Triathlon Flies to the Rocky Mountains for First Race Weekend
LONGMONT, CO. -- Sun Devil Triathlon will open up the year visiting the city of Longmont to participate in the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon in their first meet of the season Saturday, Sept. 24. The race will begin at 8:00 a.m.
"We're very excited to get our 2022 season started and take a strong team of 10 to Colorado," head coach Cliff English said. "We believe this year's freshmen class will only elevate the level of Sun Devil Triathlon when paired with talented athletes who have competed in the collegiate races before."
This weekend's team features notable upperclassmen performers Liberty Ricca, Audrey Ernst and Amber Schlebusch along with experienced sophomores Alexe Coursol, Camille Buchanan and Evan Welch. Freshmen elites Naomi Ruff, Heidi Jurankova, Faith Dasso and Madison Judas round out the squad.
The course includes a half mile lake swim that takes place at Union Reservoir, a flat and fast single loop 12.9 mile bike ride and finishes with a 3.1 mile run on a gravel road that hugs the lake. The awards ceremony will conclude the day, which will be given to the top three overall for both men and females in their age groups.
ASU will be competing against three other schools this weekend such as Denver, San Francisco and South Dakota. Denver is going into the Oktoberfest Sprint as the defending women's champions. Sophomores Freya McKinley and Avarie Faulkner both finished on the podium, along with then-graduate student Emily Pincus (second) to round out the podium. The Sun Devils will be looking to dethrone the Denver Pioneers and start out the year with bang.
Some of the Sun Devils competing this weekend who are returners from last year include Liberty Ricca (senior), Alex Coursol (sophomore) and Camille Buchanan (sophomore). "We're super excited," said Ricca, about how the team feels going into Oktoberfest this weekend. "We have a really deep team this year – all of our girls are really solid in all three aspects and I am excited to see how we do against the other teams," said Buchanan.
"The finish line at nationals is one of the biggest bonding places for our team – it was like the finality of a hard month of work for us," said Coursol. The Sun Devils are in very high spirits heading into this season and feel like they can compete with anyone after winning last year's national title.
The Sun Devils don't have to wait too long for their next event as they are going to the Mile High city of Denver to participate in the Mile High Relays competition on Sunday, Sept. 25. The day features three person team relays of swim and run at University of Denver.
"It will undoubtedly make for some fast and furious racing," English said. "This will be a great event to kick off the season to see where we are at!"
The performances from the sprint race will factor in the team selection for the National Championships on Nov. 12 An automatic selection will come from a podium performance.
For the latest updates and information on the Sun Devil Triathlon program, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilTri), like our Facebook page (facebook.com/sundeviltri), and visit our website (thesundevils.com).