Miss-N-Out and Individual Time Trials champion Kathleen Chelminiak of Kappa Alpha Theta and Kayce Doogs of DG broke away from the rest of the pack, with Chelminiak leading on the back stretch.
Doogs began to diminish Chelminiak’s lead going into turn three and caught up to take the lead by the time turn four was through.
Doogs was able to maintain the lead for the final sprint, giving DG its first Little 500 victory since 2008 with an unofficial time of 1:12:59.
“It feels great,” Doogs said. “We’ve been imagining this since they won back in 2008. I got a little scared because Theta was cranking away, and I said, ‘I need to stay on her wheel.’ I just found that energy in me and just went around in turn four.”
It was DG’s second ever, putting them behind only Teter, Theta and Kappa for most all-time wins.
“It’s unbelievable,” junior and DG rider Kelsey Phillips said. “I’ve been riding since I was a freshman, and this is finally happening. All the hard work and preparation that got us to this point was worth it.”
“I absolutely cannot put it into words,” junior Emily Loebig said. “This is unbelievable.”
The members of Theta found themselves a half lap down from the lead after a bike fumbling near the beginning of the race.
The team eventually worked its way back to the lead group a little after the halfway mark.
“I’m proud of the way everyone performed,” Chelminiak said. “There’s four people on our team. You can only do it together. There’s no way one of us by ourselves could have gotten back from that gap.”
While Teter riders were looking to win an unprecedented third consecutive victory, the team had to settle for third place.
“I’m happy with our placement,” senior Teter rider Lisa Hutcheson said. “I love competitive sprinting, and that’s what it came down to. That’s the funnest thing for me to do. It was an amazing experience, and I’m happy.”
Wing It came in after Teter to finish fourth, while Delta Sigma Pi and Kappa placed fifth and sixth, respectively. According to unofficial times, each of the top six teams finished one second behind their predecessors. The seventh-place team, Collins, finished one minute and six seconds after Kappa.
Rounding out the top 10 were Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega and Alpha Chi Omega, respectively.
With Doogs, Phillips and Loebig all being juniors, DG members are confident they will be even more of a threat next year.
“We’re going to come back strong next year,” Doogs said. “We’ll definitely be looking for a repeat. That’s for sure.”
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