For the second consecutive year, Black Key Bulls captured the spring series, in large part thanks to a first place finish in Team Pursuit.
BKB had three riders in the top 10 at ITTs (Spencer Brauchla 6, Tyler Hart 7, Lucas Kalbfell 10). ITTs as a whole was much faster this year than last, with the top six riders all finishing with a faster time than last year’s top time of 2:22.98. To put into perspective how much faster this year’s times were than 2014’s, the 25th fastest rider in 2015 would have slotted in at No. 13 in 2014.
Nick Thiery of the Cutters won ITTs, posting a 2:19.94. It was the 10th fastest time in ITT history, and the fastest time since RJ Stuart’s (Delta Tau Delta) 2012 run of 2:18.65. The fastest ITT time still belongs to Alpha Tau Omega’s Hans Arnesen with a 2:15.78 in 2005.
Other teams to get multiple riders in the top 10 in ITTs included Beta Theta Pi (Chris Craig 2, Kyle Knight 3) and Delta Tau Delta (Luke Tormoehlen 5, Anthony Vicino 9). Tormoehlen showed the biggest improvement from 2014 to 2015, improving 10.1 seconds to move from 49th last year to 5th this year.
Moving on to Miss-N-Out, Beta’s Chris Craig defended his 2014 crown, fighting off Phi Delta Theta’s Rob Lee, Thiery, Hart, teammate Joe Laughlin and Sig Ep’s Nick Torrance in the final. Outside of Craig, it was an entirely different final heat than 2014. Lee, Torrance and Thiery had all made the semifinals in 2014, but did not advance to the finals. It was the first time Hart and Laughlin had made both the semifinals and the finals.
Beta led all teams with three riders to reach the semifinals. Cutters, Delta Tau Delta and BKB all had two riders each make the semis.
With Beta’s strong performance in ITTs and Miss-N-Out, it appeared to be in the driver’s seat. But BKB’s strong performance in Team Pursuit allowed it to capture the spring series championship. There will be no white jersey in the race,however, as BKB will be wearing the yellow jersey as the defending race champions.
BKB dominated Team Pursuit, with its time of 8:56.42 registering as one of the best TP times ever. Only four other men’s teams have completed Team Pursuit in under 9:00. Beta Theta Pi was the last to do it, finishing in 8:49.70 in 2013. The men’s Team Pursuit winner has won the race the last three years.
Delta Tau Delta prevented an all BKB Team Pursuit final, with a qualifying time of 9:12.46, better than BKB second team time of 9:15.35, which finished third best. SAE and Phi Delta Theta also finished in the top five.
For the second consecutive year, the men’s spring series top 4 consists of BKB, Beta, Phi Delts and Delts. Beta and Phi Delts swapped positions from last year at second and third, the only change in the top four. Sig Ep rounded out the top five.