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EMU triathlon season gets underway despite weather

EMU AthleticsEMU’s abbreviated women’s triathlon season got underway on Sunday, and fittingly the Royals performed well under adverse conditions.

The triathlon season traditionally occurs during the fall semester, but that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As events were organized for the spring, Sunday’s race was changed to a duathlon as the water temperatures at South Holston Lake were too cold for swimming.

Still expecting a race featuring a run, swim, and run, EMU’s women had to wait until later in the day after thunderstorms forced a delayed start.

After all that, the Royals had a solid start to the second-ever season in program history, with Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) finishing third overall in her first ever race. She led the pack through the first leg of running.

Also participating were Vanessa Gardiner (Springfield, Va./John R. Lewis), Anna Paetkau (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) and Kailee Franklin (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham).

“This was a great first race for our Tri squad,” Assistant Coach Joanna Friesen said. “Liz showed her strength as a runner and we’re excited for her cycling to improve, Vanessa had strong run legs and continues to improve in cycling, Kailee also had a strong run, and it was great to see Anna catch five athletes on the bike course after toughing out the run. It will be fun to see swimming added to the mix.

“Overall this event was a great chance to compete, to learn, to capitalize on a long season of just training, and to connect with other Tri programs. I’m proud of the team as they not only completed in all of their first triathlon competitions, they also beat flash flood warnings, angry rivers, and rogue thunderstorms. After a weekend of torrential rain, we are now headed home.”

augusta free press
augusta free press