From winning the last three years of the diploma dash; ranking 3rd in region against rival schools including A&M, UT, and UNT; and ranking 28th out of 100+ teams across the U.S in Nationals, it makes sense why UTSA’s Triathlon Club has received so much attention lately.
A standard race for these Roadrunners consists of a one mile swim, a 24 mile bike ride and a six mile run. “It’s not easy, but anything that’s worth it never is,” said Evan Landez, the Triathlon Clubs team leader.
Directed by Mark Saroni- the #1 ranked triathlete in the South Midwest Region in 2011–the team is in good hands. “(Saroni’s) guidance helps us in training,” said Landez.
The Triathlon Club’s motto is “the pursuit of excellence,” which these ‘Runners strive for every- day, both on the playing field and in the classroom.
“We’re UTSA students first, athletes second,” explained Landez, “We’re a diverse team, and that diversity helps us to adapt to obstacles that arise whether it be goggles breaking at nationals, or a flat tire on a 25 mile ride.”
The Triathlon Club members train twice a day everyday except for Fridays; however, most of the team members still train even on their rest day. Since the clubs creation in 2012, the team has been to nationals three times and has had multiple members qualify this year to go as well, including one qualifying for the world championship.
This year’s season has been a success for the team. Last year there were no women in the top 100 of the USAT Collegiate Nationals, but this year two women did just that. Alli Koch in 24th and Leah Taylor in 86th. Similarly, nobody from the men’s division placed in the top 300 last year, but two placed in the top 200 this year.
The team left the USAT Collegiate Nationals 2016 as a Top 30 Team. Part of the team’s key to success is time management. Many members juggle three different sports, school and jobs.
Even in their success, the team has faced some chal- lenges, like being mistaken for a swim team. “There’s a stigma about club sports,” says Landez. “People say our sport is not a real sport, but we deserve to be as equally regarded as every team and treated with the same validation. No one does what we do.”
“We’re fortunate enough to be able to do what we do. We’re all very grateful to have the opportunities that we have, like our professional coach as well as a place to train,” said Landez. “It’s a good day to be a Roadrunner!”