The course is cleaned up, bags have been packed and unpacked, and the athletes are back at their respective schools focusing on finals instead of race splits. But we're still thinking about "our" athletes, happy for the ones that made their goals, sad for those who had unforeseen setbacks, proud of all the work they all put into the preparation and execution, and jealous we didn't get to go to Arizona.
Thirty-nine triathletes traveled from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University to Tempe, Arizona to compete in the 2013 USAT Collegiate Nationals, held Friday and Saturday, April 12–13. You can read their bios and goals in part one of our coverage.
Here in Iowa the cross-state rivalry is always a big deal, so we have to start by reporting that, with over 100 schools represented, the University of Iowa Trihawks took 18th with 3003 points in the combined team totals and Iowa State University Triclones took 20th with 2805 points. On the women's side, the Triclones beat the Trihawks 1403 points (27th place) to 1156 points (33rd place). The Trihawk men had a superb finish on this national stage winning 5th place with 1847 points. The Triclone men scored 1402 points for 22nd place.
We still insist we were not rooting for one team over the other.
2013 USAT Collegiate Nationals Individual Results
The event weekend began with a race new to the Collegiate Nationals: a draft-legal sprint-distance race on Friday. We spent the afternoon glued to USAT's live blogging of the race, disappointed in the lack of pictures.
Justin Metzler finished 4th (of 44 men) with a time of 59:53 and earned 47 points for the Trihawks. Allison Kinding scored 41 points for the Trihawks with a time of 1:10:43, finishing 10th (of 27 women).
Triclone Byron Smith finished 42nd in 1:13:49 and picked up 9 points. Judah Sencenbaugh earned 26 points for the Triclones for her 25th place 1:21:44 finish.
Alex Libin (UofI) also lined up for the draft-legal sprint, but after a fantastic start, hit a bad lip in the pavement during the first bike lap and did not finish. He did get his podium spot the next day, though.
The Olyimpic-distance races Saturday morning where live streamed on the USAT site and we got to cheer for the racers as they came across the finish line even if they could not hear!
The following athletes scored points for the Trihawks:
Alex Libin 1:47:15 3rd 498 points
Justin Metzler 1:53:27 17th 484 points
Allison Kindig 2:15:22 35th 466 points
Kyle Siefers 1:59:50 81st 420 points
Matt Ampleman 2:02:12 104th 398 points
Farrah Steinke 2:44:27 272nd 229 points
Leah de Matta 2:46:16 287th 214 points
Jenna Voelker 2:47:35 295th 206 points
The following athletes scored points for the Triclones:
Kris Spoth 1:56:38 44th 457 points
Gaby Bunten 2:20:11 61st 440 points
Seth Long 2:00:01 85th 416 points
Teresa Klarenbeek 2:24:42 93rd 408 points
Ashley Leitner 2:37:40 205th 296 points
Hunter Follen 2:11:29 235th 266 points
Kyle Weis 2:12:26 247th 254 points
Emily Epperson 2:44:04 268th 233 points
Full results are available from USAT.
Stories from the Collegiate Nationals
It isn't just the results that are important. So many athletes made their personal goals.
Brad Johnson (UofI) told us "My personal goals for Nationals are a) to post a time of 2:15, which would be a PR for me, and b) to push my body to a point that it's never gone before." He finished in 2:05:14!
Amber Hilderbrand (ISU) had wanted to finish the race in under 3 hours with a 10K run split under 60 minutes. She was just a bit over on the run split but succeeded in her overall goal with a time of 2:54:23.
Kyle Weis' (ISU) 2:12:26 finish at Nationals bested his previous PR of 2:13:27, set at the 2012 Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 US Championship, just as his teammate Kris Spoth told us he was hoping to do.
Teresa Klarenbeek (ISU) wrote us before the race, "My goal at nationals is to try and get below a 2 hour and 35 minute time." We were happy to see she knocked over 10 minutes off that, finishing in 2:24:42!
All the athletes trained hard, worked together, built relationships, and got to experience the highs and lows of both travel and competition.
We encourage you to read about it in their own words. Visit their blogs. Follow them on Twitter. Watch as they continue their triathlon careers. We will!
Alex Libin shared weekend anecdotes and his race report on his blog.
Justin Metzler published his race report and explained the USAT Draft Legal Mixed Relay Collegiate National Championship Saturday afternoon.
The Trihawks have a great album of photos on their Facebook page.
If you are a Triclone or Trihawk, please post a link to your blog or tell us your Twitter handle in the comments.