FORT WORTH, Texas – Freshman Alex Campbell finished seventh overall and the Denver Pioneers placed fourth in their first sprint race of the season on Sunday morning at the Battle in the Fort Triathlon.
The TCU-hosted race at Marine Creek Reservoir featured several of the top programs in the west, and the Horned Frogs eked out a victory over second-place Arizona State by a score of 170-168. Third through fifth place were separated by just seven points, as San Francisco recorded 135 points, DU had 131 points and fifth-place Arizona recorded 128 points. Division II Drury was sixth with 41 points.
Campbell led the Pioneers for the second consecutive race, clocking in at 1:09:34 and garnering 36 points from her seventh-place result. Junior Olivia Ebenstein was DU’s next finisher in 12th, completing the course in 1:10:20 and earning 31 points.
All five of Denver’s scorers placed in the top 25, with sophomore Elizabeth Harita coming in 21st (1:11:39), junior Clara Normand finishing in 22nd (1:11:46) and graduate student Maren York finishing 25th (1:13:03). Junior Avarie Faulkner recorded a 27th-place finish (1:13:26) and freshman Cameron Bell was 43rd (1:26:11).
Campbell was the first Pioneer out of the water and 10th overall, posting a time of 10:49 in the split, but she was just 20 seconds behind leader Kira Gupta-Baltazar of San Francisco (10:29). The Ontario, Canada, native had the third-best time among the Pios on the bike at 37:39 before being one of 11 athletes overall with a sub-20-minute 5K run at 19:32.
With Campbell’s individual victory in Denver’s Aquathlon Eliminator race against Colorado Mesa on Sept. 2, she joins teammate Harita as the only Pioneers to record a pair of top-10 finishes in their first two career races. Harita placed third at the Southern Hills Triathlon and eighth at the Oktoberfest Sprint as a freshman last season
For Ebenstein, her 12th-place finished marked her 12th career top 15. She was seventh two weeks ago in DU’s race against Mesa.
Arizona State’s Naomi Ruff won the individual event in 1:08:11, and 2021 national champion Gupta-Baltazar of USF placed second in 1:08:17. Arizona Dana Prikrylova rounded out the podium in third with a time of 1:08.39.
All five Division I teams were represented in the top 10, with TCU earning four of those spots to propel it to the overall team victory.
Denver is back in action in two weeks for a pair of races in South Dakota. The Pioneers will start the weekend with the Black Hills State Team Relays on the BHSU campus on Saturday, Sept. 30 before competing in the Black Hills Collegiate Cup on Sunday, Oct. 1 at the nearby Belle Fourche Reservoir.
- Alex Campbell, 1:09:34 (10:49/37:39/19:32) – 36 points*
- Olivia Ebenstein, 1:10:02 (11:23/37:02/20:00) – 31 points*
- Elizabeth Harita, 1:11:39 (11:03/37:19/21:36) – 23 points*
- Clara Normand, 1:11:46 (11:29/37:47/20:58) – 22 points*
- Maren York, 1:13:03 (11:56/28:29/20:48) – 19 points*
- Avarie Faulkner, 1:13:26 (12:28/38:04/21:05) – 17 points
- Cameron Bell, 1:26:11 (11:54/46:19/25:57) – 4 points
Women’s Individual Finishers
(46 Entries, 3 DNFs)
- Naomi Ruff, ASU, 1:08:11 – 42 points
- Kira Gupta-Baltazar, USF, 1:08:17 – 41 points
- Dana Prikrylova, UofA, 1:08.39 – 40 points
- Sidney Clement, ASU, 1:08:48 – 39 points
- Jenna Buchanan, TCU, 1:08:50 – 38 points
- Maria Coral, TCU, 1:09:06 – 37 points
- Alex Campbell, DEN, 1:09:34 – 36 points
- Ani Veltcheva, TCU, 1:09:37 – 35 points
- Sara Gimena Schummelfeder, TCU, 1:09:43 – 34 points
- Molly Elliott, USF, 1:09:49 – 33 points
- Texas Christian – 170 points
- Arizona State – 168 points
- San Francisco – 135 points
- Denver – 131 points
- Arizona – 128 points
- Drury – 41 points
— Ron Knabenbauer / Denver Athletics