It was a two-person race on the final lap of the 2019 women’s Little 500.
The spring featured the fastest riders from Individual Time Trials. Just like at ITTs, Teter's Lauren Britt outpaced Delta Gamma's Hannah Coppens to pedal past the checkered flag in first place.
The finish was reminiscent of last year’s race when Kappa Alpha Theta’s Rachel Brown sped past the field to earn the team’s fourth victory in five years. That moment has resonated with Teter’s senior until today.
“I was also on the bike at the end of the race last year, and I remember seeing Rachel Brown speed past me,” Britt said. “I’ve had that memory in my head for a whole year, and I owe it to her for showing me what hard work is. I just feel like I’m dreaming still, and it’s a dream come true.”
Teter hasn’t won the Little 500 since its back-to-back victories in 2010 and 2011. Delta Gamma came in second place for the second year in a row.
Despite the exciting finish, it wasn't close through the first 75 laps. SKI -- with the pole position -- led by as much as 20 seconds after breaking away from Delta Gamma, Teter and Alpha Chi Omega.
Delta Gamma and Teter were involved in a small crash while the race was under a yellow flag. This widened the gap between SKI and the rest of the field.
SKI was dominant and took advantage of the mistakes but couldn’t keep the pace as Delta Gamma and Teter slowly inched back into contention.
“There was a time that we were down probably about a half lap on SKI,” Teter freshman Corrine Miller said. “We just worked with some other teams and then gave some really hard sets and got back up there.”
Teter was confident heading into the race after placing second in Qualification. Britt said she had been waiting to have the opportunity to win.
“It wasn’t like we had to hold on to hope,and then it just happened,” Britt said. “Once we were there, there was no shaking us after that amount of work.”
In the last 10 laps, it was a three-way race between Teter, SKI and Delta Gamma. But heading into the final lap, SKI fell back from the lead, leaving Delta Gamma and Teter with one final sprint to decide the victor.
The difference between first and second place was less than a second. At the end of the race, Britt said her legs felt like bricks.
SKI finished the race in third place after leading for most of the way. Britt finishes her IU racing career a winner, and three of the team’s four riders will return next year.
“It feels unbelievable, and I’ve accomplished my dream," Britt said. "The very next thing I’m thinking of is, 'How can I get these girls to be able to feel this again next year?'”
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