Little 500, Big Weekend

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    Representing the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, Indiana University junior Nina Bernardin, left, sophomore Cecilia Oxford and junior Andrea Schroering walked hand-in-hand around the gravel track at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington during the racersÕ introduction before the start of the 26th running of the WomenÕs Little 500 bicycle race April 19. This yearÕs race was the second for Andrea, a 2010 Forest Park High School graduate, and the first for Cecilia, a 2011 Heritage Hills graduate. The girlsÕ team, which also included sophomore Sara Broadwater, was one of 33 teams in the 100-lap race around the quarter-mile track. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Andrea, left, and teammate Nina practiced a bike exchange April 17 on the track. During the race, each team is required to make at least five exchanges with teammates. The rider coming out of the race can either hop off the bike, allowing a teammate to mount the same bike, or the team can make a bike-to-bike exchange. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Cecilia, fourth from left, and Andrea, fifth from left, reacted as they heard over the intercom that riders were to leave the track for a weather delay April 17, cutting the practice short. The practice, which was two days before race day, was the last time the girls were allowed on the track before the race. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Andrea, middle, joked with teammate Sara as Sara tried to remove the wheels from a bike before turning in the bikes after a shortened practice April 17. Each team was required to turn in the two Schwinn bikes they were issued for the race to be inspected before the race. The bikes were issued back to the teams on race day. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    After practice April 17, the girls from the Delta Sigma Pi team gathered for dinner together at the Bloomington apartment of one of their coaches, Carrie Gorden. Being their first time competing in the Little 500, Nina, left, and Cecilia received tips and advice for race day from Gorden and veteran teammate Sara during the dinner. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    The morning of race day, Andrea went over a list one last time to remember what jerseys her competitors would be wearing during the race. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Sara, left, Nina, Cecilia and Andrea mounted their bikes outside of Cecilia and SaraÕs apartment in Bloomington as they prepared to venture to a send-off party hosted by members of their business fraternity before heading to the track for the race. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    One of the teamÕs coaches, Jenna Frist of Indianapolis, left, held out a marker board with the word ÒSmileÓ written on it to encourage Sara, Delta Sigma PiÕs first rider in the race, as she passed by the pit to the cheers of teammates Andrea and Cecilia. The three team members who are not on the track during the race stay moving by riding stationary bikes in the pit. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Cecilia raced around the track at Bill Armstrong Stadium during the WomenÕs Little 500. She completed approximately 25 laps during the race. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Down two laps behind the leaders, Andrea, middle, found herself in the middle of the lead pack late in the race. The Delta Sigma Pi team qualified for the race in 22nd position of 33, and finished the race in 16th place. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    After exiting the race around lap 33, a winded Cecilia gasped for air before hopping onto her stationary bike to keep her legs moving. In high school, Cecilia excelled as a runner; she didnÕt begin biking until last summer. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald

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    Andrea received a congratulatory hug from her father, Pat of St. Anthony, following the race. The Delta Sigma Pi team qualified for the race in 22nd position of 33, and finished the race in 16th place. Last year, Andrea and her teammates placed sixth. Dave Weatherwax/The Herald