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Liberty University Triathlon Team Hosts First Sprint Triathlon on Campus
A total of 93 triathletes from eight schools competed in the inaugural Liberty University
Collegiate Triathlon, a USAT-sanctioned event held Saturday, September 21, 2013, under overcast skies on the scenic Lynchburg, Virginia, campus.
The race, one of only a few of its kind staged completely on university grounds, began with a time trial start to a 300 yard swim through the LaHaye Student Union Aquatic Center pool. After a short stop in the transition area to get their bikes, they began a three-loop, rolling 11.5 mile cycling stage along Regents Parkway and University Boulevard before finishing with a 3.2 mile run that ended with a lap around the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.
Liberty University junior Joseph Anderson, who served as co-race director with Liberty's head coach Beth Frackleton and assistant director of Liberty Club Sports Dave Semenyna, was the overall winner with a time of 48:45, 30 seconds ahead of North Carolina's Gil Cukierman. Anderson won despite losing at least two minutes when he chased down the Navy frontrunner who had taken a wrong turn early on the cycling course.
Anderson, who was seventh after his 4:01 swim time, didn't use the detour as an excuse, but as additional motivation. Putting everything he had into the rest of the cycling stage, he still placed fifth in 26:00 before clocking the second-fastest time in the run (18:12). After Anderson, who paced Liberty to a second-place men's team showing, and Cukierman, who helped the Tar Heels to a third-place finish, the Midshipmen swept the next 10 spots, led by David McFarlane (third in 49:18) and Christopher Brahm (fourth in 49:19), to dominate the men's race.
Frackleton said it was a great learning experience for everyone involved, with tremendous support from Liberty's Club Sports staff, as well as the Liberty University Police Department, Iron Gate Triathlon Club, and Riverside Runners, which provided the timing system.
"There were two little glitches, but for our first event, it was fun and no one got seriously hurt," Frackleton said. "That was the first thing and, secondly, I wanted it to be fair, with it being a USAT-sanctioned event."
With 22 athletes (10 men and 12 women, who placed third in the team competition) Liberty had the largest participation of any of the schools entered, followed by Appalachian State (14) and men's and women's team champion Navy and James Madison, led by overall women's winner Cynthia Carson, with 13 each. Triathletes from UNC, Virginia, Marymount, George Mason, and Delaware also competed.
The fourth of five Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Triathlon Conference races this fall, it was an excellent tune-up for the October 6th conference championships which will be held on an OIympic-length course at Columbia, Maryland.
CLICK HERE for complete individual men's and women's results from Liberty University's Triathlon race.