Big Blue Women’s Triathlon Places 2nd in Nationals

Lily Bryson

On Saturday, the Women’s Triathlon took second place in the Collegiate Triathlon National Championships held in Tempe, Arizona, competing in the Division III race. This is the highest the women’s triathlon team has placed since the program was founded; they were seeded third heading into the race, facing Calvin University, Central College, Coe College, Concordia University Wisconsin, North Central College, Guilford College, Trine University, and Transylvania University, and Willamette University. 

The race was made up of a 750 meter swim, a 20 kilometer bike, and a 5 kilometer run, beginning at 11:30 am Mountain Time. Participating team members were Aly Barnes, Brigid Duesterhaus, Amanda Fathman, Jaden Lockard, Hope Roderick, Sarahi Villafana, and Katie Yelaska, with member Julia Druml supporting from the stands. 

In the swim portion of the race, all Big Blue athletes made good time, with Roderick coming in 3rd, Yelaska in 4th, Duesterhaus in 6th, and Barnes in 7th. Because of the warm day, with temperatures clocking in at over 80º Fahrenheit, the waters of Tempe Town Lake were 67ºF, making the race wetsuit-optional for swimmers.

The bike portion of the race consisted of three laps before the run began. Yelaska had the fastest time of the biking portion at 39:01. At 22.29, Roderick posted the best time for the run. 

The highest finisher overall from the Big Blue was Hope Roderick in 4th place, with an overall time of 1:14:26.3. Katie Yelaska finished 7th, with a time of 1:16:37.1, and Brigid Duesterhaus finished 11th with a time of 1:18:43.6. Aly Barnes, at 16th, was the final MU athlete to place, with a time of 1:21:02.7. 

As for the remaining competing MU triathletes, Sarahi Villafana completed the race in 26th place with a time of 1:26:11.6, followed by Jaden Lockard in 29th with a time of 1:27:05.6 and Amanda Fathman in 32nd with a time of 1:27:40.3. 

Overall, Millikin placed 2nd with a score of 38, narrowly beating North Central in 3rd place with 39, but well behind Trine, who scored 30 to win their first national title, with 5 athletes in the top 15.

The conclusion of this championship marks the end of the triathlon season. All ten MU triathletes will compete with the women’s swim team this winter.