STOCKTON, Mo. – The Denver Pioneers women’s triathlon team placed second in the NCAA division-I race at the 2022 Western Regional National Qualifier on Saturday morning at Stockton State Park’s First Beach.
Sophomores Olivia Ebenstein and Freya McKinley led Denver with top-10 results, while the other five Pioneers that competed all placed inside the top 20. Clara Normand came in 13th, Melissa Funes placed 17th, and Avarie Faulkner rounded out the scoring in 18th place. Elizabeth Harita and Coco Diemar came in 19th and 20th place, respectively.
Ebenstein clocked in at 1:02:42 to finish in eighth and made up time in both transitions by posting the fastest split in each. It took her only one minute and eight seconds from the swim to the bike and 30 seconds from the bike to the run. It was her fourth career top-10 finish and the first time that she was the first Pioneer across the finish line.
McKinley finished in ninth place in 1:02:59 and was part of a group of seven athletes that finished within 31 seconds of one another.
As a team, the Pioneers combined for 206 points, two points ahead of the University of South Dakota in third place (204). Arizona State won the team event with 258 points while the University of San Francisco came in fourth with 150 points.
Arizona State claimed the top two individual spots on the podium and finished with four in the top five. Heidi Jurankova was awarded the win ahead of teammate Amber Schlebusch despite both Sun Devils posting a time of 1:01:14. San Francisco’s Kira Gupta-Baltazar broke up the Sun Devils’ run at the top by coming in third.
Denver’s next race will be in two weeks when it heads to Berkely, California, on Sunday, Oct. 30 to take part in the Bearathlon, hosted by the Cal Tri Team. The 2022 Collegiate National Championships are in less than a month on Nov. 12 in Tempe, Arizona.
Denver University Triathletes
*8. Olivia Ebenstein, 1:02:42 (9:52/31:54/19:21), 48 points
*9. Freya McKinley, 1:02:59 (10:07/32:33/18:25), 47 points
*13. Clara Normand, 1:03:42 (10:05/32:41/19:10), 42 points
*17. Melissa Funes, 1:05:05 (10:26/34:35/18:02), 36 points
*18. Avarie Faulkner, 1:06:27 (10:58/33:44/19:43), 33 points
19. Elizabeth Harita, 1:06:42 (10:03/34:39/20:10), 31 points
20. Coco Diemar, 1:07:19 (10:22/34:16/20:37), 29 points
Individual Top 10 Overall
- Heidi Jurankova, Arizona State, 1:01:14 (55 points)
- Amber Schlebusch, Arizona State 1:01:14 (54 points)
- Kira Gupta-Baltazar, San Francisco, 1:01:48 (53 points)
- Liberty Ricca, Arizona State, 1:01:57 (52 points)
- Naomi Ruff, Arizona State, 1:02:20 (51 points)
- Cassandra Dalbec, South Dakota, 1:02:36 (50 points)
- Ella Kubas, South Dakota, 1:02:38 (49 points)
- Olivia Ebenstein, Denver, 1:02:42 (48 points)
- Freya McKinley, Denver, 1:02:59 (47 points)
- Alexe Coursol, Arizona State, 1:03:06 (46 points)
Women’s Team Results
- Arizona State – 258 points
- Denver – 206 points
- South Dakota – 204 points
- San Francisco – 150 points
— Ron Knabenbauer / Denver Athletics