SARASOTA, Fla. (Mar. 25, 2022) – Weather conditions were not in favor with the Bucs last weekend down in the Sunshine State.
Izi Belogay (Sterling, Va.) was slated to participate in the Americas Triathlon Junior North American Championships down in Sarasota last weekend before weather became a factor. This was one of two races to qualify for the World Junior Championship Team in June up in Montreal. The event is part of the USA Triathlon 2022 Youth & Junior Triathlon Development Race Series.
Due to extreme winds Friday afternoon, the course was altered on the swimming portion of the race just after the course preview. Saturday morning, a tornado watch was issued at 4 a.m., cancelling the races of Saturday just 30 minutes before the first event was scheduled to take place.
“Last weekend required everyone to be extremely adaptable,” said Head Coach Allie Nicosia. Sunday’s races were already in a specific slot, but race officials secured other time slots to ensure Saturday’s events would still occur. An additional course modification took place, resulting in a 375m swim, 12.2K bike, and 2.5K run, all of which were half or two-thirds of a normal triathlon.
Ten minutes before the event was supposed to take place, it got switched to a super sprint duathlon, consisting of a 1K run, 12.2K bike, and 2.5K run to end. “The duathlon (run-bike-run) is an event that really caters to a lot of Izi’s strengths,” Nicosia continued. “When the race distances are that short, every place really matters to put yourself in a good race position. She did not have a great start and got caught behind some people who stripped on the first turn, but she handled herself well under pressure and adapted well to all of the changes surrounding the weekend and I am very proud of her for that.”
Belogay earned D1 Second Team All-American honors this past fall, finishing 11th in the Collegiate National Championship Race in Tempe back in November. Belogay was also named a Scholar All-American, as both awards were announced by the College Triathlon Coaches Association (CTCA).
The NCAA named triathlon an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, a designation that gives the sport a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability at the NCAA level. There are currently 40 schools at the NCAA level that sponsor triathlon.
For more information on Buccaneer women’s triathlon, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s triathlon page.