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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student

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Kappa Alpha Theta sprint wins women’s Little 500

CAROUSELspWomensLittle500

After two years of being runner-up, Kappa Alpha Theta finally broke through.

Senior and rookie cyclist for Kappa Alpha Theta Brenna McGinn edged Teter Cycling’s Emma Caughlin to capture the 2014 women’s Little 500 title.

“It was really huge after coming up in second the last two years,” McGinn said. “My mom in the house was on that team for two years, and Kath (Kathleen Chelminiak) (was) obviously on that team ... You’re representing something so much more than yourself on this team, and I think that is the coolest part of the tradition.”

McGinn said she sat down with her coach two hours before the race, asking to talk about strategy.

“I was like, ‘OK, cut the crap. Don’t tell me I can outsprint anyone. I’m fifth in ITTs, I know I need strategy. What do you think it’s going to be?’” she said. “And he called it.”

McGinn’s coach predicted a three-to-four team sprint that would come down to the backstretch. Sure enough, the finish was just that, as McGinn defeated Caughlin on the final lap to capture the 2014 women’s Little 500 title by 0.132 seconds.

“I’m just totally in disbelief right now,” McGinn said after the race. “Nothing is registering right now.”

McGinn said if she had known how close behind Caughlin was, she probably would’ve given up mentally.

“I prayed a ton in that lap,” McGinn said. “That’s all I remember doing is praying.”

Caughlin said she tried to grab Theta’s wheel, meaning she tried to follow and draft McGinn.

“Theta just killed it,” Caughlin said. “They saved their sprinters, which was a smart move.”

Theta earned its fifth Little 500 championship with the victory, the team’s first since 2003.

Alpha Chi Omega, the pole sitter, suffered a setback when the bike dropped during an exchange with 89 laps scored. The team still managed to finish third with a time of 1:13:11.625, despite the botched exchange.

Two-time defending champion Delta Gamma, to whom Theta was runner-up to in the last two races, finished 11th.

Riders faced winds of 15 miles per hour at the start of the race. Because of rain the day before, the cinders packed together.

The packed track resulted in Theta finishing the race with a final time of 1:13:11.425, the fourth-fastest time in the last five years.

As a rookie and a senior, McGinn was finally able to push Kappa Alpha Theta over the top.

“It is the most amazing way to end my college career,” McGinn said. “It means the world to not only take part of something that defines IU but defines my sorority. And now, it’s a part of me to take with me.”

Follow reporter Stuart Jackson on Twitter @Stuart_Jackson1.

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