The Indiana University Student Foundation hosted qualification rounds for the Little 500 race on Saturday for the first time in three years. There were 33 men’s cycling teams competing in this year’s qualification round.
Last year, IUSF turned to its “Team Pursuit” competition in order to replace the annual qualification rounds — often referred to as “Quals.” Team Jetblach finished first in the Team Pursuit in 2021 and earned the pole position last year.
The track surrounding Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium was open over spring break, and many of the teams took advantage of the opportunity.
“Training was great because nobody was here over break,” Graham Hampton, a junior 5th man on the Bear’s team said. “It gave our team lots of time to practice on the track.”
Saturday’s qualification rounds also marked the first time crowds were allowed to watch the racers compete in three years. Last year's race didn’t allow fans to watch the event in person. Two years ago, the race was canceled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am amazed at the crowds,” Mark Dillon, coach of the McNutt team said. “I’m coaching guys who have never seen a Little 500 before.”
The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity finished in first place among all men’s teams in Saturday’s qualifications rounds with a time of 2:30.94. The team previously finished second in the 2019 qualification competition.
The fraternity celebrated the first-place finish in this year’s edition of the qualifications on its Instagram account.
Black Key Bulls moved up three spots from its last qualification round appearance with a time of 2.32.05, securing a second place finish. CUTTERS dropped out of its reigning position as Quals champions to third place with a time of 2.33.71.
Gray Goat finished in fourth with a time of 2:34.53. Sigma Phi Epsilon rounded out the top five with a time of 2:34.69. A 2.34.93 time secured a sixth place finish for Bear’s, and Phi Gamma Delta finished in seventh place with a 2.36.13 time.
Phi Delta Theta secured a 2.37.41 time to secure the eighth place.
JETBLACH, a team composed to replace the Delta Tau Delta team, finished in ninth with a 2.38.37 time. The team reorganized after Delta Tau Delta was placed on the IU list of suspended organizations in 2017. Beta Sigma Psi rounded out the top 10 with a time of 2.39.32 .
McNutt finished in last place with a time of 3.01.93.
The official Little 500 races take place on the weekend of April 22-23. The women’s race will start at 4 p.m. April 22, while the men’s race will kick off at 2 p.m. April 23.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled McNutt team head coach Mark Dillon's name.