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Rogut captures criterium in near darkness

As darkness began cloaking downtown Brookhaven Friday evening,Jason Rogut realized the dangers and the opportunity. Rogut pickedup the pace and sped to victory in the Bank of Brookhaven TwilightCriterium.

Rogut, age 27, from Grapevine, Texas, finished ahead of 50 otherbicycle riders in the high-octane event which lasted 51 minutes and45 seconds for the champion. He outlasted a group of challengers,including hometown favorite Frank Moak who was riding for HerringGas.

Rogut rides for Compliance Depot of Grapevine. He also managesthe team full-time and coaches cyclists in his spare time.

It was a fast-paced race, covering an 8/10ths of a mile route.The average time to cover one lap is two minutes.

“There’s a high rate of speed and you have to deal with thedarkness,” said Rogut. Two of the race’s pace motorcycles usedheadlights to help illuminate the finish line.

Rogut said it was important to get a fast start in the race.”You have to be in the first group after the second lap or you washout. I was the second or third wheel entering the last lap.”

Rogut’s teammates are Troy Dunton, Scott Veggoberg, AnuttHuffsteteer and Shane Densmore. All of them are Texas residents.The team has been together for 2 years.

Moak, the defending points champion from last year’s four races,said the criterium was “hard and fast.” The Herring Gas teamcaptain was instrumental in bringing the races to Brookhaven fiveyears ago.

Moak finished eighth in the race. His residence is three blocksfrom the race course.

“I was out of position on that last corner,” said Moak.

Moak and 3 of his teammates were among the early leaders. Theyled at the 10-minute and 23-minute mark James Wenzel, a professorfrom Auburn University, challenged a trio of leaders in the 27thminute.

Finishing second was Nick Kiernan of Specialized Cycling andEulers, Texas. Peter Knoop of Memphis Motor Werks was third. HunterEast and Daniel Thompson of Memphis were fourth and fifthrespectively.

Tim Regan of Herring Gas was sixth. Veggoberg and Duncan wereseventh and ninth respectively. Bryan Bunch of Herring Gas was10th.

After a 70-mile road race Saturday morning and a time trial thatafternoon, the Human Performance Center Mississippi Grand Prixconcludes Sunday afternoon with a circuit race around theCopiah-Lincoln Community College campus in Wesson.

The circuit race will be a 4 and 1/2 mile course with 4corners.

Road Race Results

Bain Foote of Herring Gas won the 77-mile road race in 2 hours,59 minutes, and 51 seconds. The women’s division race, covering adistance of 40 miles, was won by Debbie Meline of Tupelo Bicycle in1:53.11.