Triathlon Club to Compete at Nationals
The Triathlon Club poses in front of a banner at the 2018 National Championships (Photo: GT Triathlon Club).
This weekend, 10 students from the Triathlon Club at Georgia Tech will compete in USA Triathlon’s 2019 Collegiate Club National Championships in Tempe, Arizona.
All will compete in the Olympic distance race, consisting of a 1,500-meter swim, 41-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer run. Three athletes will also compete in the draft-legal race, and four others will take on the mixed team relay.
The Triathlon Club has grown in recent years, with approximately 40 active members, 25 of whom race with the team throughout the year. They race in both the fall and spring seasons, with eligibility for the Collegiate Club National Championship determined by an athlete’s or team’s record from the entire year.
Going to nationals is not new for the Georgia Tech team — last year, they placed 17th out of 106. They hope to improve on that this weekend.
The team is able to compete in part because of a grant they recently received from the USA Triathlon Foundation. They were one of 22 collegiate programs awarded a share of the foundation’s first-ever Collegiate Club Grant.
“It means a lot to us to be chosen for that,” said Elizabeth Spiers, president of the club and a PhD student in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. “We’ve been slowly rising in the national rankings, and we’re really excited to see how we do this year and see how we’ve improved.”
Spiers added that, while some of the grant money will go toward taking the team to nationals, it will also help fund other college-sponsored triathlon races in the Southeast. Georgia Tech is part of USA Triathlon’s Southeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference, a conference so small that none of its races are hosted by collegiate teams, meaning they sometimes prove challenging for student schedules. Ultimately, Spiers says that the Tech team is racing not just to improve its rankings, but to promote a small conference and prove that it's ready to hold more races.
The Triathlon Club is open to all students and athletes of all skill levels. Learn more at the group’s website.