Kenzer's strong finish came as a complete surprise.
"What a rush!" she said. "Nobody ever thought it would
have turned out like this. I went into the competition thinking
it was amazing to just be there. I felt really strong the whole
race and was able to maintain a 20 mph average, finishing after
about three hours. The weather was warm and sunny but the wind
was much stronger than I was used to. Staying close to others
in the pack helped me to avoid strong winds and save my legs
final push at the end."
Kenzer was a competitive runner throughout high
school and her first three years at MHC. But a series of injuries
and she decided to give it up. "Running just wasn't
good for my body," she said. "Then I discovered biking.
I had a real epiphany."
team was founded in 2004 by Karen Woods FP'04 and Erin Dopfel
'06. When Kenzer joined the team in fall 2004, at the start
year, she and Dopfel launched the team’s racing career.
As a club sport, the cycling team pays all its own expenses.
To save money, the team hitched rides to competitions with
the UMass Men's team. "They had a lot of biking
experience. They gave us a lot of coaching and support. And,
they had a van!"
learned she had qualified for nationals, she applied to the
SGA for financial support to cover her travel expenses
to Kansas. "They paid for everything but my airfare, which I
paid myself with frequent flyer miles," she said. "I
felt really supported by my SGA. I had never been involved with
by Kenzer's performance at nationals, the Verizon Wireless
Wheelworks Women’s Cycling Team recruited her
to race this summer. A highly successful team, they began in
as a New England-based team and quickly grew over the following
years into one of the top amateur women's teams in the U.S.,
competing and placing in national and international events against
teams and sending some of its members into the professional ranks.
according to coach Eric Fleming, the team has gone back to
its New England roots to develop a group of new young
to pass along to the top of the sport. "Alie has been a great
addition to the team for 2005,"
Fleming said. "We were
amazed and excited by her incredible fourth place finish at collegiate
nationals for being so new to the sport. Alie has continued her
meteoric rise, winning her first race for the Verizon Wireless
team up in Auburn, Maine, and regularly placing in the top five
four categories of cyclists, and all new riders start in the
lowest, category four. "Alie has already achieved
results to allow her to move up to the next category and has
the potential to move up two categories this year if she continues
her trend," Fleming said. "There are very few riders
each year that are able to move up two categories--let alone
one--but Alie definitely shows the potential and ability
to do just that."
Kenzer is proud that the Verizon Wireless team donates its winnings
to help victims of domestic violence through the Verizon Wireless
HopeLine Program. To date, the team has donated over $25,000 in
race winnings to charity.
MHC with helping her develop as an athlete. "On a varsity team,
you have to maintain a certain GPA to compete," she
said. "I had my best GPA senior year on the cycling team.
You learn how to budget your time for training and academic work.”
A psychology major specializing in infant development, Kenzer plans
to work this fall at UMass-Amherst in an infant development research
laboratory. She looks forward to being back in the area and riding
with her former MHC teammates.