Triathlon club members to compete nationally

For the first time in Bradley history, members of the BU Triathlon Club have qualified to compete in the Collegiate National Championship.

From April 4 to 5 in Tempe, Ariz., several Bradley students will participate in the competition that consists of three different courses and five separate races.

The club had seven of its 12 members qualify to race in nationals by previously competing in a Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference (MECTC) race. At the national competition, they will participate in the Open Olympic Distance Triathlon Race, which consists of a 1500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10 kilometer run.

“There will be hundreds of athletes hailing from almost every major college in the U.S. at the national championship, so competition will be fierce,” senior and Triathlon Club President Chris Douglas said.

According to Douglas, members of the club meet two to four times per week to practice.

“We are highly prepared for this event. A couple of us have been training specifically for this event since last summer and we are itching to get out there and race,” he said. “We all rely on each other for mental support during training and racing.”

Awards are presented to the top handful of finishers in each race.

“Bradley, as a first year team, is not expected to win nationals as a team,” Douglas said. “Our club is about having fun and working together. Though some of us are competitive triathletes, we all do it for the love of multisport.”

In addition to the national open race, there are elite races, which are more difficult to qualify for. Douglas will participate in two of these races, the Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon and the Collegiate Elite Wave of the Open Olympic Distance race.

“I am aiming high and will be racing for the podium in the Draft-Legal race,” Douglas said. “I do not expect to podium in the Olympic Distance race, but would like to finish in the top 25 nationally.”

The MECTC, which consists of about 30 schools in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, was allowed to fill eight slots for the Draft-Legal race and three spots for the Olympic Distance race.