Track Cycling National Championships kick off in Carson
by Kristen Gowdy
Amy Dixon and pilot Denise Mueller compete at the Velo Sports Center. (Photo: Ian Lawless)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA – The USA Cycling Para-cycling Track National Championships saw champions crowned in the 3-kilometer and 4-kilometer pursuits, as well as the Team Sprint Mixed Finals. U.S. Paralympics Cycling national team athletes stood out, taking home four of the six titles up for grabs on the first of two days of racing.
The national championships, which are being held at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, are serving as the team selection event for the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in France next month.
Leading the charge was 2022 road world champion and overall road world cup champion Samantha Bosco (Claremont, California), who edged fellow 2020 Paralympian Shawn Morelli (Meadville, Pennsylvania) in the WC4 pursuit. Bosco is seeking to add onto her two road world titles this season via a berth onto the track worlds team. Morelli, meanwhile, is a 16-time world championships medalist who took silver in the individual pursuit at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Paralympic medalists Joe Berenyi (Aurora, Illinois) and Aaron Keith (Woodinville, Washington) surged to national titles in the MC3 and MC1 pursuits, respectively. Both are seasoned veterans looking to make an impact on the 2022 worlds team – Berenyi has accumulated 16 career world championship medals, while Keith has seven to his name.
National team member John Terrell (Converse, Texas), who put together a strong season on the road by finishing second overall in the MC4 world cup standings, made his return to the track and nabbed the MC4 pursuit win.
Newcomer Bryan Larsen (Santa Rosa, California) won the first national title of his career, topping the field in the MC5 competition. Larsen is a longtime cyclist, but is relatively new to the para-cycling world after Paralympian Chris Murphy (Rancho Cucamonga, California) encouraged him to give it a try. Murphy teamed with Keith and national team member Justin Widhalm (Bridgeport, Nebraska) for the gold in the team sprint.
In a thrilling men’s tandem final, Paul Shields (Meridian, Idaho) and pilot Joseph Matta (Houston, Texas) eked out a victory over Justin Sutton (Winter Park, Florida) and pilot Erin Young (Minneapolis, Minnesota) by just over a second over four kilometers. Amy Dixon (Encinitas, California), a 2020 Paralympian in paratriathlon, teamed with pilot Denise Mueller (San Diego, California) for the women’s tandem pursuit national title.
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.