Leah Drengenberg led the University of South Dakota to a second-place finish for DI teams.
PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. — The varsity women’s collegiate triathlon season got underway Sunday with the Central Regional Qualifier in Wisconsin, held in conjunction with the ET Pleasant Prairie Triathlon hosted by Experience Triathlon.
The race marked the first opportunity for teams and individuals to qualify for the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, set for Nov. 16 in Tempe, Arizona.
Athletes completed a sprint-distance 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer draft-legal bike and 5-kilometer run. Awards were presented to the top-two teams and the top-two individuals in each NCAA Division (DI, DII and DIII).
Arizona State University’s Kyla Roy, Audrey Ernst and Kira Stanley were the first three athletes across the line overall, as Roy took the DI individual victory with a time of 1 hour, 44 seconds. Drury University’s Jayme-Sue Vermaas was the top DII finisher in 1:05:11, placing seventh in the overall field. Earning the DIII individual win was Trine University’s Amira Faulkner, who was 21st overall in 1:09:05.
The women’s collegiate triathlon season continues with the West Regional Qualifier on Sept. 15 at Belle Fourche Reservoir, South Dakota, followed by the East Regional Qualifier on Oct. 19 at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. Qualified teams will then compete at Nationals, which are held in Tempe for the third consecutive year.
ASU was the top NCAA DI team on the day with 6 points, followed in the DI standings by University of South Dakota with 17. USD’s Leah Drengenberg led the Coyotes with a fourth-place finish both overall and in her division.
Drury claimed top honors for DII teams with six points. Daemen College was second with 19 points, led by Courtney Merrill who placed fifth in the DII division.
Topping the DIII podium was North Central College with 11 points, led by Grace Miller who took sixth for DII women individually. Trine earned second place for DII teams with 24 points.
The NCAA named triathlon an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, a designation that gives the sport a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability at the NCAA level. USA Triathlon is more than halfway to its goal of recruiting 40 schools by 2024. For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.
Women’s Collegiate Triathlon Central Regional Qualifier
Pleasant Prairie, Wis. | 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run | Complete Results
Individual Champions by Division
Division I: Kyla Roy (Arizona State University), 1:00:44
Division II: Jayme-Sue Vermaas (Drury University), 1:05:11
Division III: Amira Faulkner (Trine University), 1:09:05
Team Champions by Division
Division I: Arizona State University, 6 points
Division II: Drury University, 6 points
Division III: North Central College, 11 points
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).