A decade ago, under the direction of coach Art Shuster, the Warren Wilson College mountain bike team finished second in the collegiate national championships (Division II). Since then, the Owls have finished among the top four teams each year, a remarkable run that continued this year with a fourth-place showing in the 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships at Beech Mountain, N.C.
The Owls’ streak is even more impressive considering the fact that Division II mountain biking does not consist solely of small colleges such as Warren Wilson with fewer than 1,000 students. In fact, any college or university with fewer than 15,000 students can compete in Division II.
This year, the Owls were led individually by the fifth-place finish of team captain Allison Jones, a junior psychology major from Raleigh, in the women’s omnium (overall) standings. Warren Wilson also finished fourth in the team relay. All in all, another excellent showing by the Owls under first-year head coach Matt Williams and assistant coach Nina Otter.