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Medical student has pedal to the metal

Whether she was studying hard in anatomy and biochemistry or helping the Dartmouth cycling team capture a national championship, Cloe Shelton—now a second-year medical student—quickly made a mark last year on the Hanover community. "Biking gives you a mental break that allows you to not think about school," says Shelton, who finished in sixth place individually at the Division II collegiate nationals in May. "Every time I felt overwhelmed, it all worked out. The hardest part was just giving two hours a day to biking and not stressing about the time commitment."

Cloe Shelton is leading this pack of her Dartmouth cycling teammates.
Photo: Cliff Yezefski

After earning a number-two women's expert ranking in Colorado the summer before starting medical school, then racing throughout New England in the fall, Shelton started training with the Dartmouth cycling team in January of 2002. Because cycling is a club sport, Shelton is able to compete despite her graduate-student status.

"I really like road biking," she says. "It's really different from mountain biking, where you're in the woods by yourself a lot. I have the most fun when I'm biking with other people." Being on the team in the spring forced Shelton to budget her time even more wisely than she had done last fall. What study techniques have allowed her to excel academically, bike, and also maintain interests such as snowboarding, reading, and watercolor- painting? "I don't really do anything special," she insists. "I do try to go over what we've done in class each day. I make long vocabulary lists of words I heard that day, so I've seen the material at least once when I go to study for a test."

Shelton already has lots of fans at DMS. "Cloe has been blessed with . . . a remarkable intellect [and] enviable athletic ability, and yet those talents are all wrapped up in the most unassuming package," says anatomy professor Matthew Heintzelman, Ph.D. He explains that he and his colleagues "quite literally stand around shaking our heads, just marveling at her sheer talent. But the neat thing is that the conversation always ends with remarks about what a nice human being she is. It's simply a joy to have people like Cloe around."


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