Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals: Clemson University

Clemson Triathlon Club

As one of the top collegiate triathlon teams in the country, Clemson Tri is a group looking to grow as a team and as individual athletes. Competing in USA Triathlon's Southeast Collegiate Triathlon Conference (SECTC), they send athletes to the Collegiate National Championships every year. As previous SECTC Champions, and with regular top 100 placing athletes, The Clemson Triathlon Team is on the rise.

With USA Tri Collegiate Club Nationals this weekend felt it best if we let the teams participating update you on what they have been up to, their expectations for the event and how the team is looking leading into the big weekend.

How is the field looking for this year’s event?
As is every year, Collegiate Nationals is extremely competitive.  Our athletes have been training since the beginning of the semester and it is safe to say that we are in the best shape of the season.

How important is the team concept in each event?  How is that communicated to the Club?
Team dynamics are extremely important, with 7 team workouts each week and traveling together to each race of the season.  Although racing fast and improving is a priority on our team, we also focus on growing as a team via social events and team dinners.

How has the growing success of Collegiate Triathlon impacted your program?  New opportunities?
Collegiate Triathlon growing is fantastic and has impacted the interest new members have had in joining the team.  Plus, having the National Collegiate Triathlon Championships at home for the next two years has been a great incentive and promoting factor in gaining new sponsors and members for the team.

How is the health of the team leading up to Nationals?
We have been plagued with injuries in the past, especially in our female team, but this year has been relatively injury free and everyone is in top shape leading up to the race next week.

What was the key moment for the team this season?
Winning SECTC conference champions and keeping the title from our 2014 season, as well as the announcement that collegiate nationals will be home this year.

Considering your home base, do you foresee any issues or complications with the venue in Clemson, S.C.?
We do not foresee any issues for our home base advantage, but rather, it is perfect since we have been training on the course since it was announced and do not have to travel anywhere.   The only issue we see is that the race site is not on the main campus, because we would have really liked for everyone to have a chance to see our scenic campus while racing.

Which event does your athletes most look forward to and why?  (Olympic, Mixed Team Relay)
Mixed team relay, because of the team dynamic of the event, where we scream and chant for our athletes.  It’s like a big pep-rally for collegiate triathletes and what could be better than that?

Do you prefer draft-legal racing to non-draft? Why?
They both have their merits; good and bad aspects of both.  We understand USAT’s push towards Draft-Legal racing to breed Olympic athletes and have a visually appealing race.  However, non-draft promotes strong athletes who can push themselves individually without the help of other athletes.

Any special "Thank You's" you would like to make for all those that helped this season?
We would like to thank our sponsors:  Multisport Explosion, Speedshop, Rudy Project, QuintanaRoo, and Catalyst Cycling.  Thanks to USAT for giving us the opportunity to host this event and everyone in the city and University who have played a role in making this happen.

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