will be back later this evening for a third and final attempt. Very unfortunate circumstances with the track being the way it is. All a matter of luck of the draw of when you’re on the track to qual. Track should be better for them tonight, and they should be able to put down a time. Just added pressure.
10:48 a.m. – An SAE rider completely wiped out going around Turn 4. The track is extremely wet right now, and, as evidenced by the fall, extremely slippery. Should make for an interesting set of Quals attempts coming up here. Track conditions are definitely poor, to say the least.
10:08 a.m. – Cru moves into second on the women’s side, knocking Teter down to third. Cru had good exchanges. A team with some returning experience, and it showed. Cohesiveness and experience key on Quals day.
9:53 a.m. – LAMBDA TAKES THE POLE! In a surprise I’m not sure anyone saw coming, they run a 2:27.91, knocking Phi Delts off the pole. Like I mentioned before, tremendous exchanges fueled the terrific run.
9:50 a.m. – Lambda Chi putting together some of the best exchanges I’ve seen today. Very nice run so far.
9:44 a.m. – Beta just tweeted “icy track this morning.” Don’t think they meant it’s literally icy, but you get the point. Sounds like it’s less than ideal.
9:31 a.m. – AXO with by far the fastest time on the women’s side. A time somewhere around 2:47. Teter was a 2:56.53. Really impressive run from AXO. Lots of speed.
9:28 a.m. – Phi Delt goes sub 2:28 on its second attempt, which puts them on the pole for now.
9:20 a.m. – Phi Delt on its second attempt. Rob Lee riding fly lap. Fans chanting “Rob F*****g Lee! Rob F*****g Lee!”
9:10 a.m. – Phi Delts faults on its first attempt. So some of the considered favorites have faulted on first attempt. Exchange problems. Wonder if that has something to do with not having much track time this year due to weather?
8:47 a.m. – Very curious to see how the track plays out throughout day. Some top teams have gone already on the men’s side, and times significantly down from last year. Is it too cold early in the morning? Will the track thawing out throughout the day help?
8:43 a.m. – Just to let everyone know, we’re updating the starting grid constantly. We set up a new page on our drop down menu for it. 2015 Running Order.
8:28 a.m. – Delta Tau Delta with the fastest time of the day, on its first run nonetheless. Delts registers a 2:28.33.
8:26 a.m. – Sigma Nu puts up a time of 2:29.79, the first time under 2:30 today. The track is very much frozen, would makes it like concrete, which one might think would make the track faster. Not so much early on.
8:23 a.m. – So far this morning, it looks like times are down considerably. Beta’s 2:30.67 would put them at 18 in last year’s starting field.
8:17 a.m. – Beta puts down a 2:30.67 on its second attempt. Looked to slow up on its first exchange. Better to play it safe than sorry.
8:15 a.m. – FIJI puts down the first official time of the day, a 2:32.05.
8:08 a.m. – So, both teams that started early this morning faulted on their first attempt. Beta dropped the bike between the first and second rider, and Sigma Nu dropped the bike between second and third riders. Rough start to the day, and you almost wonder if nerves played into it somewhat. Both these teams return all four riders from last year’s team, so they should be comfortable with each other.