Cyclist Charlie Hough, a Furman University freshman from Travelers Rest, was crowned a national champion after winning the Criterium event at the Captech USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships in Richmond, Va., last weekend.
Furman competes in Division II, which is comprised of schools with less than 15,000 students.
Hough defeated a field of 90 riders who had qualified for the event by excelling during the three-month season of conference racing that leads up to the national finals.
Hough’s victory was aided by teammate Nate Morse, a freshman from Cohasset, Mass. Furman freshman and club president Danielle Clark of Davidson, N.C., also raced for the team in the national championships.
The Criterium, which has been compared to the intensity and style of NASCAR because of the high speeds and the dangerously tight quarters in which the racers jostle for position, is a timed event in which racers compete for 70 minutes plus three laps. This year’s course in downtown Richmond was 0.9-miles long and featured six corners.
The Furman cycling program will welcome seven new members to the team next year, two of whom are national champions in the under-19 age group.