Buffs travel to Alabama after months of preparation
The CU club triathlon team took 52 athletes down to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the United States Triathlon Association Collegiate Nationals on April 21.
The team featured the most competitors of any other university and came home with a third-place finish, as well as a share of the Spirit Award with Virginia Tech.
The men’s team came in fifth and the women’s team seventh for an overall third-place finish. CU’s Leah Larson finished fourth overall in the women’s division, and Mike Clark finished 15th overall to lead the CU men’s team.
“I think we did as well as we could have,” said head coach Kirk Nelson.
Nelson said he was honored to share the Spirit Award with Virginia Tech, who had fewer athletes competing than CU.
“(The athletes) are just really proud of our team and our school,” said Nelson, who has coached the team since 2004.
For most of CU’s triathlon team members, preparing for nationals is a year-round process.
“The beauty of it being a club sport is everyone is there because they want to be there, so there isn’t too much a motivational issue,” Nelson said.
This type of team attitude has made CU a perennial power in the club triathlon. From 1993 to 2005, the Buffs took home 10 national titles.
“Our team has an expectation to bring home a national title each year, and if anything, (the third-place finish) is a motivator to get to work for next season,” Nelson said.
Nelson not only credits the athletes for the team’s success, but the inviting atmosphere of Boulder for active outdoor enthusiasts.
“Being in Boulder, we always have the potential to do really well every year,” he said. “The campus naturally draws some of the most talented athletes in the country with what we have to train with here.”
In order to join the team, a CU undergraduate student must be enrolled for at least nine credit hours and pay a $75 per year membership fee. No experience is necessary. If interested, visit the CU Triathlon Club Web site.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Evan Acker at firstname.lastname@example.org.