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Triathlon Dominates at Dual in the Desert, Places First

Sep 18, 2021

TEMPE -- Sun Devil triathlon was crowned champion in the team-time Saturday afternoon for the 2021 Dual in the Desert NCAA Challenge against South Dakota and San Francisco after edging out USF by about a minute. Juniors Liberty Ricca (27:01) and Kyla Roy (27:04) claimed second and third, respectively, in individual times.
"I think we did really well," head coach Cliff English said. "What's interesting is when you break our sport apart a little bit, make them shorter, you definitely see some athletes who have a little more fast-twitch fibers. Athletes that are very good sprinters in the swim do very well in these types of competitions and you do see other people really picking off some wins who might not win full triathlons. It gives an opportunity for others to go hard, it's really fun, and I think the team worked really hard today."

Team Time Results
ASU- 1:49:01
San Francisco- 1:50:43
South Dakota- 1:53:08


The day started with the 3k run at 7:00am where sophomore Amber Schlebusch had the second-fastest time (0:10:08) of the event behind Dons triathlete Kira Gupta Baltazar (0:09:58). 

After, the teams headed to Verde Dickey Fields for a mount, ride and dismount course on their bikes. The Sun Devils dominated their opponents in this activity, with freshman MJ Lopez securing first (1:06), Audrey Ernst taking second (1:08) and senior Kira Stanley rounding out the podium in 1:10.

Staying on their bikes, the competition turned to four-mile trail ride where individual scores were out the window and team scores became the highlight of the event. The Sun Devils' B Team  (Ernst, Lopez, Stanley and Hannah Henry) led the pack with a time of 9:23 while ASU's A Team (Roy, Ricca, Alexe Coursol and Amber Schlebusch) came in second with a time of 9:24  - 11 seconds ahead of the Dons Team A. 

The day was capped off with the 100m free and 400m open water simulation. USF's Kira Gupta Baltazar claimed first (01:01:210), but the Sun Devils were just seconds behind with Stanley clocking in at second (01:02.580), Roy third (01:02.750) and Ricca fourth (01:02.870). 

The Sun Devils will compete again on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the St. George National Qualifier in Utah.
For the latest updates and information on the Sun Devil Triathlon program, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilTri), like our Facebook page (, and visit our website (