MEET MORGAN JAMES....
How did you get started doing triathlons?
Both my parents competed in triathlon when I was growing up, so I was around it from a very young age. Eventually I got into it myself and loved it! I even trained and competed with my mom all the way up until I left for college.
What made you decide to come to ETSU?
The opportunity was just undeniable. Not many people get the chance to become a college athlete, then on top of that, I wanted to take a chance and explore a little to see what the rest of the world was like outside of California.
What do you like most, and least, about triathlon?
I love the fact that we get to cross train every single day and have variety in our workouts. I dislike the early morning practices and multiple practices that come with daily training.
Did you participate in triathlon in high school? Did you participate in other sports in high school? If you have, which ones? Did you earn honors like all-conference, all-region, all-state, qualify for Nationals, Worlds, etc.?
I participated in triathlon in high school as an independent athlete (not on a club team). I did most my training in high school sports. I was on varsity track for two years with all-conference performances in the 800 and 1600. I was on the cross country team for three years. We won conference and regionals two years in a row. I was the swim team for three years, with two years on varsity, and was captain of the team. I had all-conference and all-regional times in multiple events during my junior and senior years and was a part of the valley championship swim team 2 years in a row. I was also nominated as "most athletic" of my high school.
For a short period during my freshman year I was a part of Pinnacle Women’s Racing, a local cycling team that competed in criteriums. In my junior year I competed in duathlon and qualified for nationals in Bend, Oregon, where I finished 5th. I qualified for the world championships but was unable to attend. I was 3rd on the national rankings list for duathlon.
For triathlon, I had several overall wins in USAT sanctioned races all over California, I was a three-time Southwest regional champion, qualified for national and worlds, and was listed 8th on the 2016 national rankings list for triathlon.
Do you have an athletic role model? If you do, whom?
Both my parents, Lisa and Blake James. I grew up watching them push themselves and I aspire to be just as successful as they’ve become.
Triathlon is considered an “emerging sport.” What do you see as the future of triathlon as a college sport?
I can definitely see it growing larger as a collegiate sport and, hopefully, moving to larger national and even international competition for collegiate athletes all over the world.
What’s your major, and your plans for after college?
My major is Interior Architecture.
What’s your most memorable moment in triathlon?
The day I signed a National Letter of Intent for a sport I was often criticized for by many coaches in my life who told me, “Triathlon isn’t a sport."