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Davison defends US short track national title

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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) coming through the start-finish with one lap to go

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) coming through the start-finish with one lap to go
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) wins the US short track national championships.

Lea Davison (Specialized) wins the US short track national championships.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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NoTubes teammates (L to R) Kaila Hart, Sarah Kaufmann, and Nina Baum

NoTubes teammates (L to R) Kaila Hart, Sarah Kaufmann, and Nina Baum
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davision (Specialized) is hoping to add to her cross country championship

Lea Davision (Specialized) is hoping to add to her cross country championship
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) got off to quite a lead

Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) got off to quite a lead
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) chasing Chloe Woodruff early in the contest

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) chasing Chloe Woodruff early in the contest
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) was gapped by Chloe Woodruff but maintained contact with Gould

Lea Davison (Specialized) was gapped by Chloe Woodruff but maintained contact with Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Mary McConneloug (Kenda-NoTubes) rode with the leaders for much of the race before becoming unglued.

Mary McConneloug (Kenda-NoTubes) rode with the leaders for much of the race before becoming unglued.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Nina Baum (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) riding in the second chase group

Nina Baum (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) riding in the second chase group
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Deidre York (The Gear Movement) riding through one of the rock gardens at the far end of the course

Deidre York (The Gear Movement) riding through one of the rock gardens at the far end of the course
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) riding in the top ten

Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) riding in the top ten
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), Lea Davison (Specialized), and Mary McConneloug all chasing Chloe Woodruff

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team), Lea Davison (Specialized), and Mary McConneloug all chasing Chloe Woodruff
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers) was the aggressor today

Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers) was the aggressor today
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) and Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized) chasing hard

Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) and Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Specialized) chasing hard
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) having a laugh with announcer Richard Fries

Lea Davison (Specialized) having a laugh with announcer Richard Fries
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Women's US short track nationals podium (L to R): Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Stan's) 4th, Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers) 2nd, Georgia Gould (Luna) 3rd, Teal Stetson-Lee 5th

Women's US short track nationals podium (L to R): Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Stan's) 4th, Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers) 2nd, Georgia Gould (Luna) 3rd, Teal Stetson-Lee 5th
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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National Short Track Champions are Specialized teammates Todd Wells and Lea Davision

National Short Track Champions are Specialized teammates Todd Wells and Lea Davision
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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The racers and entire crowd sang happy birthday to Chloe Woodruff at the staring line

The racers and entire crowd sang happy birthday to Chloe Woodruff at the staring line
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Elite Women's start

Elite Women's start
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) takes the hole shot and stays in the lead for the first part of the race

Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) takes the hole shot and stays in the lead for the first part of the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) riding fifth wheel on one of the climbs

Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna Pro Team) riding fifth wheel on one of the climbs
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) with a gap over Georgia Gould

Chloe Woodruff (Crank Brothers) with a gap over Georgia Gould
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) exiting one of the two rock gardens

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) exiting one of the two rock gardens
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale) chasing the leaders early in the race

Pua Mata (Sho-Air/Cannondale) chasing the leaders early in the race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) riding some downhill S-Turns

Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women’s Team) riding some downhill S-Turns
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) on the attack with Woodruff and Davison attempting to hold on

Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) on the attack with Woodruff and Davison attempting to hold on
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Lea Davison (Specialized) on her way to her second victory of the weekend.

Lea Davison (Specialized) on her way to her second victory of the weekend.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Lea Davison (Specialized) made it two for two on the weekend by winning the short track the day after winning the cross country national championships at Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon. She also successfully defended her short track title from 2012. Chloe Woodruff (Crankbrothers) finished second ahead of Georgia Gould (Luna).

"Today, I was trying to save as much energy as I could until the right moment," said Davison. "My legs, like everyone else's, were a little tired from yesterday's hot effort. I was dangling a little off of Chloe and Georgia. They were putting in some strong efforts."

"At some points, I wasn't sure if my strategy would work out. I was sometimes just clawing my way back on."

Woodruff led out the start, closely followed by Mary McConneloug (Kenda/Stan's NoTubes). Gould, Davison and Teal Stetson-Lee (Luna) came next in the train in very dry and dusty conditions.

