TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State University earned its fourth consecutive NCAA Division I team title Saturday at the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, held at Tempe Town Lake for the third straight year. Queens University of Charlotte earned its fifth consecutive DII title, and North Central College took the DIII team crown for the fourth year in a row.
The course featured a 750-meter swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike, and 5-kilometer run. The races were separated by division, with DIII teams competing in the morning followed by DI and DII programs later that afternoon.
In the DIII race, North Central’s Grace Miller led the field out of the water. Miller and Trine University’s Amira Faulknere got out to an early lead on the bike, and they stayed there for the entire 20k course. Behind them, two North Central athletes, Annika Cotner and Madelyn Scopp, and another Trine athlete, Alexandria Smith, were in the first chase pack.
The run course proved to be Scopp’s time to shine, as she overtook Miller and Faulker to take the win with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 8 seconds. Faulknere took the runner-up spot in 1:11:27, and Cotner ran her way to third in 1:12:41.
“It was definitely a challenge. It didn’t come easy,” Scopp said. “I was working from the back in the swim. On the bike I just worked with my teammates. We all toughed it out and got to the run, which was hard in itself because it was out in the sun. Knowing that the finish line was coming up, that was the motivation. We’re always working together, practicing drafting, pushing each other to do our best, and it’s great that we’re going to be able to represent North Central College here for the first-place team.”
In the DI/DII race, ASU’s Kira Stanley was first out of the water in 9:33. She was followed by a long train of her teammates — including Hannah Henry, Audrey Ernst, Kyla Roy and Liberty Ricca — as well as the University of South Dakota’s Leah Drengenberg.
The swim leaders soon formed into a fierce lead pack on the bike. By the end of the first lap, their gap was already over a minute on the rest of the field. On the bell lap, Roy and Ernst accelerated off the front to gain a slight advantage heading into transition. The Sun Devil duo didn’t let up on the run, and Roy ultimately broke the tape with a time of 1:05:22. Ernst was 30 seconds behind her for second place in 1:05:52.
“It’s so cool to have all my friends and family here in Tempe, and just a huge support crowd,” Roy said. “Audrey (Ernst) was so strong on the bike, she really pushed the pace. On the run, I just kind of went for it. I thought Audrey was right behind me, and then I got to the turnaround and she was a little bit behind — so I said, ‘Let’s go, Audrey!’”
Natalia Hidalgo Martinez of Davis & Elkins College had an excellent run, making her way up from the chase pack to take third overall in 1:06:30. With that performance, she also earned the DII individual title.
“Of course, my first goal was to be the national DII champion, but when I was biking and running, I started thinking, ‘Okay, never mind. DII, DI, I just want to do my best race,” Hidalgo Martinez said. “This represents how far (Davis & Elkins) can go, because it’s just our second year. The finish line is really the start line, to start our new goal for next season.”
Drengenberg placed third among DI women with a time of 1:07:21. Two Queens athletes rounded out the DII individual podium, with Natalie Bash taking second in 1:07:10 and Sam McInnes third in 1:07:36.
In the team standings, ASU grabbed the four-peat for DI schools with eight points. The University of South Dakota, led by Drengenberg, took second with 18 points. East Tennessee State University, led by fourth-place DI individual finisher Lane McDonald, rounded out the podium in third.
Queens University of Charlotte narrowly grabbed the DII title over Davis & Elkins, earning 12 points to the Senators’ 17. Black Hills State University, led by sixth-place DII finisher Mathilde Bernard, took third with 33 points.
North Central College dominated the DIII team competition with 10 points, followed by Trine with 25. Morgan Powers, the seventh DIII athlete across the line, led Millikin University to third place in the DIII standings.
Triathlon was approved as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in January of 2014, and the first varsity National Championships were held in 2015. The sport has a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability at the NCAA level. Thirty-one schools currently offer women’s triathlon as a varsity sport, up from 26 at this time last year. For the full listing of varsity teams and to learn more about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.
For the first time, the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships were broadcast live at triathlonlive.tv. A full replay is available free of charge.
Questions regarding varsity collegiate women’s triathlon events and programming may be directed to Jessica Welk at Jessica.email@example.com.
2019 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run — Complete Results
NCAA Division I Team
1. Arizona State University, 8 points
2. University of South Dakota, 18
3. East Tennessee State University, 29
NCAA Division II Team
1. Queens University of Charlotte, 12 points
2. Davis & Elkins College, 17
3. Black Hills State University, 33
NCAA Division III Team
1. North Central College, 10 points
2. Trine University, 25
3. Millikin University, 28
NCAA Division I Individuals
1. Kyla Roy (Arizona State University), 1:05:22
2. Audrey Ernst (Arizona State University), 1:05:52
3. Leah Drengenberg (University of South Dakota), 1:07:21
NCAA Division II Individuals
1. Natalia Hidaglo Martinez (Davis & Elkins College), 1:06:30
2. Natalie Bash (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:07:10
3. Sam McInnes (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:07:36
NCAA Division III Individuals
1. Madelyn Scopp (North Central College), 1:11:08
2. Amira Faulknere (Trine University), 1:11:27
3. Annika Cotner (North Central College), 1:12:41
Collegiate Club Individual
1. Jenna Goodrum (University of Utah), 1:09:07
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).