LAKE LANIER, Ga. — Day one of the action-packed 2022 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships kicked off on Friday, April 1 in Lake Lanier, Georgia, with the Draft-Legal and Mixed Relay Championships.
Ben Bettin of the University of Colorado, Boulder and Franca Henseleit of Queens University of Charlotte earned the men’s and women’s Draft-Legal crowns, respectively.
Following the individual events, Queens University also claimed victory in the Mixed Relay event, led by teammates Tristen Jones, Kira Ribbink, Milan Tomlin and Henseleit, the women’s draft-legal champion.
Hosted by Empower Multisport, more than 1,000 of the nation’s top collegiate club triathletes are competing for national titles over two exciting days of racing — bringing together more than 60 collegiate clubs from across the country.
Featuring a sprint-distance race, athletes in the Draft-Legal event completed a 750-meter swim, 21-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course. The draft-legal racing format, which enables athletes to ride in packs and work together on the bike, is similar to the racing style contested in elite World Triathlon events and the Olympic Games.
The men’s Draft-Legal race opened up the action-packed day. Bettin secured the national title, completing the race in 57 minutes, 58 seconds.
“The race went really well. I messed up my start a little bit, there was two guys ahead of me and I had to close that gap, but I felt like I had a good first transition,” said Bettin. “The course was a little more tactical, which I was fine with because I trusted in my little kick in the end. And that is what I did, I kicked it in at the end and managed to win it. I am super happy about it. I am so happy to have all of my teammates here and I am so thankful for all of my coaches. Today was great, great experience, great course, it was super fun.”
Milan Tomlin (58:08) of Queens University placed second, followed by teammate Jake Baugher (59:11) in third.
In the women’s race, Henseleit held a lead from start to finish to earn the collegiate club crown with a time of 1:05:08, over a minute ahead of second place.
“I had a great swim from the start, it was pretty cold but I managed it. The way up to transition is pretty steep hill and the bike course is quite hilly with some corners, so took some technique. But it was pretty nice. On the run I tried to maintain the lead,” said Henseleit of her victory. “It was so great being back to racing. Having this great atmosphere, for many athletes it has been such a long time that such a great event has taken place.”
Coming in second place was Kathyrn Kennedy of University of California, Berkeley in 1:06:24, followed by University of Colorado, Boulder’s Gabrielle Trueblood (1:07:06) in third.
After a quick respite, athletes gathered to the start line again to compete in teams in the Mixed Relay event. Collegiate club teams comprised of four athletes (two men and two women) had each athlete completing a super-sprint triathlon — 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run — before handing off to the next teammate.
Queens University secured the team victory when Henseleit grabbed the winner’s tape for the second time that day as she, Jones, Ribbink and Tomlin combined for a time of 1:08:46.
The U.S. Naval Academy finished second overall, with a time of 1:10:36 earned by teammates Sam Russell, Eli Walz, Drew Pierre and Sophie Tasker. Third place went to the University of Colorado, Boulder with a time of 1:12:09 from Drew Kroeker, Maren York, Brandon Wallace and Trueblood.
The action continues Saturday with the marquee Olympic-distance Collegiate Championships, which has long been a staple of the Collegiate Club Nationals program. Collegiate club athletes will cover a 1,500m swim, 41k bike and 10k run, with the first wave of men starting at 7:30 a.m. and the first wave of women beginning at 7:45 a.m
2022 USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships
750m swim, 21k bike, 5k run
Top Men’s Finishers – Complete Results
1. Ben Bettin (University of Colorado, Boulder), 57:58
2. Milan Tomlin (Queens University of Charlotte), 58:08
3. Jake Baugher (Queens University of Charlotte), 59:11
Top Women’s Finishers – Complete Results
1. Franca Henseleit (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:05:08
2. Kathyrn Kennedy (University of California-Berekely), 1:06:24
3. Gabrielle Trueblood (University of Colorado, Boulder), 1:07:06
2022 USA Triathlon Mixed Relay Collegiate Championships
250m swim, 5k bike, 1.2k run
Top Team Finishers – Complete Results
1. Queens University of Charlotte, 1:08:46
2. United States Naval Academy, 1:10:36
3. University of Colorado, Boulder, 1:12:09