CENTER VALLEY, Pa. (Aug. 19, 2014) – Four former Penn State Lehigh Valley cyclists left their mark at the Giordana Velodrome at USA Cycling's Elite Track National Championships held Aug. 12-17 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Bobby Lea, Mandy Marquardt, Matt Baranoski and David Espinoza took top honors and smashed track records in a number of events during the competition.
Mandy Marquardt, a 2014 graduate of the Lehigh Valley campus and standout collegiate-level cyclist placed first in both the 500 meter time trial and women's team sprint event, and took the silver medal in the match sprints. Marquardt, a Type 1 diabetic who also races for Team Novo Nordisk, will serve as the new head coach of the Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling team, taking over for cycling legend and personal mentor, Jim Young.
"It will be difficult to fill Jim's shoes and I will certainly look to him for guidance," said Marquardt. "I am so excited to help our current collegiate cyclists excel, and to help grow the program."
Bobby Lea, who represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China, became a 23-time national champion earning five gold medals during the competition in the omnium, individual pursuit, elimination race, Madison and scratch, as well as a silver medal in the points race. Lea is currently training for another Olympic run in Rio in 2016.
Matt Baranoski, who attended the Lehigh Valley campus for a year before transferring to University Park to complete his degree, captured four gold medals in the keirin, time trial, sprint and team events. Baranoski is a member of Penn State's Schreyer Honors College.
Another former campus cyclist, David Espinoza also was part of the gold medal-winning team along with Baranoski. Espinoza also took fourth in the match sprints. Espinoza and Baranoski, along with teammate Danny Robertson, are headed to Europe next to race in preparation for the Pan American Championships. Like Lea, Espinoza and Baranoski also aspire to be members of the Olympic team in Rio.