Kelsey Wright, Stephanie Maggio, Charlotte Jay and Tashi Damjanovich are the team’s veterans, while rookies Kelsie Landers, Stacy Robertson and Alli Benshoof will look to provide a competitive edge that the team has been lacking in previous years.
“During my two years of competing, we have only had four riders, but this year we have added more girls, which is making us push each other even harder,” Maggio said. “As our house sees our higher goals and that we have more girls involved in it, I think that everyone is giving us more support than ever before.”
With the level of support rising within the house, Alpha Xi Delta hopes to earn a top-12 qualifying spot and will look to break the house’s best finish of eighth in 1989.
Team captain Kelsey Wright said the key to the team’s success in this year’s race and down the road will be if they can continue to build upon the foundation the veterans have laid.
“I feel that if the girls that will follow us can put the same amount of heart and dedication that we have put into Little Five, our team will be competing for years to come,” Wright said.
Landers, a sophomore, said her first year of training for Little 500 is a new experience.
“It is bigger than anything that I have ever done,” Landers said. “Being a part of the team makes you think of your house so differently because you’re representing your house and doing something that is bigger than yourself. It’s a huge tradition and it means a lot to a lot of people, so I’ve loved being a rookie.”
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