The Wichitan

Cycling team prepares for Hotter’N Hell heat

Ethan Metcalf

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Sam Croft, a sophomore in geosciences, Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, Garrison Horton, a freshman in exercise physiology, Anthony Sequera, a senior in management, and John Paul Blanton, a freshman in accounting, ride around campus. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Sam Croft, a sophomore in geosciences, Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, Garrison Horton, a freshman in exercise physiology, Anthony Sequera, a senior in management, and John Paul Blanton, a freshman in accounting, ride around campus. Photo by Bradley Wilson

The Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred is just one event on the cycling team’s calendar, but as the biggest sporting event in the city and one of the team’s few local races, HHH is an opportunity for the team to show off to local fans and practice racing in extremely hot conditions.

“There’s a degree of heat acclimation that they have to go through. The preparation for a race like this doesn’t start in August, it starts back in October of last year,” cycling director Charlie Zamastil said. “A Texas cyclist is prepared to race beginning in January and going till about June.”

Ricky Randall, business senior, said learning to better deal with the heat is a large part of the team’s training.

“The biggest thing for this one is going to be the weather,” Randall said. “You can’t really escape the heat so when we go training over the summer sometimes we leave in the morning, sometimes we leave at 3 o’clock in the afternoon which is pretty much the hottest part of the day.”

But that monthslong training regimen must come to end so the racers can rest before the event.

“All the preparation is done and dusted. Everyone’s just recovering and tapering off,” said Sam Croft, geoscience sophomore.

Zamastil said his goal as coach is to make sure the cyclists focus on the race instead of even the simplest chores, especially international racers who are adjusting to their move to the United States.

“They need to focus on just racing their bike. The less stress and the fewer responsibilities they have, the better they’re going to race their bike, and ultimately that’s my goal is to create the best possible environment for them to succeed as cyclists,” Zamastil said. “I’ve got international students coming in and I’ve got to make sure they have groceries while they’re here and they’re picked up from the airport and their bedding has come in because it’s shipped to my house and I’ve got to deliver that and it’s late so I had to find a girl some sheets to stay in her dorm.”

But Zamastil’s strategy of reducing the cyclists’ responsibilities so they can worry about the race may not work for all team members.

Anthony Sequera, a senior in management, rides with MWSU cyclists around campus. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Anthony Sequera, a senior in management, rides with MWSU cyclists around campus. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Felicia Svanehed, mass communication freshman, started cycling in Sweden at age 15 and, a few years later, came to Midwestern State to race. She said her strategy is to think about the race as little as possible.

“I try not to actually think about the race a lot because I get really nervous easily so I’ve just been trying to not think about it, but to think about all this other stuff. Like, ‘Yeah, I have to get some sheets, I have to get food and do my laundry, my roommate is coming soon,’ because that’s really helping me to keep calm,” Svanehed said.

Svanehed said she has been in Texas for less than a week, not nearly enough time to adjust to the Texas summer heat.

“My body is sort of getting used to it, I guess. I did intervals this morning and my body was just not working with me. It was not putting up with it, so right now I’m just trying to get used to it as fast as possible,” Svanehed said. “I’m trying to do a lot of cycling outside. On Saturday and Sunday we’ll go out for the long rides and the heat was just terrible. I drank like four water bottles.”

For John Paul Blanton, an undecided freshman born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the heat is less of a factor, and having competed in HHH for the past four years, he may even have an advantage going into the 100-mile race.

“It helps with knowing the finish line but with this race there’s no hills so it’s hard to gain an edge,” Blanton said, adding that he hopes to advance in rank over the weekend. “I’m trying to get a category upgrade. You need good results to build up your overall point value to go up a category, so I’m using this race to advance a rank.”

SCHEDULE: The first round of criterium races begins Friday, Aug. 22 with the women’s race at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s at 6:30 p.m. at the Multipurpose Event Center.

Hotter 'N Hell 100

Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Cory Scott, graduate student in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ricky Randall rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sean Brown, graduate in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Felicia Westermark-Svanehed and Hannah Ross waits to cross the road at the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Luke Allen, freshman in political science, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Sam Croft, sophomore in geology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell men's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Ashley Weaver, senior in exercise physiology, rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit races Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
Hannah Ross rides in the Hotter 'N Hell women's crit race Friday afternoon.
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
In the medical tent, Moriah Mann (with clipboard), a sophomore in athletic training, works with patient Robert Founds after he fell in the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Felicia Svanehed, a freshman in mass communication, at the finish line for the the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kyle Anderson finishes the 100-mile race as part of the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Cory Scott and Sam Croft look over a tire at the finish line of the 100-mile Hotter’N Hell race in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Angela Streadwick, a senior in psychology, after finishing the Hotter’N Hell 100K. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ricky Randall, a senior in finance, at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Randall placed 10th in the Men's Pro race Friday, Aug. 23. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Marco Torres, psychology senior, watches the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as he waits to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, and Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, watch the endless stream of racers leave the starting gates as they wait cross the road to deflate and transfer "Pyro Pete" to the Hell's Gate rest stop in Burkburnett. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Talia Harris, mass communication sophomore, and Macy Pritchett, education sophomore, prepare to pack up and move "Pyro Pete" as volunteers begin deflating Hotter 'n Hell's unofficial mascot. Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Victoria Shores, athletic training senior, Photo by Ethan Metcalf
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Collin Buerger at the Hotter’N Hell in Wichita Falls, Texas. Photo by Bradley Wilson

 

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Cycling team prepares for Hotter’N Hell heat