This past spring saw the Black Key Bulls continue to show their depth, beginning with taking 3rd place at Qualifications on a fast track behind the Cutters and eventual race winners, Delta Tau Delta. While narrowly missing the green jersey and pole position, the team turned in a solid performance and qualified on their first attempt with a time of 2:19.958.
Following Quals, the team participated in all of the Spring Series events, eventually winning the series and capturing the white jersey. The team started off the Series by placing 7 riders in the top 25 of ITTs, establishing an early lead in the white jersey competition. Subsequently, at Miss-N-Out, 4 riders advanced to the semi-finals with senior captain Nick Hartman advancing to the finals and placing 5th. They concluded the Spring Series with a convincing victory in Team Pursuit on a strange day that saw heavy rain and less-than-ideal track conditions.
On race day, the field was greeted with sunny skies and calm winds. On arguably one of the most beautiful race days in history, the team started off well, staying near the front of the pack for most of the day, along with many other teams. As the pace quickened and the field began to thin, the team found itself in a bit of trouble after a botched exchange. At the same time, the Cutters threw down a big attack, taking a large lead over the field and putting the BKBs behind to chase alone. Strong sets by Xavier, Charlie, and Spencer brought the team back into contention however, and by the time the white flag dropped, BKB was one of three teams contending for the win in a sprint against Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Team captain Nick Hartman established a strong position leading on the inside going into the final sprint, but was passed by SAE sprinter Joe Krahulik at the start of Lap 200. However, both Joe and Nick were caught off guard as Delts sprinter Luke Tormoehlen blasted around them coming out of turn 2 on the final lap. Quickly establishing a gap, Tormoehlen crossed the line with a comfortable lead to win the 2016 Little 500. SAE came across next in 2nd, followed by BKB in 3rd.
It was an exciting race, and despite finishing 3rd, the team and alumni are proud of an excellent competition, and congratulate all who participated for a great race.