CLEMSON, S.C. — The Buffaloes from the University of Colorado made it seven in a row on Saturday at the 2016 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, earning the combined team title by a margin of 21 points and also earning the men’s team title. UCLA picked up their third-straight women’s team title and won the Mixed Team Relay.
Colorado scored 4,033 points in the combined team event, thanks to top-five finishes in back-to-back days from Brittany Warly and Dan Feeney. The Buffaloes have won the team title every year since 2010 and own a total of 17 combined team titles. UCLA was second overall after finishing third last year, earning a combined 4,012 points in large part through their women’s team win. The U.S. Naval Academy finished third overall, and also won the Armed Forces team award.
Colorado’s men scored 2,048 to best the rest of the men’s teams in the event, and Navy finished second with 2,020 points with Brian Primeaux leading the way. The UCLA men finished third with 1,958 points after finishing outside of the top three last year. The UCLA women held on to their team title with a total of 2,054, with a solid lead over second place Queens University of Charlotte, who earned 1,987 points, and Colorado, who finished with 1,985 points.
Mike Meehan represented Penn State as the winner of the men’s combined award with his two individual championship titles, scoring 600 points for a perfect score. Feeney was the men’s combined silver medalist with 594 points, and Texas A&M’s Michael Arishita was third with 590 points.
Erika Ackerlund notched a win for Montana with 596 points, ahead of Colorado’s Brittany Warly in a tie-breaker (based on Olympic-distance race finish position). The pair finished just one point ahead of last year’s combined women’s champion Kelly Kosmo, who picked up 595 points in the closest combined individual race in the event’s history.
Kosmo was also a member of the winning Mixed Team Relay team, along with her UCLA teammates Hannah Grubbs, Matt Stewart and Zach Jaeger. The UCLA team finished in 1:08:17, just 5 seconds ahead of the Arizona TriCats in second. Navy was third.
“It’s sort of just a close of the weekend, and I was really happy with my races earlier today and yesterday. This was an opportunity to close out my final year as an undergraduate at UCLA,” Kosmo said. “We’ve been through a lot this year as a team, so we were out there doing it for Coach Brady and for the team. I wanted to not let anyone down, and it’s short enough you can really just go for it, not put too much thought into it and just go.”
Overall, the Mixed Team Relay event included 66 teams, the most in the relay’s five year history. Between all three collegiate races, a record 132 schools were represented over the weekend.
Arizona’s Erica Clevenger, Penn State’s Mike Meehan Capture Individual Titles in Olympic Distance Race
Erica Clevenger from the University of Arizona made her move on the last lap of the run to claim her first collegiate triathlon title, while Mike Meehan from Penn State picked up his second title in two days at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, held Saturday at Campus Beach.
Clevenger finished the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds to best the field. Clevenger finished seventh last year, and plans to return in 2017 to defend her title as a senior for the Arizona TriCats. Kelly Kosmo of UCLA returned to the race course to earn her second medal in two days of racing with a time of2:16:10 after taking the bronze yesterday, and Montana’s Erika Ackerlund also earned her second medal of the weekend to pick up bronze in 2:16:31.
Shelly Harper from Duke led the women out of the water for the second-straight day, while Clevenger had a gap of 4 minutes to close on the bike and the run. Clevenger posted one of the fastest bike splits of the day, riding 40 kilometers in 1:07:34 to close in on the lead as athletes headed out on the run. Kosmo was in the middle of the field on the swim, and after making up time on the bike, she and Clevenger were within 15 seconds of each other at the start of the run. In the final 10 kilometers, Kosmo could not match Clevenger’s run speed, and Clevenger crossed the line with a 20 second advantage.
“I wouldn’t really ever say that I knew [I could win], but I knew I had to give it a shot. I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t give it a try,” said Clevenger, who credits her cycling prowess to her win. “Kelly’s beat me in a sprint before, so I knew I’d have to make a move if I wanted to win. This is the closest I’ve been to a team sport, and it’s unreal – there’s no way I could get to the level I’m at without my team.”
In the men’s race, Meehan had a monster bike to put him in prime position to win his second title in two days in 1:58:24. Meehan is the first athlete to win both races since 2013 when Arizona’s Ben Kanute won the double. Sean Harrington with UCSB had the fastest time over 10k to move his way into second place with a final time of 1:59:11, and Michael Arishita from Texas A&M was third in 1:59:50.
