Marian University Signs Van Ogle and Whitfield
On April 10 last year, BMX News brought you a Podcast with Justin Posey, BMX Program Director, Ryan Birk and Coach Dean Peterson–Head Cycling Coach at Marian University. The topic of discussion was celebrating JP’s signing with the Indianapolis institution (which we reported on March 4), and to give some details on Marian’s plans for BMX. In late 2011, BMX became part of the USA Cycling Collegiate Cycling Program.
It has been 10 months since we last spoke to the Marian Team, and they have been busy adding Bryce Hocking, Chase Hines, and Felicia Stancil (starting in Fall 2013) to the program. Last weekend in Louisville, Coach Peterson had some scoop for us, just after the last main crossed the finish line.
Lain Van Ogle and Tyler Whitfield have now officially signed on to the program. We were lucky enough to pop off a few photos, and get some quotes from the guys.
I have known about Marian for a while now, and when I first heard about it, I wanted to go. Who wouldn’t? I’m so excited to attend Marian next year so I can chase my dream of having a career, seeing my friends every day, and doing what I love to do; racing my bicycle. I know we’re gonna be a killer team, and I look forward to being a part of Marian BMX and Marian Cycling, in general.
My ultimate career goal is to become a pediatrician. In BMX, my goal is to make the Olympic team. I think Marian will help me make those dreams come true, and give me a life experience I will never forget.
Lain told News:
Almost all things in my life have to do with school and cycling (outside of those two, I like to snowboard). My high school GPA is 3.78, and at Marian, I plan to enroll in the business program. My BMX career goal is to make the 2016, then the 2020 Olympic Team.
I currently race for Phoenix Pro Cycles, and have over 100 national wins in my 11-year career in BMX Racing.
I can’t wait to become a Knight! The people, school, and cycling program make Marian the right fit for me!”
We caught up with Coach Peterson after the shoot, and he said:
We’re excited to bring Lain and Tyler into the program, joining the great squad we already have. It’s great for our program, but I’m also hoping it sets an example for other schools to get on the horse.
We want this model to be useful for the volume of BMX riders that are out there, looking for schools. Other programs should see that there’s a pot of gold of high-level young people, with skills far beyond the bike, that can contribute, and need a place to go.
As a follow-up, News was curious how, exactly, the scholarship program worked for BMXers. Coach Peterson helped bring it into focus–at least in terms of the Marian program:
There are three factors (for scholarship): academics, athletics, and community involvement / leadership. We look at GPA and test scores, at level of experience and results, and at who you are as a person off the bike and out of the classroom.
The bottom line is, grades, performance, and community. Scholarship goes up as all of those things go up.
We’re creating opportunities for BMXers to do great things, in addition to racing their bikes, as they look to their future.
Driving back from Louisville, we always pass the Lake Sullivan Cycloplex, which is the training facility for the Marian Cycling team. It’s the home of the Major Taylor Velodrome, and also a freshly-revived Lake Sullivan BMX Track.
After signing a long-term management deal with the City of Indianapolis in April 2011, Marian did an amazing job bringing the track back from years of neglect, after one volunteer group after another was unable to get traction on a restart.
At the tail-end of last season, they installed the first ProGate “Crescent” starting gate in the United States, and plans are to plus-up the facility even more in 2013, as part of the $200,000 per year commitment the University made with the city to improve the Lake Sullivan facility.
Collegiate BMX will take center stage in a couple weeks at the USA BMX Winter Nationals, as the 2013 Collegiate Championships run as part of the program. Marian will be fielding a full team in Phoenix, to include Posey, Hines, Hocking and multidiscipline athlete, Jason Blodgett for the men, and Allie Dragoo, Crystal Kalogris and Shelby Stacy in the Womens program.
(Top) Ryan Birk, Kelsey Van Ogle, Lain Van Ogle, Leslie Van Ogle, Lorin Van Ogle and Coach Dean Peterson
(Bottom) Ryan Birk, Jim Buchanan, Tyler Whitfield, Shawn Whitfield and Coach Dean Peterson