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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports little 500

Kappa Alpha Theta’s Audrey La Valle wins women’s ITTs, top team contenders revealed

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In the midst of singular voices and shouts echoing across Bill Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday during individual time trials, there was a notable absence of the usual chants and collective cheers typically heard at qualifications. Yet, within the quieter backdrop, individual time trial performances unveiled which teams to monitor in this year’s women’s Little 500. 

Unlike qualifications, where focus is placed on smooth bike exchanges and fast one-lap sprints, the one-mile individual time trial can show which teams have fitness and depth. 

The endurance and experience of Kappa Alpha Theta senior Audrey La Valle aided her first-place performance of 2:39.98. She was the only rider in the 155-deep field to edge under 2:40. 

La Valle was the top returning rider of 2023, where she placed third with 2:48.19. 

Though she finished first, emphasis was placed on the greater Kappa Alpha Theta team, which had four of its riders among the top-20 finishers.  

“Seeing my teammates grow is my favorite thing,” La Valle said after her time trial. “Especially for the girls who joined last year, watching them race right after rookie week to now being contenders in the race, it does a lot for our confidence.” 

Kappa Alpha Theta’s Greta Heyl and Bailey Cappella placed 17th and 16th, respectively, while teammate Claire Tips finished fifth. 

Possibly the spectacle of the night, though, stemmed from Teter’s efforts.  

The winner of 2024 qualifications and runner-up at the 2023 Little 500 had its riders sporting fancy aerodynamic helmets like the MET Codatronca and Darth Vader-esque Specialized TT5. In a race where riders cannot draft and are exposed to air resistance, equipment choice can impact results. 

The wit and depth of the team was evident, as three Teter riders placed top-10, including Cecilia Ball in fifth, Allison Edgar in seventh and Seneca Simon in 10th while Jessica DiBella placed 14th. All are returning riders from the 2023 race day roster. 

Teter declined a request for comment on its ITT performance. 

Other strong teams repping multiple top finishers include Delta Gamma with three in the top 20 and Alpha Chi Omega with two in the top 20. 

Reigning champion Melanzana also placed two riders in the top 20, including rookie Brenner Hanna, who finished fourth in her spring ITT debut. 

“All through winter and fall we couldn’t see where the team was at,” Hanna said after her time trial. “So, with ITT results it gives me and the rest of the team confidence that we can be one of the best.” 

Hanna is familiar with pacing herself and taking turns around the track as a previous IU runner. She made a smooth transition to riding on the cinder track and will be a pivotal rider for the Melanzana team come race day. 

The solid finishes by Hanna and teammate Evelyn Morris aided Melanzana in their current third-place Spring Series ranking. 

Kappa Alpha Theta sits on top in Spring Series, leading Teter by just one point. 

Here are the top 20 finishers of ITTs: 

1. Audrey La Valle (Kappa Alpha Theta): 2:39.98 

2. Dorothy Curran-Munoz (Novus): 2:42.53 

3. Allison Lacy (Delta Zeta): 2:43.18 

4. Brenner Hanna (Melanzana): 2:43.84 

5. Claire Tips (Kappa Alpha Theta): 2:43.92 

6. Cecilia Ball (Teter): 2:45.03 

7. Allison Edgar (Teter): 2:45.42 

8. Maddie Cogan (RideOn): 2:45.68 

9. Kyra Ferry (Kappa Delta): 2:46.23 

10. Seneca Simon (Teter): 2:46.51 

11. Kate Burnett (Delta Gamma): 2:46.65 

12. Evelyn Morris (Melanzana): 2:47.05 

13. Chloe Eades (Alpha Chi Omega): 2:47.16 

14. Jessica DiBella (Teter): 2:47.83 

15. Shannon Kerr (Delta Gamma): 2:48.00 

16. Bailey Capella (Kappa Alpha Theta): 2:48.02 

17. Greta Heyl (Kappa Alpha Theta): 2:48.60 

18. Whitney Banks (CSF): 2:48.84 

19. Grace Howard (Alpha Chi Omega): 2:49.04 

20. Bridget Pfau (Delta Gamma): 2:49.08 

Here are the top five teams in the 2024 Spring Series rankings: 

1. Kappa Alpha Theta: 22pts 

2. Teter: 23pts 

3. Melanzana: 40pts 

4. Delta Gamma: 46pts 

5. Kappa Delta: 59pts 

Spring Series will resume April 6 with Miss N Out, followed then by team pursuit April 7. The races ahead are sure to give more insight on top contenders for the women’s Little 500, scheduled for 4 p.m. April 19.

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