The Colorado Triathlon team is headed to Arizona on Thursday to compete in their regional race. As a team, the Buffs have earned 13 USA Triathlon National Championships since it was founded in 1993. Mike Ricci currently coaches over 120 men and women and has led the team to three straight national titles since 2010.
Student athlete Caryn Maconi attributes these successes to each individual’s own strengths and weaknesses and the support they show each other during the race.
“While there is usually an option to participate in a relay, most of us on the CU team competes individually — so we compete in all three events: swim, bike, run,” Maconi explained. “The distance we compete in for Regionals and Nationals is Olympic, which is a 1.5 km swim in open water, a 40 km bike, and a 10 km run. The great thing about triathlon is that while we have so many great athletes, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses — so I die in the pool but enjoy the run, while others are great swimmers but struggle on land — and we all push each other in all three areas.”
Although the team hasn’t raced in a while, they have been training all winter both indoors and outdoors to keep up with their fitness. The Buffs have a lot of open practices for swimming and running and biking on hills, but they also focus on core work. Senior team workout coordinator and student athlete Veronica Penney explained why they focus their workouts on abdominals.
“It’s something that’s sort of neglected in triathlon because you focus on your legs, cardio, biking and swimming,” Penney said. “You really need to strengthen those ab muscles and back muscles to get the most out of your speed and the most stability.”
She also says that the team should perform well in the competition this weekend given the team’s overall abilities.
“We’re strong all around. We’ll definitely have an advantage with running and biking, coming from altitude and with so many hills here. Training around here gives us that advantage,” she said. “We’re pretty strong across the board, so I don’t know if there’s any one thing we’re excelling in right now.”
Senior Tess Amer, the team’s president, agreed that she thought the team would perform well in the regional race.
“I know that we’ll do well,” Amer said. “We haven’t raced in a while, so it’s always exciting how everyone will do out there. We’ve won it the past few years so that’s obviously a goal.”
She explained that the conference has grown more competitive, which will push the Buffs to achieve their full potential in the race this week.
“Our conference has grown increasingly competitive as the years have gone on,” she said. “There’s a lot of good teams in Arizona, and I think U of A got second at Nationals last year (behind CU). A lot of our people from conference go on to do well at nationals.”
They will compete in the Collegiate Nationals race in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in April following Thursday’s race.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alissa Noe at Alissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.