The Road To Nationals with Ernest Mantell

ASU Triathlete talks closing out his first year and finishing well at USAT Nationals

  • Hometown: St. Paul, MN
  • Sport / Competition: Triathlon
  • Instagram/erniemantell37
  • RM:  How many years have you been competing?
    1ish
  • RM:  What have been some of the craziest things you have witnessed while training, competing or traveling?
    Over spring break a few people on our team went on an impromptu "camping" training camp in Southern California. We sat down and planned the whole trip at Chop Shop. The plan was to Camp at Joshua Tree, then head to Malibu, for a few nights, then back to Joshua Tree. We showed up to Joshua tree, and suddenly they were sold out of campsites, and we had nowhere to go. We packed up and headed to Indio... Turns out there was a race there the next morning at the lake we were staying at (Oh yeah we forgot our camping stove so we went to chipotle lol)! We met some really nice triathletes there (Shoutout to Scott who is getting his MBA at Pepperdine right now) and then before we knew what was happening a tent blew by us at like 50mph. These crazy winds came out of nowhere. We spent the night getting sandblasted in our tents, thinking "oh jeez, this is just the first night". Fortunately, we made it to Malibu, road along HWY 1 and the Mulholland Dr. which was super cool.
  • RM:  What fuels your competitiveness? What color do you feel the fastest in?
    There is nothing like having a good battle. Straight up, battling is just fun. Froyo, however, is my preferred source of fuel ;). Matte black and blue are my two favorite colors.
  • RM:  How has your approach changed from the beginning of the season to the end to make you a better at each stage as you head to nationals?
    Overall I've changed from being quantitative to qualitative in racing. I love numbers in training, and they're super motivating (it's like hanging a bowl of froyo from a string in front of me) but trying to hit numbers in a race can be really stressful. Instead of focusing on that, I am just thinking about racing other people and going as hard as I can. Data is always great to look back on so you can figure out what you need to work on.
  • RM:  What is your goal as you head to nationals? First out of the water? Top 10? Best split?
    I would like to race as hard as I possibly can in all three sports and go fast.
  • RM:  How are you feeling? Did you have any injuries you had to over come? Are you peaking at the right time?
    Feeling pretty solid, training has been going well. Every triathlete has their aches and pains, but come race day I'll be ready to race.
  • RM:  What is your long view? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Still competing? Working professionals?
    Honestly, I have no idea. Probably living somewhere in/near mountains in a state that has all four seasons with a dog.
  • RM:  When you think about Nationals... what gets you the most excited? The most anxious? Instills the most concern?
    My favorite part of Collegiate Nationals is how much pride is involved with racing. Racing for a team always makes people push that extra bit harder, and nothing is more fun than being thrown in a battle with a bunch of like-minded people. The race in itself is easily the most fun part. Crowd support is also super important, and when everyone out there is suffering it's amazing what a few jeers can do to get college kids amped up.



  • RM:  What equipment changes have you made through the year and most importantly as you head to Nationals?
    I've been really lucky with equipment this year. Upgrading to a Roka wetsuit definitely helps. I also have a super bike now, along with a blacked out wing 57 from Rudy Project. Lastly, I'll probably be running in ON CLOUDS.
  • RM:  Training secrets? Care to share? Favorite quote?
    If you want more time to train switch to a business school major.
  • RM:  What do you geek out on besides Triathlon?
    uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, come back to me.
  • RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?
    Make everyone solve a Rubik’s Cube in transition
  • RM:  Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?
    I can dream about you (Dan Hartman)
    The heat is on (Glenn Frey)
    Thunderstruck (ACDC)
    We built this city (Starship)
    MAAD City (Kendrick Lamar)
    Today Was a Good Day (Ice Cube)
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