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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Harsh qualifying conditions no match for Roadrunner team

Saturday morning's cold front made for tough riding conditions in the women's Little 500 qualifications at Bill Armstrong stadium. Some riders described track conditions as the worst they had ever seen.\nDespite the poor conditions, the Roadrunners, an independent team, took the pole for the 14th running of the women's race with a time of 2 minutes, 52.75 seconds. Last year's pole setters, Delta Zeta qualified second at 2:56.94 and Phi Mu completed the front row at 2:57.37.\nTeams must complete four laps and four exchanges with teammates. Roadrunners senior rider Amy Bridges said the exchanges were key in their qualifying effort.\n"We were cautious in the exchanges," Bridges said. "We were quick when going around the track but we took it pretty slow when we did our exchanges."\nWhen the first team took to the track at 8 a.m., the temperature was in the high 20s-low 30s and didn't dramaticly increase all day.\n"It was a real shock to wake up to 20 degree temperatures," Phi Mu senior Kara Kenney said. "It took a while to get warmed up."\nThe temperature did increase later in the afternoon, giving the teams that drew later qualifying times an advantage over those who took to the track in the morning, but it was colder than it had been during the week's pre-qualifying practices.\nDelta Zeta senior Lisa Braudis said that drawing a qualifying time later in the day factored into recording the second fastest time of the day. \n"It was great going in the afternoon," Braudis said. "I think 2:30 (p.m.) was one of the warmest times of the day. I didn't want to go in the morning."\nBridges said that by staying in Bloomington during spring break and not making a trip to warmer climates for training helped them with Saturday's conditions.\n"It's never fun riding in the cold," Bridges said. "But we were used to riding in the cold, and we got to take advantage of the track time to work on our exchanges."\nTeams also had to battle track conditions at Armstrong stadium along with a change of scenery. Because of the dismantling of the north-side bleachers, the finish line has been switched to the opposite side of the track compared to the position last year. \n"This was one of the worst years for conditions at quals," Braudis said. "There were some really slick places on the track."\nKenney agreed, saying these were the worse conditions she has seen in her three years of riding in the race. She didn't know why track conditions were so bad, but there were a lot of ruts in the course.\nBraudis said the change in finish line position will cause problems for the riders.\n"It's easier to slip out going into turn one," Braudis said.\nBy watching teams earlier in the morning, the Roadrunners saw the mistakes made and knew what to avoid on the track to take the pole.\n"Track conditions weren't ideal," Bridges said. "People were falling into the gutter and getting into the ruts on the track. We went to the middle of the exchange line so we could avoid the ruts made by other teams."\nNow that the field has been set, teams are setting their focus on the April 20 race and will be assigned pit positions and begin pack riding in practice this week. Teams will also be competing in individual time trials, miss-n-out and team pursuit before the race. \n"Every year, we try to look at the race and make some predictions," Braudis said. "We have to look at all different types of situations"

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