HUDDLESTON, Va. (Oct. 20, 2018) – In their final race before the USA Triathlon National Championship in Tempe, Ariz., ETSU finished third amongst 11 participating schools and placed three in the top 20 at Saturday’s East Regional Qualifier.
With nearly five weeks between competitions, head coach Janine Pleasant’s squad showed no signs of rust, bested by only Arizona State and Queens University of Charlotte.
“We did not taper for this race, opting instead to focus on nationals in two weeks,” Pleasant said. “All of our competitors put forth a huge effort and got strong results today.”
The Bucs were led individually by freshman Lane McDonald (South Bend, Ind.), who finished eighth overall with a time of 1:02:22. McDonald’s 18:51 5K run was third-best amongst the 72 racers at Smith Mountain Lake State Park and nearly five minutes better than her time at the Claytor Lake Triathlon that opened ETSU’s season.
McDonald was followed by sophomore Morgan James (Clovis, Calif.), who finished 16th following a strong performance on the bike, in transition, and in the run portion of the versatility-focused event. The Bucs final in the top 20 was freshman Cameron Seeley (Blacksburg, Va.), making it three straight events to start her collegiate career in which she has finished in that stratosphere, showing her best work in the swim and bike. James final time was 1:05:23, 67 seconds ahead of her freshman teammate.
Winning the team title was Arizona State, whose 12 points were one ahead of Queens University of Charlotte, the Bucs rounding out the top three eight points ahead of North Central College and Wagner College. Individually, McDonald was behind only title-winner Anabel Knoll of the aforementioned Queens, Knoll’s teammate Tereza Zimovjanova, and five Sun Devils that finished neck-in-neck ahead of the Bucs top finisher.
ETSU can now focus on their most important preparation of the year, with the national championship race just two short weeks away.
“We are optimistic about nationals,” Pleasant said. “We’ve seen most of the teams we’ll be competing against and feel good about the race.”
Nov. 4 rounds out the Bucs fall season, Tempe Town Lake North Shore the site of USA Triathlon’s National Championship, with ETSU looking to close 2018 on the right foot.
For more information on Buccaneer triathlon, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the Women’s Triathlon page.