(Bloomington, Ind.) – There are two bicycle events that the average Hoosier can name: The Tour de France and Indiana University’s Little 500.
On one of the biggest college party weekends in the nation, East Central graduate Kayce Doogs had real reason to celebrate. She and her Delta Gamma teammates won the women’s Little 500 in a thrilling finish Friday in rainy Bloomington.
“That was exactly how we planned it,” Doogs said. She was serious.
The last of her four teammates to ride in the 25.5 mile relay race, Doogs started the final lap second in a pack of five other riders. She made a bold move to the outside on turn three to pull even. Down the home stretch she sprinted past Kappa Alpha Theta’s Kathleen Chelminiak to win by a bike length.
The team’s time to win was 1:12:59. Kappa took 1:13:00.
Doogs’ ride to the top is truly a story of inspiration. She went to Indiana University in the Fall of 2009 with the idea of running on the cross country or track team. However, she had cartilage damage in her knee from an injury suffered during her freshman year of high school.
“The doctors said if you want to be able to walk when you’re 30 you better stop running,” the apparel and fashion major said. “But, it happened for a reason.”
She hopped on a bike in her sophomore year at college and quickly found she was pretty good at it. Doogs won 2011 Little 500 Rookie of the Year honors en route to the Delta Gamma team’s third place finish in that year’s race.
Doogs, the daughter of Dan and Dale Doogs of Hidden Valley, credited months of training for the win. Her parents watched from the packed stands at Bill Armstrong Stadium through the cold and wet.
“When I couldn’t run anymore it broke their heart. They knew how much it meant to me. It was great to see them at the end and see how happy they were for me,” she said.
Delta Gamma’s win ended Teter Cycling’s reign as back-to-back women’s Little 500 champions – they finished third. Now, Doogs and the sorority have a repeat of their own in mind.
“I want to go out with a bang my senior year because we have three returning girls on the team who rode this year coming back and some new up-and-coming girls who didn’t have a chance to ride this year.”
Even beyond Indiana University, Doogs plans to keep peddling.