Santa Cruz, CA
Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
2004 Olympic Team Member
2003 Pan Am Games Team Member
2000 Olympic Team Alternate
1999 Resident Team Member
1997 Collegiate National Champion
Full Name: Victor Andres Plata
Hometown: Santa Cruz, Calif.
Resides: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
College: Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo
Years Elite: 10
Final 2007 ITU Rank: 84
Final 2007 USAT Rank: 9
Personal: Victor Andres Plata… Born April 10, 1973 in Minneapolis, Minn… Moved to Santa Cruz, Calif. when 13 years old… Attended McCulloch Middle School in Highland Park (Dallas), Texas… Mother, Joan Junquiera, resides in Santa Cruz… Father, Victor Plata, resides in Medellin, Colombia… Graduated magna cum laude while earning a B.S. in social sciences from California Polytechnic in 1997… Was a California State Beach Lifeguard from age 17 through college… Learned how to swim at age 9 at Camp Minakiki, a summer camp for underprivileged children in Minnesota… The following summer, was the only camper to canoe to an island and swim a mile back to shore… Reads a portion of Jerry Lynch’s Thinking Body, Dancing Mind before each race… Lynch is a sports psychologist who lives in Santa Cruz and has worked with numerous Olympic athletes; still stays in touch with Lynch after meeting him while training... Works as a free-lance writer for triathlon publications and web sites… Has served on the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an athlete representative… Is attending the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law.
Elite Triathlon Career: Limited his international competition in 2006 and 2007 while earning his law degree, but still qualified to compete at the 2008 Olympic Trials… Earned two World Cup Podium finishes in 2005 (Ishigaki and Cornerbrook)… In 2003, created the Aegis (formerly KINeSYS) Professional Triathlon Team...Earned two ITU World Cup podium finishes in Corner Brook, Newfoundland (2004) and Ishigaki, Japan (2005)... Placed 27th at 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece… Qualified for the 2004 Olympic team by virtue of having the best 2 out of 3 average finishes at the three Olympic Team Trials in 2004 – Those two finishes put him ahead of KINeSYS teammate and friend Doug Friman... Qualified for the 2003 U.S. Pan American Games triathlon team by virtue of his finishes in Clermont, Fla., and Bellingham, Wash... Spent the winter of 2000-01 training and competing in Venezuela and Columbia. Plata's father is Colombian... Was named the 2000 Olympic Triathlon Team alternate after finishing as the fourth American at the Olympic Team Trials. Went to Sydney but did not compete... Won first elite race at the U.S. Triathlon Series Championship in Oceanside, Calif… Was a member of the 1999 USA Triathlon Resident Team.
Amateur Triathlon Career: In 1997, won the Collegiate National Championship at the Wildflower Triathlon in Lake San Antonio, Calif.… Was the first amateur at the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship… Won the amateur division at U.S. Triathlon Series race in Oceanside, Calif., recording the fastest bike split in both the elite and amateur divisions… Won the amateur division at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Triathlon… In 1996, was fifth at the Collegiate National Championship at the Wildflower Triathlon in Lake San Antonio, Calif.
Athletic Background: In his one year at Minneapolis South High School, competed in cross country, swimming and track… Also competed in all three sports at Santa Cruz (Calif.) High School… Balanced practices by swimming two mornings a week with swim team and running in the afternoons with cross country and track teams… Ran cross country and track at Cal Poly SLO… Ran a 1:53 in the 800 meters and a 4:13 mile… Suffered a stress fracture during his junior season and began swimming to stay in shape… Did not run in NCAA competition again… During senior year of college, ran unattached in club track meets often acting as a rabbit for then roommate Dan Held, a competitor in the 1996 U.S. Olympic 1,500m Trials… During fifth year of college, swam distance freestyle events for the Cal Poly swim team, after training for the Lifeguard National Championship the previous summer… Feels his lifeguard swim training gives him an advantage in ocean swims.