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National Championships


By: Matt Waite  September 24, 2023

Paton and Skarda take home Marathon Mountain Bike elite national titles.

AUBURN, Alabama - The 2023 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships were held at Chewacla State Park, home to the very first NORBA National race east of the Mississippi River in 1988. Cool and perfect weather greeted racers early, with temperatures warming to the mid-80s by the afternoon.

The competition was stacked in the Elite Men's field with the top five finishers crossing the line within 32 seconds of each other after 46.4 miles of racing. Cole Paton (Cashmere, Wash.; Giant) would take top honors with a blistering time of 2:46:43, beating second place Cayden Parker (Hot Springs, Ark.; Bear National Team) by 17 seconds. Carson Beckett (Brevard, N.C.; Dirt Camp Racing) outsprinted Devon Feehan (Windsor, N.Y.; INSIGHT Development) on the line to take third.

Coming off of her strong second-place finish at the inaugural Gravel National Championships just a few weeks ago, Alexis Skarda (Grand Junction, Colo.; Santa Cruz Bicycles), took the victory in the Women's Elite field, narrowly beating Deanna Mayles (Colorado Springs, Colo.; SRAM) by less than four seconds. Hannah Otto (Millcreek, Utah; Pivot Cycles/DT Swiss) crossed the line 2:10 back, rounding out the podium.

New in 2023, USA Cycling added 15-16 age group categories to the event with Maddex Thiel (Leander, Texas; Bear National Team) taking the Men's 15-16 national title and Kylie De Jager (Yucaipa, Calif.; Baghouse) grabbing the top step in the Women's 15-16 field.

Twenty-five other national champions climbed atop the podium on Saturday, including Ellie Krafft (Prescott, Ariz.; Pivot Cycles) in the Women’s 17-18, Colin O'Neil (Franklin, Tenn.; Gravity Academy) in the Men’s 17-18, An-Mei Ellisor (Auburn, Ala.; Dirt Camp Racing) in the Women’s 19-29, Oakley Griffin (Fayetteville, Ark.; OZ Development) in the Men’s 19-29, Stephanie Whittington (Grapevine, Texas) in the Women’s 30-34, John Whittington (Grapevine, Texas) in the Men’s 30-34, Simone Berger (Pinellas Park, Fla.) in the Women’s 35-39, Nick Mackie (West Palm Beach, Fla.; Specialized Bikes) in the Men’s 35-39, Amy Talbot (Gainesville, Fla.; Endura) in the Women’s 40-44, Brian McCulloch (Yucaipa, Calif.; ENVE Composites/Big Wheel Coaching) in the Men’s 40-44, Trish Thomas (Durango, Colo.; 2nd Ave Sports/Stans Cycling Team) in the Women’s 45-49, Scott Kuppersmith (Ridgeland, Miss.) in the Men’s 45-49, Carolyn Maddox (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) in the Women’s 50-54, Brian Schworm (Morehead, Ky.; Think Green-Bicycle Face p/b SWORD) in the Men’s 50-54, Pam Tate (Cordova, Tenn.; Marx-Bendsorf/BPC Cycling Team) in the Women’s 55-59, Tim Zimmerman (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Zboyz Racing) in the Men’s 55-59, Lynn Sims (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the Women’s 60-64, David Juarez (Whittier, Calif.; Floyd of Leadville Racing Team) in the Men’s 60-64, Bet Hoffmeister (Brevard, N.C.) in the Women’s 65-69, Dennis Barber (North Vernon, Ind.; Bicycle Station) in the Men's 65-69, Butch Sims (Hattiesburg, Miss.; The Bike Crossing) in the Men’s 70-74, Cindi Toepel (Pahrump, Nevada; Mike's Bikes) in the Women’s 70-74, Jim Hoffmeister (Brevard, N.C.) in the Men’s 75-79, Sara Shannon (Van Alstyne, Texas; Matrix Cycling Club) in the Women’s Singlespeed, and Max Abner (Greenville, S.C.; Team Rocket Revolution) in the Men’s Singlespeed.

Full results from Sunday’s event can be found here. Photo galleries from the event can be seen here.