If there’s one thing my momma taught me, it’s the importance of making an entrance. Today, just like in previous years, we made an entrance.
As if one-piece Lycra get-ups aren’t strange enough, many teams, Clemson included, use packet pick-up and the awards ceremony as a chance to show collective creativity and try to make the loudest statement. Think of it as the most bizarre red carpet Lady Gaga isn’t involved in.
Packet pick-up was cool and we were glad to run into Topanga and the rest of the Wisconsin Tri Team, who we met while they were on a training camp in Clemson a few weeks ago.
Before Friday came Thursday and like the rest of the teams headed to Collegiate Nationals, Thursday was a travel day. It was cool following the #USATCN12 hashtag on Twitter so we could see pictures of everyone else headed to Tuscaloosa. Some teams flew, some took big buses, but we hitched. And boy are we thankful that gentleman with the handlebar mustache had a box truck big enough for all of us and our bikes!
The ride down was fun as Edge drove our black F-250 with the trailer on the back through Atlanta traffic with deft precision and breakneck (yet responsible) speed. While Edge was driving, the rest of us were jamming out to the Booty Mix courtesy of Doug MacLean, and the Pay Me Mix courtesy of Tim “Slick” Sattler. For those of you who have never heard it, the Booty Mix is the greatest thing to happen to music since “Friday” by Rebecca Black.
As is pre-race tradition at the Clemson Triathlon Team, we spent Thursday night doing rap battles and a track stand competition. Heather won the track stand competition, and Magic won the rap battle by default when Ryan “The Relentless Apprentice” Gedney started rapping “Funky Cold Medina” in the final round.
Reigning Elite Rookie of the Year, AJ Baucco (@irunshirtless) Skyped in this morning during breakfast to provide us with a few words of motivation before the big race. Mr. Baucco told us that whether we think we can or we can’t, we’re right! Then he encouraged us to all apply for jobs at McDonald’s if things don’t pan out how we want in the race, because AJ says, “McDonald’s gives you the opportunity to serve your community, making you feel responsible for your own environment.”
Our team motto for Collegiate Nationals this year has been “I don’t like people playin’ on my phone!” And I must say, the team has really rallied around that.
At this point we’ve got race wheels on, we’re done with our pre-race bricks, our coach Chris Zimmer has given us a highly strategic speech and we’re about to head off to the pasta dinner with all the other teams. It’s been a great weekend so far and we’re optimistic that by this time tomorrow we’ll have raced our way to Clemson’s highest finish ever.
For more from the 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship, visit the event coverage page.