Liz Noey from UCLA and Rudy Von Berg from the University of Colorado each broke away from the field on the run to claim individual titles in the Olympic-distance event at the 2014 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships, held Saturday at Tempe Beach Park.
Read the race recap from USA Triathlon below:
Racing on a 1,500-meter swim, 36-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course, Noey crossed the finish line in 1:59:08 to win her first Collegiate Nationals title. Noey’s UCLA teammate Laurence Delisle and Califonia’s Erika Erickson battled it out for second and third down the finish chute, with Delisle clinching second in 2:00:21 and Erickson taking third in 2:00:24.
Delisle led the field early on the swim, exiting the water with a one-minute lead over the field. Though she posted one of the faster bike splits of the day, the efforts of Noey, Arizona State’s Lindsey Ryder and UCSD’s Gretchen Stumhofer moved into a position to show strength on the run. Noey, who ran cross country as an undergraduate student, unleashed on the run to catch her teammate in the final mile of the run and earn the win.
“A year ago I broke my collarbone, and I’ve been working really, really hard on my swim. That was really the wild card,” said Noey, who used her teammates ahead of her as markers to move up on the course. “I have a running background and it just started to come together this year. I got on the run and I was just smooth.”
Von Berg, who finished fourth on this course one year ago to help Colorado earn its fourth consecutive team title, claimed the men’s title in a time of 1:44:41, almost 90 seconds ahead of the field. UCSD’s William Jones was second, coming in to finish at 1:46:05, and Steve Mantell of Colorado State had the third-fastest time of the day in 1:46:08.
A group of California-based swimmers, including Greg Harper from California and the Stanford trio of Thomas Roos, Andrew Roos and Eirik Ravnan, were the first athletes out of the water. Out on the 36k bike course, Von Berg made his move with the fourth-fastest bike time to put himself into prime position for the run. He then posted one of the faster run splits of the day (33:10) to better his finish position from 2013 and become the overall collegiate champion.
“I really improved a good amount from last year. It was my first year and I didn’t know what to expect. This year I trained a lot [...] and improved my swim and my run, and I thought I could win,” Von Berg said. “It all went well, and I’m very happy.”
This year’s Olympic-distance event featured the triathlon talents of more than 1,250 athletes representing 119 collegiate clubs in a race that has been a staple of the Collegiate Nationals program since it was first held at the Wildflower Triathlon in 1992.
Collegiate Nationals action at Tempe Beach Park concludes Saturday afternoon with the Mixed Team Relay. Each four-person team must consist of two females and two males who will complete a super-sprint triathlon before tagging their teammate. All athletes will complete a 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run.
Complete results and team standings will be announced at the award ceremony, which begins at 8 p.m. PT at the Tempe Marketplace, and will also be available on Usatriathlon.org.
2014 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships
1,500m swim, 36k bike, 10k run
1. Liz Noey (UCLA) 1:59:08
2. Laurence Delisle (UCLA) 2:00:21
3. Erika Erickson (California) 2:00:24
4. Lauryn Macfawn (Virginia Tech) 2:02:38
5. Lindsey Ryder (Arizona State) 2:03:05
1. Rudy Von Berg (Colorado) 1:44:41
2. William Jones (UCSD) 1:46:05
3. Steve Mantell (Colorado State) 1:46:08
4. Justin Metzler (Oakton) 1:47:16
5. Ian Boggs (Indiana) 1:47:29