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Tuesday, May 28
The Indiana Daily Student

sports little 500

BREAKING: Kappa Alpha Theta wins 36th running of women's Little 500

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The Indiana Daily Student will bring you live updates from Bill Armstrong Stadium throughout the 36th women’s Little 500.

Kappa Alpha Theta takes a victory lap 

With wreaths of flowers hanging around their necks, Theta riders mount their bicycles and take their victory lap around Bill Armstrong Stadium. 

A sea of white — Kappa Alpha Theta members and fans — follows, and parade with their winners of the 2024 women’s Little 500. 

For live photo updates, check out: PHOTOS: Live updates from the women's Little 500

Lap 99-100 

The white flag appears at the finish line for the Kappa Alpha Theta team in white jerseys. 

Kappa Alpha Theta rider Bailey Capella crosses the line with her hands in the air, solidifying the team’s win — its first since 2018. Audrey La Valle, Greta Heyl, Claire Tips and coach Liz Lieberman-Shoup embrace each other as Capella slowly rounds the track. 

2022 and 2023 women’s Little 500 champion Melanzana nobly finishes fourth.

Lap 98 

Two laps to go. 

Melanzana, Delta Gamma and Teter remain together in a three-team sprint for second place. They jockey for position before the final lap. Only two of those will make the podium.

Lap 88 

Delta Gamma falls back and is caught by the six-team chase pack, effectively making seven. Audrey La Valle is back on the bike for Kappa Alpha Theta, three-quarters of a lap ahead of the pack.  

Kappa Alpha Theta, which swept Spring Series leading up to the Little 500, is keeping command and has a nearly-solidified win with 12 laps to go. 

Lap 77 

The 10-second lead extends to 18 with nearly 20 laps to go. Kappa Alpha Theta is within a quarter lap of the main chase group. Delta Gamma, in second place, is 24 seconds — almost a half lap — behind Kappa Alpha Theta’s monster breakaway effort. 

Lap 70 

Kappa Alpha Theta’s eight second lead over Delta Gamma grows to over 10. The seven-team chase group is a half lap behind but is starting to wind up in an attempt to overtake the leaders. 

Lap 64

Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Gamma worked together for several laps, but Kappa Alpha Theta attacks. 

They lead by nearly eight seconds, as the Delta Gamma rider fades with fatigued pedaling and their head down. Both teams prepare for an exchange. 

Lap 48 

The race nears halfway. Teter takes a big two-lap burn, claiming the fastest lap thus far, at 36 seconds. Its rider exchanges to sophomore Seneca Simon, who is nearly caught by the peloton but continues to push ahead, aiming to catch the leaders, Kappa Alpha Theta. 

Simon rubs wheels with the Kappa Alpha Theta rider, and Teter falls behind by nearly a half lap. 

Delta Gamma regains contact with Kappa Alpha Theta, forming a two-team breakaway. 

Lap 31 

The peloton grows as riders, including Teter, reattach. Reigning champion Melanzana takes its first lead of the race. Teams frequently burn and exchange, waiting for action to happen. 

Lap 24

A main pack of six teams lead the way as Teter attempts to regain contact. The race is neutralized but quickly resumes. Melanzana, Kappa Alpha Theta, Descent, Novus, Delta Zeta and CSF lead the way.

Lap 18 

A crash in the main peloton occurs in the first turn. 

Teter, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta and other teams go down, but quickly mount their bicycles. The race is not neutralized and the riders ahead push onward. 

Lap 6 

Teter sends a dig at the front of the pack and stretches out the group behind. Teter’s Jessica DiBella is quickly marked and caught by several teams and the pack bunches back together. Only nine teams remain in the pack. 

Lap 3 

Ten riders crash on the first turn. 

Alpha Fasta Bika and Alpha Gamma Delta stay behind with a mechanical failure, and their mechanics rush across the field to give riders a new bike. The main peloton is neutralized as the chaos is resolved. 

4:30 p.m.

Two slow neutral laps occur, Teter, Alpha Chi Omega and Novus are sitting front row, winding up for the final neutral lap. Last year’s champions, Melanzana, are outside on the fourth row in the yellow jersey, surely aiming to get ahead in the first few laps. 

4:25 p.m.

Riders are staged on the home straight, stretching and preparing as songs and chants come from the stands. 

They mount their bicycles and push off for the three neutral laps. 

4 p.m.

Pre-race festivities begin. 

University officials are recognized and driven around the track. Mixed reactions of boos and cheers are sounded off as Indiana University President Pamela Whitten sits atop a blue Mini Cooper Convertible. Provost Rahul Shrivastav rode in the car behind. 

IU Bloomington faculty voted no confidence in both Whitten and Shrivastav, along with Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Carrie Docherty on Tuesday. 

Riders line up on the home straight for team introductions and pictures. They are greeted by Whitten and Vice Provost for Student Life Lamar Hylton. Teter and some other riders decline an offered handshake by Whitten. 

Simultaneously, bikes are staged on the track before the race starts. 

3:50 p.m.

The warm-up has concluded, and riders return to their race pits. 

“Honestly the track is really nice,” Alpha Gamma Delta’s Annie Surette said after the warm-up. “Since it rained last night, the track got wet down, so it’s not dusty.” 

Surette mentioned the packed-down cinders will aid in exchanges by improving tire traction. 

3:35 p.m.

Two titans of the women’s Little 500 are positioned right next to each other in the pits. Teter, winners of Qualifications and second in Spring Series, and Kappa Alpha Theta, winners of Spring Series are displaying two different demeanors ahead of the race. 

Kappa Alpha Theta riders and supporters chat amongst themselves, dancing as Dr. Dre’s “No Diggity” plays in the background. A few of the riders take advantage of the 30-minute warm up. 

Teter’s mechanic and coach prepare their bikes, scanning each detail and component as riders spin their legs on the stationary trainers. 

The teams’ characters may differ, but when the race begins, it’ll be all about grit. 

3:30 p.m.

Little 500 fans are slowly trickling in and filling the stands for “The world’s greatest college weekend,” where about 25,000 are expected to travel into town.  

Fans clad in matching apparel are beginning their chants and cheers as riders round the turns for a 30-minute warm-up prior to pre-race festivities. 

The race ahead will feature prime riding conditions. Packed-down cinders from rain showers last night and a mostly sunny forecast will ensure a fast and enjoyable atmosphere at Bill Armstrong Stadium. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misnamed a rider.

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