It was another fastest swim of the day for Greg Harper of California, who led out of the water with Seth Rider from Queens. After the first of two bike laps, Rider was in the lead with Harper just behind him, but Meehan and a number of other athletes, including Christopher Douglas from Georgia Tech and Joel-Tyler Rogers from San Diego State, had moved into the lead at the end of the bike leg. Once out on the run, Meehan opened a huge gap to finish nearly 50 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
“Honestly, I knew that there were a lot of fast guys with fresh legs. Yesterday the guys were really close to me and I knew that I had to have an awesome race if I wanted to come in first again,” said Meehan, who was feeling the effects of the rising temperature at the finish. “It hasn’t hit me yet. Ask me in a couple of hours, and I’ll know how special it really is.”
Newton Nguyen of California also raced on Saturday, returning as the sole paratriathlete to finish a sprint-distance course in 1:22:08.
Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships
1. Mike Meehan (Penn State), 53:16
2. Dan Feeney (Colorado), 53:32
3. John Felix (Clemson), 53:45
4. Dylan Morgan (West Point), 54:03
5. Michael Arishita (Texas A&M), 54:11
1. Brittany Warly (Colorado), 1:00:34
2. Erika Ackerlund (Montana), 1:01:12
3. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA), 1:01:47
4. Melissa Rios La Luz (Webber International), 1:02:44
5. Melissa Teeple (Marymount), 1:02:53
Collegiate Club National Championships (Olympic-distance)
1. Mike Meehan (Penn State), 1:58:24
2. Sean Harrington (UCSB), 1:59:11
3. Michael Arishita (Texas A&M), 1:59:50
4. Collin Chartier (Marymount), 1:59:53
5. Dan Feeney (Colorado), 2:00:41
1. Erica Clevenger (Arizona), 2:15:50
2. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA), 2:16:10
3. Erika Ackerlund (Montana), 2:16:31
4. Laura Haley (Arizona), 2:18:40
5. Brittany Warly (Colorado), 2:18:47
Collegiate Paratriathlon National Champion
1. Newton Nguyen (California), 1:22:08
Men’s Combined Award
1. Mike Meehan (Penn State), 600
2. Dan Feeney (Colorado), 594
3. Michael Arishita (Texas A&M), 590
Women’s Combined Award
1. Erika Ackerlund (Montana), 596*
2. Brittany Warly (Colorado), 596
3. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA), 595
Overall Team Standings
1. Colorado, 4,033
2. UCLA, 4,012
3. Navy, 3,995
4. Texas A&M, 3,867
5. California, 3,855
Women’s Team Standings
1. UCLA, 2,054
2. Queens University of Charlotte, 1,987
3. Colorado, 1,985
4. Navy, 1,975
5. California, 1,961
Men’s Team Standings
1. Colorado, 2,048
2. Navy, 2,020
3. UCLA, 1,958
4. Texas A&M, 1,935
5. West Point, 1,922
Mixed Team Relay
1. UCLA, 1:08:17
2. Arizona, 1:08:22
3. Navy, 1:08:54
Armed Services Team Champions: Navy
Team Spirit Award: Oregon State
*tie-breaker – higher Olympic-distance result wins the tie
History of the University of Colorado Triathlon Team at Collegiate Nationals
2016: National Champions (Coach Brad Seng)
2015: National Champions (Coach Brad Seng)
2014: National Champions (Coach Dave Sheanin)
2013: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2012: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2011: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2010: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2009: 3rd Place (Coach Mike Ricci)
2008: 2nd Place (Coach Kirk Nelson)
2007: 3rd place (Coach Kirk Nelson)
2006: 3rd Place (student coaches)
2005: National Champions (student coaches)
2004: National Champions (Coach Matt Eagan)
2003: National Champions (Coach Ryan Ignatz)
2002: National Champions (Coach Bettina Younge)
2001: 2nd place (Coach Bettina Younge)
2000: National Champions (Coach Neal Henderson)
1999: National Champions (Coach Neal Henderson)
1998: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1997: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1996: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1995: 2nd place (Coach Rick Ellison)
1994: National Champions (student coaches)
2016: Brittany Warly
2015: Rudy Von Berg, Rachael Lenz
2014: Rudy Von Berg
2013: Michelle Mehnert
2011: Karl “Rudy” Kahsar
2009: Jessica Broderick
2002: Sara Tarkington
2000: Beth Anderson
1999: Teri Duthie, Nick Cady
1993: Danelle Ballengee