The 2016 season starts this Saturday!
This year’s team has a lot of promising new racers in the men’s D, men’s A, and women’s B/C categories as well as many returning racers. The effects of the loss of superstars John Pratt and Jim Snitzer are yet to be seen, but a new wave of higher-category racers are eager to fill their shoes. The Irish Men’s D team is going to be very big this year, with both experienced and brand new riders who are very strong.
Here is an intro to our 2016 racers:
This year’s A team will consist of brothers James (junior) and Tony (freshman) Pratt. The two brothers have both been racing for many years and James has raced for the Irish since his freshman year in the B’s. Tony is a category 2 and James is a category 3 racer and both race for their family’s team in the summer. Tony is expected to be one of the top racers in the MWCCC.
The men’s B team will consist of all graduate students: Andrew Koch (Sacred Music), David McKenna (Physics) and Tom Frederick (Chemistry). All three have raced for the Irish before, and Andrew also races cyclocross for Notre Dame. The B team hopes to be able to work together to bring in top finishes this year.
Connor Williams started racing last year as a sophomore and had many great finishes in the C’s. Last fall he won the Midwest Collegiate Triathlon Conference. Unfortunately, Connor suffered a broken foot last November and had to sit out of training this winter, but will likely be able to race later in the season. We are expecting some of the Men’s D members to move up into the C category later on in the season.
John Cerney (law student) will be moving up to Men’s C after winning the TTT, Road Race, AND Crit at last year’s Conference Championship. John is a powerful rider and will out-sprint most riders if he makes it to the end of the race in the lead group.
The men’s D team is always big, and this year is no exception. Several returning riders, including David Berno (senior), Joe Mueller (senior), and Ryan Green (sophomore), will be joined by new riders including brothers Charles (senior) and Anthony (freshman) Hall, David Platt (grad), Cole Carnesecca (grad) and Liam O’Connor (senior). Berno, Mueller, and O’Connor are all triathletes and have completed 1/2 Ironmans. Ryan and David bring a lot of experience to the D’s. Charles Hall is a natural climber, gravity does not apply to him. Anthony has come a long way since joining the team this fall and is quickly becoming one of the strongest riders on the team. Together the men’s D have a good chance of winning races.
The women’s team consists of six returning riders and one new rider. Paige Handy (senior) has been racing since her freshman year and was a leader of the women’s team last year. This year, she is upping her training for a full Ironman this summer. Lillie Romeiser (grad student) has also competed in ironmans and marathons, and was a strong asset to the women’s team last year, often pulling hard in the time trials and road races for the benefit of her teammates. Sarah Cullen (junior) is returning for her third year after gaining more experience racing for the Ann Arbor Velo Club’s women’s team last summer. Emma-Kate Conlin (junior) has been racing three years as well and will help the women’s time trial team looking to qualify for nationals. Kelly Valenzi (team president, sophomore) is one of the team’s best sprinters, and had a good summer riding cross country with her father. Maggie Schmid (senior) started racing last year and quickly picked up skills and tactics, and will hopefully add more top finishes to her racing resume this year. The only new female, Laura McMillion (grad student) has been riding strong all year and will be joining the women’s A TTT. Throughout the season, many of the women’s B/Cs are expecting to upgrade to As.