After a strong inaugural season in fall 2016, the CUW Women’s Triathlon team is thriving during their second year on campus.
This year, the team is transitioning from being a new sport into a fixture of the CUW athletic scene. The squad has remained approximately the same size, losing three former members, and adding two new athletes. A new coach, Ryan Schmelling, has been hired by the CUW Athletic Director to lead the team after the former coach, Andrew Shanks, moved on from CUW. Schmelling, an Ironman athlete and a certified U.S. Triathlon coach, is working to help team members improve in the three events in a triathlon: swimming, biking, and running.
“It’s been exciting to really grow as an athlete through this sport. Starting out last year with no background in triathlon technique, I wasn’t prepared for the learning curve our team would experience. However, coming back for the second year of the program, we have all experienced significant gains in our abilities in the sport and are already achieving a more competitive season,” CUW Triathlon athlete Meghan Klement said.
So far this season, the team has competed in two races. One of the races, a community triathlon held in Portage, Wisconsin, on August 26, was a new addition to the schedule. The athletes performed well, with several women improving their personal times within the individual events. Two weekends later, on September 4, the team traveled to Naperville, Illinois, to compete in a regional qualifier. In this notoriously difficult race, athletes from across collegiate divisions competed with one another to qualify for the NCAA Women’s Triathlon National Championships, being held in Tempe, Arizona, in early November, according to the CUW webiste. Showing a large improvement from their performance at the same race the previous season, each CUW athlete improved their times on the course.
With hard work and consistency, the CUW Triathlon team will continue to improve in their second year and beyond.