The Phi Delta Theta fraternity’s cycling team took first place in the 71st running of the Men’s Little 500 on Saturday with a final time of 2:15:43:47. This race was the team’s fourth Little 500 victory and first since 2001. This is also the first time a fraternity has won the Men’s Little 500 race since 2016.
The trio of seniors Andrew Murray, Jimmy Kulik and Mitchell Pardi paired with sophomore Eli Konow and have trained for the race since September 2021. Phi Delt finished in eighth place at qualifications and then finished second to Phi Kappa Psi, who placed first in the Team Pursuit finals, by six seconds.
Phi Delt had a positive start on the track Saturday by securing third place through the first 10 laps, coming behind Sigma Phi Epsilon and Cutters. However, Phi Delt lost its position in the top five after the 20 and 30-lap checkpoint. Gray Goat Cycling led at the 20th lap checkpoint.
A quarter of the way into the race — 50 laps — Phi Delt was second behind Cutters. Phi Delt then took the lead at the 100-lap checkpoint. Jetblach, the 2021 Little 500 champions, established its own lead at the 150-lap checkpoint, but Cutters came back and retook the lead at the 170 and 180-lap checkpoints.
With just 10 laps remaining, Phi Psi took the lead. The chance to rewrite its own history of coming so close to winning it all and secure the fraternity’s first Little 500 victory since 1978 presented itself.
Instead, senior Phi Psi rider Andrew La Valle suffered the same fate as last year. A crash in front of La Valle toward the end of the 199th lap took seven teams out, including the racer in the green top.
This crash gave Phi Delt the opportunity to take the lead and finish its final lap with a time of 0.33.968 to secure the victory. Sig Ep finished in second place, coming just 0.196 seconds behind Phi Delt. Jetblach secured the final place on the podium with a third-place finish in the race.
Cutters finished in fourth place. Gray Goat rounded out the top five by being the last team to finish all 200 laps before the celebration got underway for the victors.
Chi Alpha finished in seventh place, and Beta Sigma Psi came in eighth place. Black Key Bulls finished in ninth place. Phi Gamma Delta rounded out the top 10 of the race.
The main events of the “World’s Greatest College Weekend” have concluded, with new names etching themselves in the history books.