Indiana Daily Student

Phi Delta Theta wins 71st running of Men’s Little 500 after late crash mixes up front pack

<p>A cyclist from Phi Delta Theta celebrates his win at the 71st Little 500 Men&#x27;s Race on April 23, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. His team took first place overall. </p>

A cyclist from Phi Delta Theta celebrates his win at the 71st Little 500 Men's Race on April 23, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. His team took first place overall.

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.

The Phi Delta Theta bike team and fans celebrate their victory at the 71st Little 500 Men's Race on April 23, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The men's race consists of 200 laps totaling 50 miles. Avery Antill

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.

Related: [Melanzana Cycling wins 34th running of Women’s Little 500 in first race with fans since 2019]

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.

The Phi Delta Theta team leads their fans in a victory lap around the track April 23, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. They took first place at the 71st Little 500 Men's Race. Avery Antill

 

Phi Psi, the favorite who took first place in both qualifications and Team Pursuits, still managed to finish in sixth place with 199 laps under its belt.

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.

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