The 2016 Little 500 awards were this past week. Here’s who came away with top individual honors.
It took several minutes after the race before Phoenix’s Tabitha Sherwood was able to talk to anyone after winning the Little 500 on Friday.
She had given it her everything. And while every rider on the track gave it their everything, too, Sherwood’s everything was the only effort that was enough to come away with victory.
While it ends in joy for Sherwood and her Phoenix teammates, it means pain for those who gave it their all and it just wasn’t quite enough to beat Phoenix.
So when Delta Gamma’s Kristen Bignal came over to congratulate Sherwood, it felt like something special.
“So proud of you,” Bignal said to Sherwood as the two hugged.
“Proud of you!,” Sherwood answered.
BLOOMINGTON — The fans chanted MVP at him. They hugged him every time he turned around. He kissed the cinders with his best friends. He hoisted his team’s bike. He showed off a new ring. He smiled for pictures with his teammates – and the BorgWarner trophy.
It was exactly how Delta Tau Delta senior Luke Tormoehlen had envisioned it in his head all along.
After popping out of Turn 2 on the final lap of Saturday’s 66th men’s Little 500 at Bill Armstrong Stadium, Tormoehlen jetted around Sigma Alpha Epsilon and then advanced around Black Key Bulls to give the Delts their second Little 500 victory.
“I can’t even put it into words,” Tormoehlen said of what it meant to win in his senior year. “It’s good when a vision comes true. It’s three years of my life revolving around this race, and all of the hard work and dedication toward an ultimate goal paid off.”
BLOOMINGTON – 3PH Cycling came into this year’s Little 500 wanting to prove they can compete with the field’s best.
Saturday, they did just that.
The second-year team finished in fifth to build on their eighth place finish from a year ago. With 10 laps to go, they were hanging around with eventual winner Delta Tau Delta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Black Key Bulls and Cutters before falling off pace in the closing laps to finish just over 24.108 seconds back.
“We started this team with the mentality that this is where we want to be,” sophomore Matthew Thompson said. “We started this team to be competitive, not just to be around. I think we’re only going to move up.”
BLOOMINGTON – All it really takes to ruin a team’s Little 500 is one crash.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon had two, one on lap 28 and then another on lap 102. Both incidents left lead rider Joe Krahulik bloodied and seeking medical attention while his teammates scrambled to make up for lost ground.
The crashes were the type of nightmare situations that take teams completely out of Little 500s, let alone title contention. But even after being knocked down twice, SAE rebounded to finish second behind Delta Tau Delta in one of the more adversity-filled races a team could have.
“It’s hard to be disappointed with everyone’s effort,” said senior rider Andy Krahulik. “To come back from all that, that’s something I’m going to remember forever.”
1 Delta Tau Delta
2 Sigma Alpha Epsilon (difference of 1.060 seconds)
3 Black Key Bulls (difference of 1.366 seconds)
4 Cutters (difference of 6.860 seconds)
5 3PH (difference of 24.108 seconds)
6 Gray Goat
7 Beta Theta Pi
8 Phi Delta Theta
9 Sigma Nu
11 Phi Gamma Delta
12 Sigma Chi
13 Sigma Phi Epsilon
15 Delta Chi
16 Pi Kappa Alpha
17 Theta Chi
18 Lambda Chi Alpha
21 Alpha Sigma Phi
22 Phi Kappa Sigma
23 Pi Lambda Phi
24 Pi Kappa Phi
25 Alpha Epsilon Pi
26 Sigma Alpha Mu
27 Phi Sigma Kappa
28 Beta Sigma Psi
29 Young Pioneers
30 Young Life
31 Delta Sigma Pi
32 Tau Kappa Epsilon
33 Zeta Beta Tau
BLOOMINGTON – Tabitha Sherwood wasn’t settling for second.
She doesn’t exactly remember how it happened. She doesn’t need to. All that matters is that Sherwood, a fifth-year senior riding in her third and final Little 500, leaves the track at Bill Armstrong Stadium as a champion.
Sherwood edged Delta Gamma’s Kristen Bignal by a mere 0.051 seconds Friday to give Phoenix Cycling, the team Sherwood started from scratch just last year, its first Little 500 victory.
“It took about a second for it to sink in, but I just barely saw that I had her by like a tire width,” Sherwood said of the photo finish. “I felt like I had a little bit more in me. If the starting line was just a little bit further back, I would’ve been fine. But I may have made my move a little bit too late. But I guess it still worked.”
— James Brosher (@jamesbrosher) April 15, 2016
1 Phoenix total time of 1:09:11.744
2 Delta Gamma (difference of 0.051)
3 Teter (1.342)
4 Kappa Alpha Theta (1.575)
5 Alpha Omicron Pi (2.612)
6 Phi Mu (30.651)
7 Alpha Chi Omega
10 Alpha Sigma Alpha
11 Kappa Delta
12 Alpha Gamma Delta
13 Alpha Xi Delta
14 Kappa Kappa Gamma
18 Alpha Delta Pi
19 Delta Zeta
20 Delta Sigma Pi
21 Chi Omega
22 IU Nursing
23 Alpha Phi
24 Gamma Phi Beta
25 Wing It
26 Independent Council
27 Theta Phi Alpha
28 Delta Phi Epsilon
29 Sigma Delta Tau
30 Delta Delta Delta
31 Alpha Epsilon Phi
BLOOMINGTON – There were no regrets, no second thoughts.
Kristen Bignal was at peace with herself.
Bignal, a junior rider for Delta Gamma, came within 0.051 seconds of Little 500 glory only to see Phoenix’s Tabitha Sherwood edge her at the line to win the 29th women’s Little 500 by less than a tire length. She took her time debriefing the race’s events with her teammates, gathering her thoughts before concluding there was nothing she could have done differently.
I know some of you have already added your predictions for the men’s race over in the discussion room, now, about 24 hours out from the men’s race, it’s time for me to unveil mine.
Here’s my (rough) projection for how the men’s Little 500 race will go on Saturday. Feel free to add your thoughts below, or over in the discussion room.