Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals: UNC

Happy but never Satisfied. UNC Tri heads to nationals with their eyes on the podium!

Answers:  Logan Cerwin

President UNC Triathlon Team

RM:  How is the field looking for this years event?

LC:  Based on what we saw during our fall races, the Atlantic Coast teams look incredibly strong. A lot can happen over the winter though, so it will be interesting to see who trained through the cold and who enjoyed a few too many Christmas cookies!

RM:  What has been the mantra for this year? The charge!

LC:  Our coach tells us “be happy, but never satisfied.” A good workout can be a confidence booster for race day, but its important to always look for ways to improve.

RM:  How important is the team concept in each event?  How is that communicated to the Club?

LC:  We have a ton of new faces on our team this year. Getting to train with a large group and teach the newbies the ropes of the sport has given the club more of a ‘team’ feeling than in the past. Suffering together in practice is good mental preparation for fighting through the toughest parts of the race. Its hard to give up when you know your teammates are working their hardest as well.

RM:  How has the growing success of Collegiate Triathlon impacted your program?  New opportunities?

LC:  Unfortunately, UNC has decided to forgo a varsity women’s program for the time being. Most of our race costs are still paid for individually, but luckily several incredible sponsors have helped lighten the financial burden of the team. In addition, one of our senior athletes has earned a scholarship to compete with the varsity program at Queens University next year.

RM:  How is the health of the team leading up to Nationals?  

LC:  Several members of our team suffered from leg injuries over the winter and were limited in their running mileage. Luckily, we have mostly recovered and should be 100% on race day!

RM:  What was the key moment for the team this season?

LC:  In preparation for every National Championship, our coach has us do a ‘multiple bricks’ workout involving several fast bike-to-run transitions. This workout is essentially a race simulation, and gives the best indication of how your legs will feel on race day.  This was also one of the first times our entire National team came together to workout and push each other.

RM:  Considering your home base, do you foresee any issues, complications or benefits with the venue in Clemson, S.C.?

LC:  The announcement of the 2015 location was a great uplifting moment for the team! It lessens the financial burden on the team and gives family members the opportunity to come watch the event.  However, given that this is a collegiate national championship, they couldn’t have chose a more terrible date. This year the draft-legal race falls on UNC’s last day of class and the Olympic distance/Mixed relay falls on our reading day. As academics always take precedence over athletics, several of our top athletes will not be able to race. Hopefully next year, the race will be earlier in April, as in previous years.

RM:  Which event do your athletes most look forward to and why?  Olympic, Mixed Team Relay, Sprint

LC:  As both a spectator and a competitor, the draft-legal sprint is by far the most exciting part of Nationals. Currently, there are very few of these races each year in the United States. The sprint brings together the top athletes from each conference, and the result is a fast paced, high intensity competition.

RM:  Do you prefer draft-legal racing to non-draft? Why?

LC:  Each athlete has his or her own preference. Some enjoy the time-trialing aspect of non-draft racing, while others prefer racing in a pack. Essentially, it comes down to a question of racing for position versus racing for time, and we have a good mix of both.

RM:  Any special "Thank You's" you would like to make for all those that helped this season?

LC:  Our coach, Dave Williams, is essential to the success of the team. He prescribes workouts, plans practices, and gives words of advice and encouragement every day. We can’t thank him enough!

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