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Lake Villa teen joining college cycling team

BMX rider FeliciStacil Lake Villduring practice Henry Pfau Callahan Park off York House Road Waukegan. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

BMX rider Felicia Stacil of Lake Villa during practice at Henry Pfau Callahan Park off York House Road in Waukegan. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

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Brevard College (North Carolina)

Centenary College -(Louisiana)

Cumberland University (Tennessee)

Fort Lewis College (Colorado)

King College (Tennessee)

Lees-McRae College (North Carolin)

Lindenwood University (Missouri)

Lindsey Wilson College (Kentucky)

Marian College (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Mars Hill College (North Carolina)

Midwestern State University (Texas)

Milligan College (Tennessee)

Pfeiffer University (North Carolina)

Ripon College (Wisconsin)

Union College (Kentucky)

Warren Wilson College (North Carolina)

Updated: March 11, 2013 2:22AM

Unlike most of us, when Grayslake North High School senior Felicia Stancil spins her wheels, she’s going places.

A national-caliber BMX racer, the 17-year-old from Lake Villa has been a factor on the national stage for many years and now has the front wheel of her bike firmly aimed toward the 2016 Olympic Games.

But besides getting to the Games, she also needs to get an education.

And toward that end, Stancil announced this week that she’s going to attend Marian University in Indianapolis next fall and be part of that school’s bicycle-racing program.

All told, there are 16 colleges/universities in the country that have cycling teams. Many are located in North Carolina, and Marian College and Ripon (Wisconsin) are the closest to Lake County.

And, as it turns out, Marian is a powerhouse, so to speak, in the sport, which is all the more reason for Stancil to go there.

- The 19-time collegiate cycling national champion Marian University cycling team and head coach Dean Peterson are proud to announce the first commitment for the 2013-14 season of MU cycling.

“As we build the BMX program, we have learned that there is no better way than to build the program around athletes who have experienced success at the highest level to not only create great results but to model and teach newer riders how to become the best they can be,” said Marian cycling coach Dean Peterson. “Felicia will make an impact beyond any of our expectations. She is exactly what we are looking for: a sharp student, a well-trained athlete and a student who fits our profile well. She’s a true world-class rider and we are excited to have her at Marian University.”

Stancil is a member of the National Honor Society at Grayslake North. She has spent 13 years racing BMX and has committed the majority of her time to training and competing.

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching Felicia grow up racing and winning titles since she was a little girl,” said Marian BMX coach Ryan Birk. “Now she has developed into a multi-time world champion and definite 2016 Olympic gold-medal hopeful.

“The same drive and work ethic she displays as a BMX racer is the same determination she brings to the classroom in her drive to be a successful student. Combining her on-the-track skills and her intelligence in the classroom epitomizes what a Marian University student-athlete should be and we can’t wait to have her on campus in the fall and be a part of our team.”

Stancil is the 2012 Junior Women’s Time-trial and Race World Champion who is also a 10-time UCI-sanctioned Challenge World Champion. Stancil has also won six USA National Championships, is a 10-time ABA National Age Group Champion, and a nine-time NBL National Champion.

Her future goals are to represent the United States in the 2016 Olympics and to become a physical therapist. She believes Marian University will lead her to these goals. She intends to major in biology with a concentration in exercise physiology and a minor in health and physical education.

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