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‘It’s a dream come true’: Teter surges late to win the 2019 Women’s Little 500

For 70 laps, it didn’t look like anyone was going to catch up to Ski Cycling, which had a half-lap lead over the rest of the field at one point.

Then, fatigue hit.

Delta Gamma, Teter Cycling and Alpha Chi Omega started to creep up on Ski little-by-little, until Delta Gamma finally overtook first place.

By the time the white flag was waved for the final lap, it was a three-team race to the finish line between Ski, Delta Gamma and Teter. Ski slowly faded as the three teams approached the third turn. Then Delta Gamma and Teter ended up being separated by one final push from senior rider Lauren Britt to ultimately give Teter its first Women’s Little 500 win since 2011.

Britt was also Teter’s rider to finish last year’s Little 500, and she said she remembers seeing Kappa Alpha Theta’s Rachel Brown speed past her on the final lap. Brown ended up winning the race for Theta, and it was a memory Britt said she never forgot leading up to this year’s race.

“I’ve been dreaming of doing that to someone else and not being the person that gets passed, but the person who passes,” Britt said. “Now that I’ve done that, I just feel like I’m dreaming still — it’s a dream come true.”

Britt said even though Ski led the pack for so long, she knew fatigue would catch up to them. She, along with the rest of Teter, stayed patient and waited for their moment to come to them. She said it was all about patience and perseverance.

By the time the 99th lap came around, Ski pushed ahead of the pack once again. It held a six-second lead on the field, but even though the end of the race was near, Teter decided to hang back with Delta Gamma, and together, the two surged ahead of Ski midway through the last lap.

Britt said her legs felt heavy by the time the white flag was being waved.

“They felt like bricks, and they’ll feel even worse in the morning,” Britt said. “But right now, my heart is overjoyed, and that’s what I’m focusing on.”

In order to gain momentum throughout the race and catch up to Ski, Teter had to work with other teams. Slowly, Teter was able to gain ground on Ski along with Delta Gamma and Alpha Chi Omega. When it was time for Teter to surge ahead, it took advantage of the opportunity.

“We just worked with some other teams, and just gave some really hard sets,” freshman Teter rider Corrine Miller said. “It was all about Lauren pulling out the win at the end.”

Teter won its fourth Little 500 race and its first since 2011 after going back-to-back. Former rider on both 2010 and 2011 title teams Caitlin Van Kooten said it was remarkable to see her old team come out on top for the first time since she was at IU as a student.

“When [Ski] was up half-a-lap, I didn’t think it was over,” Van Kooten said. “I loved Ski’s strategy — it was so bold, and they really made the race competitive for everyone. But the teams behind them didn’t give up.”

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