The St. Thomas Aquinas College Women's Triathlon team seeks to capture their first-ever National Championship on Saturday morning at Tempe Town Lake North Park in Tempe, Arizona. Events begin at 12:30 p.m. (EST)/10:30 a.m. (MST)
How They Got Here - By virtue of their Top-5 finish in the NCAA/USA Women's Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier on October 19th in Huddleston, Virginia, the Spartans qualified for the NCAA/USA Triathlon Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. In that Regional Qualifier, junior Mary Dristle and sophomore Kristie Hanlon had exceptional races. Dristle set a personal best on the bicycle with a time of 36:48, giving her a 24th place finish in a time of 1:21.37. Hanlon also excelled on the bike with a time of 34:50 and crossed the finish line in 1:28.08 for a 30th place finish. Teammates Tyiana Nunez, Sylvie Bischof and Jadyn Vargas also made significant contributions to give the Spartans the chance to return to Tempe, Arizona.
The Match-up - The Spartans will be taking on triathletes in Divisions I and II. STAC will see first year participants, seasoned veterans of the sport and everyone in between. In total, approximately 75 female collegiate triathletes will be participating in the Division I & II and Division III & Club National Championship events on Saturday.
The Event - Consists of a 750 Meter Lake Swim (0.46 Miles/1 lap), a 20K Bicycle Race (12.42 Miles/3 laps) and a 5K Run (3.10 Miles/2 laps).
Pre-National Championship Preparations - St. Thomas Aquinas College will have had approximately 28 days between Regional and National Championship events, which has allowed for the team to adequately rest and recuperate. However, first year Head Coach George Erazo and his staff have kept the squad active with daily running, biking or swimming training sessions. All members of the team are healthy and ready to contribute at the National Championships.
Athletes to Watch - Mary Dristle, Kristie Hanlon, Tyiana Nunez, Sylvie Bischof and Jadyn Vargas will makeup the team that will attempt to bring the National Championship crown back to Sparkill.
What's at Stake - A chance to capture the program's first-ever NCAA/USA Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championship in only their second year of existence.
To learn more about the NCAA/USA Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, or to find official results post event, click here.