Arizona State, Queens and Trine Win Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Titles
by USA Triathlon
TEMPE, Ariz. — For the fifth year in a row, the Arizona State University women's collegiate triathlon team is the NCAA Division I champion, as the Sun Devils won the team title at the Women’s Triathlon Collegiate National Championships, held at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday, Nov. 13. Queens University of Charlotte also continued its winning streak by claiming the DII national championship for the sixth straight year, while the DIII team title went to a new champion, as Trine University took home its first national title.
For the fourth year, Tempe Town Lake near the campus of Arizona State University welcomed the best women’s varsity collegiate triathletes from across the country to compete on a sprint-distance course featuring a 750-meter swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Saturday's event was a part of the Sun Devil Draft Legal Classic and the races were separated by division, with DIII teams competing in the morning followed by DII and DI programs later that afternoon.
Kira Gupta-Baltazar of the University of San Francisco earned the overall DI win, crossing the line in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds. This was the second win of the season for Gupta-Baltazar, as she also won the St. George National qualifier in October. Arizona State University’s Hannah Henry finished second in 1:04:46 and Gupta-Baltazar's University of San Francisco teammate Gillian Cridge placed third in 1:05:23 to round out the individual DI women's podium.
The Arizona State trio of Amber Schlebusch, Kyla Roy and Alexandrine Coursol finished sixth-seventh-eighth to help propel the Sun Devils to the team title.
In the DII race, Wingate University’s Finja Schierl earned the top honor after a grueling battle on the course. Found among the pack in the swim and bike, Schierl stood out in the run, running the fastest 5k split of the day to earn the win with a 1:06:15 overall time. This is Schierl’s second win of the season after she claimed victory at Smith Mountain Lake in October.
Second-place came just 10 seconds later with Natalia Hidalgo Martinez (Davis & Elkins College) crossing the line at 1:06:25. Finishing the podium was Natalie Bush (Queens University of Charlotte), coming in third with a time of 1:07:52.
Bush's Queens University of Charlotte teammates, Katharina Krosta, Hannah Moloney, Sam McInness and Sarka Pustova placed fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
After a successful season, where she won two of the three qualifying races, Hailey Poe of North Central College earned the individual championship honor in the DIII race. She secured her title right out of the gate, after leading out of the swim and never faltering the lead until she crossed the finish line at 1:12:01 to claim the victory.
Amira Faulkner of Trine University finished in second place with a time of 1:12:56, followed by North Central's Annika Cotner in 1:13:42.
Trine's Alexandria Smith placed sixth and teammate Kyra Warren ninth as Trine won its first national title, capturing the reins from North Central, which had won the previous four DIII national titles.
The 2021 season was an action-packed tour that saw teams go head-to-head in three qualifying races leading up to Nationals – Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia and finally, St. George, Utah.
One hundred fifty-nine athletes from 34 collegiate programs raced across the three divisions on Saturday.
The top teams from the season's three qualifiers, as well as the top 20-ranked individual athletes in each division, not already on a qualifying team, made up the National Championship roster.
For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.
Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship
Tempe, Ariz. | 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run | Complete Results
Individual Champions by Division
Division I: Kira Gupta Baltazar (University of San Francisco), 1:04:20
Division II: Finja Schierl (Wingate University), 1:06:15
Division III: Hailey Poe (North Central College), 1:12:01
Team Champions by Division
1. Arizona State University
2. University of San Francisco
3. University of South Dakota
1. Queens University of Charlotte
2. Wingate University
3. Lenoir-Rhyne University
1. Trine University
2. Millikin University
3. North Central College