Wow, what a weekend collegiate nationals was. So much racing, so much time with the team, so much fun. It was a spectacular way to start the last quarter of the year. Leading up to it I was worried about the two days of classes I would be missing but after the weekend I can say that it was definitely worth it.
Leaving early Thursday morning we made the five hour drive to Tempe, Arizona and arrived at the course for a short preview. In spite of the Arizona heat, and the murkiness and dirtiness of the water we would be swimming in, I couldn’t wait to race on Saturday. After our short course preview we headed to an AirBnb we were renting for the weekend that was about thirty minutes away. I was immediately impressed with the house as soon as I walked in. Fit for thirty people we all had plenty of room to stretch out and relax before our races.
Friday morning we got up early and headed out to the course to watch our team destroy the competition in the draft legal race. First, Jayden and Luke raced in the men’s race, impressing us as they always do and placing first and third respectively. Then it was time for women’s wave where B and Emily were racing. The race started amazing for both of them and we were all excited to see how they would place at the end of the race until we noticed B was no longer in the pace group she had been in earlier. We soon found out that she had crashed and was being taken to the hospital, worrying us all. We watched the end of Emily’s amazing race and checked in for our races tomorrow, all hoping B was ok. We returned to the house for dinner and to prepare for our races on Sunday. We soon heard that B would be well enough to watch the races the next day, which was a relief to hear.
In the morning, after I had eaten a heavy carb breakfast, we headed to the race. This was only my second Olympic distance race, but I was still looking forward to it. The heat hadn’t gotten too bad yet and besides the murkiness of the water we were swimming in I was excited to do the course. After getting into the water it didn’t seem quite as gross as it seemed before and the positive energy of the rest of the wave was starting to encourage me for the start of usually my least favorite leg of the triathlon. After the gun went off my swim still got off to a rough start as I took in a lungful of water in the first 300 meters, but I eventually recovered and got into a groove for the second half. I stayed in this groove going into the bike, with a faster transition than I usually have and felt really good about the bike leg. The course was a lot of fun and feeding off of the energy of my teammates cheering for me I was able to have a much quicker bike than usual. Getting off the bike in T2 I realized that I had not drank much water on the bike and I knew that I would regret this in my run. It was starting to get hot out and this heat really threw off my groove. I enjoyed the course but I knew that this 10K would not be as fast as usual, and about halfway through I really started to feel the dehydration; however, when I finished I still felt really good about my race, especially my swim and bike, and my race as a whole was faster than my last Olympic distance race. Very tired, I laid down in the shade, wishing I had the food I had cooked for breakfast with me to snack on. When the women’s race started we all gathered at a turn on the bike course and had a blast sheering for our teammates as they went by. After another exciting race we waited for the MTR later in the afternoon. The MTR was by far the most exciting race I’ve ever spectated. Running back and forth between the different events in the relay for all of our team members was tiring after racing that morning but so much fun. Our team of Jayden, Sophia, Luke, and Emily, crushed it, finishing fourth. After the MTR we went back to the house for dinner then out for the awards ceremony for the race. Sunday we finally drove back to San Diego and munching on my remaining hardboiled eggs I had cooked. We relaxed, riding the high of what an amazingly fun weekend it was.
-Written by Coach Michellie Jones and Dominic Miller