Chloe Moran is a freshman at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where she majors in biomedical engineering and is a member of the women’s varsity collegiate triathlon team.
Moran was a four-year varsity swimmer at New Berlin West High School in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and is new to the sport of triathlon. She posted a top-25 finish earlier this year at the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. She will represent MSOE, the defending NCAA Division III team runner-up, this Saturday at the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships in Tempe, Arizona.
Moran is a recipient of the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon Student-Athletes Scholarship, which is awarded annually to three varsity athletes, one from each NCAA Division. USA Triathlon sat down with Moran to hear more about her journey to triathlon and how the scholarship will help further her academic and athletic goals.
USA Triathlon: You’re fairly new to triathlon. What do you like about the sport far?
Chloe Moran: I love the competitiveness. I love the edge and how hard our practices have been. The practices are hard, and I feel like I’m dying during them, but afterward it’s really rewarding. Being able to race and cross the finish line, I don’t even know how to put that experience into words. It’s amazing.
USAT: What does leadership look like on your team? How do you demonstrate leadership as a freshman?
CM: Our captains, (seniors) Rachel Ruona and Sam Brooker, are pretty great. Instead of being like, ‘These are the rules, this is what you have to do, and this is when you have to do it,’ they work with us. It’s more of a one-on-one. I’m an underclassman, so in terms of having a leadership role on our team, it’s more about knowing what we’re supposed to do and choosing to go above and beyond that.
USAT: You had some difficult family circumstances growing up, which have given you a grit and a drive that other people may not have. Can you tell us about that?
CM: Growing up, it was mostly me, my mom and my sister. My dad had left us at a pretty early age for a bunch of different reasons. He was an alcoholic, addicted to drugs, and dropped out of high school. When I was younger, I would see the way he went through multiple jobs a year, no motivation for himself or his family, and how unhappy he was but couldn’t change even to better himself.
Seeing his lack of motivation and always seeing how hard my mom had worked for us to be able to do what we wanted to do, I feel like that really pushed me through school. I was always a straight-A student, I was motivated, I had grit. And then sport-wise, it’s just remembering that you can do this. Growing up and seeing how my dad was unmotivated, it always made me want to try so much harder than he had done — just because I did not want what he had, and I wanted to accomplish so much. I think that’s really why I have that drive and effort to do what I’ve been doing.
USAT: How will receiving the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon Student-Athletes Scholarship enable you to continue pursuing your academic and athletic goals?
CM: The school I go to is pretty expensive. I ended up taking out a lot of student loans, so the scholarship can go directly towards that. It covered about 10 months of my student loans, so that was a great weight off my shoulders. It’s allowing me to stay at MSOE at this point because of how expensive it is. I applied for a lot of scholarships and getting this one has meant a lot. It’s allowed me to stay in the sport and in the school that I love, and in the major that I want to keep pursuing. I’m really thankful for this opportunity.
USAT: What has your first year as an NCAA triathlete been like? What has been the best part, and what has been the biggest change from high school?
CM: In high school we practiced maybe 12 hours per week, so going from that to 18-21 has been a big jump. I never pictured myself as a triathlete, and I’m so blessed that I ended up doing it. All the girls are amazing, all the other teams are super supportive, and the coaches are great. I think the best thing is crossing the finish line, and that feeling of finishing is amazing. I love my team and the fact that they’re all super supportive. I’ve definitely made some lifelong friendships doing this.
I think the hardest thing really is adjusting from a high school sport to a collegiate sport and realizing the competitiveness and the grit and determination that you need to keep pushing through things. I think that’s definitely the biggest change that I went through.
USAT: What are your personal goals and team goals for this weekend?
CM: My personal goal is just to get out there, have fun, try my hardest and see where our practices have put me from the beginning of the season to the end. Our team goal is definitely to keep that second spot on the podium, if not to get up to first! But everyone just wants to get out there and do their best.
The Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships will be held Saturday at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona. The NCAA Division III race is set for 11:30 a.m. MST, and the DI and DII race will go off at 1:30 p.m. MST. Both races will feature a free live stream at TriathlonLIVE.tv.
For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.