Mid-Atlantic Women Take Podium Spots at Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championship

By Brenda Barrera | Nov. 30, 2015, 6:36 p.m. (ET)
Queens University of Charlotte Clinches Team Title 

Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.) women’s triathlon team may be new, but they put the Royals on the map winning the national team title at the 2015 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship held in Clermont, Fla., on November 7, 2015. 

A total field of 80 women competed in the draft-legal sprint distance event (750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run), almost double the number of participants from last year and with the format that will be used at the collegiate level when triathlon is granted official NCAA sports status.

“With the youngest team in the race, my expectation going in was to gain experience for future years and simply teach the girls how to execute a race plan that maximizes our team placing in the ‘score-3/draft-legal’ format,” said Queens University Coach Sonni Dyer via email. “With this win, these women have shown exactly how successfully a team can compete in collegiate triathlon. For so long, multisport has been a competitive race of “I” (individuals). Now, the collegiate game is a game of WE.” 

Jocelyn Bonney, from Long Beach, Calif., was second place overall and the top finisher for the Royals in the Team Competition in 1:04:06. Still in high school, she will be competing for the varsity squad in their 2016-2017 season.

“It was by far the best race I’ve ever had. I’m so stoked to be able to race with Queens and come home with second today,” said Bonney in a post-race press release from USA Triathlon. Her race resume also includes a silver from the 2015 ITU Triathlon World Championships sprint race. 

A familiar name from our region is Grace Obando, 16, from Herndon, Va., a Junior Elite who was invited to compete. Posting the fastest swim (9:53), Obando stayed with the lead pack in the draft-legal bike portion and proved ready for the collegiate competition finishing seventh overall in 1:05:10. 

Marymount University junior Melissa Teeple, from Callaway, Va., led The Saints to a second place finish in the team division and also took second place overall in the varsity individual competition in 1:06:05. 

Brooke Saunders, a sophomore from Newark, Del., also on the Marymount University team, finished in 1:07:36, good for 14th overall and fifth place in the varsity competition. 

“It was a ton of fun racing alongside some of the best collegiate triathletes in the country,” said Saunders via email. And as for the most exciting part of her race, it was the bike leg. “Our chase pack, which turned to the front pack, really worked well together and there were plenty of hard surges.” 

Saunders summed up the experience. “The sport of triathlon has so much to offer,” she said. “ I really hope it takes off as an NCAA sport as it has the capability to change the lives of so many young women!” 

2015 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship, Clermont, FL (750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run) 

Individual: Top Mid-Atlantic Finishers 

2. Jocelyn Bonney, 17, Long Beach CA (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:04:06
7. Grace Obando, 16, Herndon VA (Junior Elite) 1:05:10
9. Melissa Teeple, 20, Arlington VA (Marymount University) 1:06:05
10. Jessica Tomasek, 18, Charlotte NC (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:06:30
13. Caroline Condon, 19, Charlotte NC (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:07:25
14. Brooke Saunders, 20, Arlington VA (Marymount University) 1:07:36
15. Georgina Reyes, 19, Arlington VA (Marymount University) 1:07:36
18. Megan Howard, 20, Annapolis MD (U.S. Naval Academy) 1:08:01
30. Lauren Bussian, 24, Richmond VA (VCU) 1:09:45
31. Katie Mundo, 21, Annapolis MD (U.S. Naval Academy) 1:09:54
32. Lara Sormunen, 19, Arlington VA (Marymount University) 1:10:36
36. Sina Sontowski, 17, Knoxville TN (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:11:14
40. Theresa Neubig, 18, Falls Church VA (U.S. Naval Academy) 1:11:54
41. Rebecca Meyerson, 17, Phoenix, AZ (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:11:58 

Team Rankings

1. Queens University of Charlotte, 12 points
2. Marymount University, 19 points
3. Colorado, 36 points
4. California, 38 points*
5. UCLA, 38 points*
6. U.S. Naval Academy, 52 points
7. Texas A&M, 66 points 

*Institutions tied at three athletes; fourth athlete used as tiebreaker. 

Varsity Individual

1. Jocelyn Bonney (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:04:06
2. Melissa Teeple (Marymount University) 1:06:05
3. Jessica Tomasek (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:06:30
4. Caroline Condon (Queens University of Charlotte) 1:07:25
5. Brooke Saunders (Marymount University) 1:07:36 

*Varsity Team

1. Queens University of Charlotte, 15 points
2. Marymount University, 22 points 

*Five schools have established varsity triathlon programs as part of the triathlon’s NCAA Emerging Sport for Women status: Black Hills State University, Daemen College, Marymount University, Queens University of Charlotte and the University of West Alabama 

For complete results: https://www.sommersports.com/results/NCAA-Women-OverAll.htm 

For more information on triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women http://www.usatriathlon.org/ncaa