Triathlon ends season strong

Male and female teams qualify for nationals

The MIT Triathlon club recently ended its racing season after an impressive 2011 outing. The team won a local race series, qualified the female and male teams for the 2012 Collegiate Nationals Championships, and fielded a number of MIT triathletes in races across New England.

During the summer months, MIT competed in the Max Performance Series, which consisted of 5 triathlons of varying distances, from sprint (1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) to Olympic distance (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). Thirty-one MIT triathletes participated throughout the summer. Thanks to the fact that MIT had a presence on podiums (overall and age groups) at every race, the MIT Tri Club handily won the Division II title against triathlon clubs from all over New England.

During the fall months, MIT took part in New England Collegiate Triathlon Conference (NECTC). The NECTC is comprised of all the collegiate clubs in New England and is one of the largest collegiate conferences in the country. As the sport of triathlon continues to garner interest from students nation-wide, the U.S.A. Triathlon organization has had to enact stricter qualification rules for the Collegiate Nationals Championships held every year in April. For the first time, the NECTC was only allowed to send seven male teams and six female teams, meaning that the 2011 races had more at stake than the usual end-of-season standings. The team qualification came down to the last race of the season, the NECTC Championships race held in Montauk, NY, on Oct. 1. MIT triathletes did extremely well in the most competitive race in NECTC history, ensuring a Nationals qualification for the female and male teams. Notably, eight MIT men finished in the top 25 percent of the season points series, led by Adam Jones’ G 17th place, while club president Shaena R. Berlin ’13 finished 11th in the overall season point series on the female side.

In addition to successful team results, MIT triathletes competed individually in several high-profile races. Katie Julia Quinn G qualified for the Half-Ironman World Championships after winning her age group at two of the most competitive Half-Ironman races on the East Coast. Samuel Nicaise G and Berlin placed in the top two of their respective age groups in the inaugural running of the MascomaMan Half Iron, and Matthieu J. Talpe G competed in the Age Group National Championships in Burlington, VT, in August. Many other MIT affiliates also successfully completed their first triathlon.