Gould and Davison moved ahead of McConneloug, who then rode much of the race in fourth place.

In the first few laps, Gould and Woodruff took turns at the front though neither one was intentionally attacking.

"The start was hard and it was only about four people wide before it went down to very narrow very quickly," said Gould. "It was a little disappointing for a national championship start, but I managed to make it work because I was all the way on the right and got a good start."

"I didn't really have the spunk in my legs to be super aggressive. I felt like I was racing slower than I was pre-riding," said Gould.

Woodruff said, "I wasn't really riding aggressively. Yes, I was at the front, but where I was gapping off girls was on the downhills. As soon as I would come off the downhills, I could take a breather, and then it was like game on for the next hill. I didn't plan it that way - I just realized I felt more comfortable at the front on some of those rocky sections."

Both Gould and Woodruff figured that Davison was biding her time, but Gould didn't want the place to be too slow as she didn't want to get beat in a sprint.  At times during the race, the top five women would be together, but at other times they were more spread out.

"I didn't want the race to be so tactical that I ended up getting outsprinted by like six people, so I just kind of drove the pace a little bit at the end," said Gould. "I knew there was a big group of us and I decided to take my chances by going to the front."

Davison timed her attack perfectly, launching it on the final lap. "I tried to get second wheel when it came to crunch time. With two to go, I was second wheel because I didn't want to get gapped off on the descent. I was barely hanging on to Georgia, and I knew my best bet was to punch it up the climb and see if it worked out."

"I took a little peek and I thought they were right there and I'd have to really hit it on each of the climbs for the rest of the first lap," said Davison.

Woodruff said, "I knew that Lea would be attacking with three or two to go, so I was waiting for that to happen. I couldn't really respond when she did, but I am happy to finish second. Lea and I came around Georgia at the same time, but she had more of a gap than me, and I think we were all trying to hang on to our places. I had a little gap on Georgia, but I was still terrified to have her behind me."

Davison was delighted with her second win of the weekend and complimented organizers on the course. "I thought it was a great course. It flowed really well. The climbs were just long enough and it flowed a little bit. There was even some classic technical Pennsylvania singletrack thrown in. But maybe I am a little bit biased?"

Woodruff held off Gould and was happy with second place - her best short track nationals finish yet. Being on the podium was also especially important after what had happened yesterday, when she was fourth and just missed out on the podium.

"I was pretty motivated for a top three finish today. I've been racing for about a decade, and they've always done five on the podium for nationals. The joke was on me that I didn't know the rules had changed, so I went from the highest high to have finally made the podium at nationals only to have the arbitrary 'tough luck, we're doing three' kick in. But they are doing five today, so go figure." [Editor's note: this year USAC changed the podium to include top three - instead of top five - for all UCI categories for pros. The short track is not a UCI discipline, but the cross country is.]

"In reality, it wouldn't have changed anything yesterday or today. I gave it my all both days," said Woodruff.

McConneloug rode in for fourth place ahead of Stetson-Lee in fifth.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lea Davison (Specialized Factory Racing)0:28:33
2Chloe Woodruff0:00:08
3Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team)
4Mary Mcconneloug (Kenda/Stan's NoTubes)0:00:15
5Teal Stetson-Lee (Team Luna Chix)0:00:23
6Pua Mata (Shoair/Cannondale)0:00:33
7Evelyn Dong0:00:42
8Judy Freeman (Crankbrothers Race Club)0:01:59
9Christina Gokey-Smith (Colonel's /Sho-Air)0:02:13
10Erica Zaveta (Team Redline)0:02:37
11Shayna Powless (BMC Mountainbike Development Team Usa)0:02:47
12Deidre York (The Gear Movement Pro Cycling Team)0:03:06
-2lapsAmy Beisel
-2lapsLauren Catlin (Durango Devo)
-2lapsNina Baum
-3lapsErica Tingey (Team Jamis)
-3lapsSarah Kaufmann (Team Roaring Mouse)
-4lapsKaila Hart (No Tubes Elite Womens Racing)
-4lapsEmily Shields
-4lapsJamie Busch (Quadzilla Racing)
-6lapsSarah Sturm (Durango Devo)

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