Clara Honsinger, an Ashland High alum, won the U23 Women’s Division at the 2018 Cyclocross National Championships on Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky.
It was the first U.S. title for Honsinger, who claimed an NCAA Division II championship as a freshman in 2016 at the University of Portland.
Cyclocross is off-road bicycle racing over a variety of terrains and obstacles that requires riders to carry their bikes through some sections.
Honsinger, racing for Team S&M CX, got off to a fast start in the three-lap race over the muddy and challenging Joe Creason course. She took the holeshot and led through a thick, muddy section.
Her chief competitor, overall runner-up and Junior Women’s 17-18 champion Katie Clouse, fell back at first, then caught up to Honsinger.
Honsinger, who last year placed 14th at the worlds and earlier this year won U.S. Open and Pan-Am competitions, pulled away again when Clouse had trouble on a remount prior to the second climb.
Honsinger had a 40-second lead through one lap, increased it to 1 minute, 45 seconds after two laps and enjoyed a decisive triumph. Her time was 39:35, well ahead of Clouse’s 42:09.
Clouse’s junior victory was her 26th national title across all disciplines.
Honsinger’s teammate, Sophie Russenberger, placed second in U23 and third overall in 42:50.
WASS SETS RECORDS: Eagle Point’s Robert Wass set several records in a U.S. Powerlifting Association competition earlier this month at Hallmark Resort Hotel in Newport.
Wass competed at 275 pounds and in the age 70-74 division on Dec. 2 — one day after he turned 72. He broke state and American records in the bench press and deadlift for his classification.
Overcoming a pinched nerve in his back earlier in the year, he benched 282 pounds, breaking his old mark of 275. His deadlift of 452.7 pounds eclipsed the 440 he’d done previously.