It would be an understatement to say that 1995 was a productive year at the Nationals. Before talking about this year, however, let’s put things into perspective. In all the years of its existence, from the beginning through 1993, the Louisville Wheelmen Racing Team was able to produce one rider, Kathy Porter, who was able to win a medal at the National Championships (5th place, Junior Women's Road Race). In ‘94 and ‘95, four athletes produced by our team have won a total of 8 medals.
In early July, our two junior women stars, Rachel Spitler and Jennifer Hare, traveled to hot, hot Wichita Falls, Texas for the Junior Nationals. This was Rachel's third “Natz”, and, having come up empty in her first two tries, she was determined to bring back a medal. Jennifer was attending her first Nationals and she did not really know what to expect. As it worked out, both came back with fourth place medals from the Road Race. It was hot and sweaty but gratifying work.
Aurilla Lesley went to Nashville, Tennessee, for the Masters' Nationals in late July. Aurilla had trained hard for this all season and brought back a fistful of medals from the Senior Olympics as a warm-up, but this was her first Nationals and, like Jennifer, she was unsure of what might happen there. No worries! When the week was over, Aurilla owned three gold medals and three Stars ‘n Stripes jerseys. She won the Women's over-60 time trial, plus the Women's 55+ Road Race and Criterium.
Congratulations to all, with a special tip of the helmet to Aurilla. Over the years, this area has produced three National Champions. Marilyn Austin won a Masters Women's Time Trial about ten years ago and Curtis Tolson won the Masters Men's Points Race last year. Aurilla's feat is unique: a gold medal sweep at the Road Nationals!
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