Nine triathletes compete at Nationals in Ala.

Smith places 99th out of 397 as Landry leads men’s team to best-ever 40th place finish

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The MIT Triathlon Club poses beneath the finishing chute at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships.
Ariadne Smith

This past weekend, five men and four women from the MIT Triathlon Club competed at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Members raced against 1,200 graduate and undergraduate triathletes from over 100 schools across the nation in an Olympic distance triathlon, which consists of a 1500-meter swim followed by a 25-mile bike and a 6.2-mile run. The entire event takes between two and three hours to complete, with the fastest elite males finishing in just under two hours.

The MIT men’s team posted its strongest finish ever, coming in 40th out of 74 scoring teams of all size divisions and program sponsorship levels. This placing resulted from strong performances from every MIT man who raced, of whom the top four counted toward the final score. Benoit Landry ’14 posted the team’s fastest time, coming in at 2:13:05 and 129th out of 1,200 overall, finishing off with a blazing 37:37 run split. Matthieu J. Talpe G finished one minute later, competing in his fourth consecutive Collegiate Nationals. Next up came Michael J. Frankovich G, with a fast 1:04 bike time honed by weekends competing in cycling road races. Samuel M. Nicaise G crossed the line next in 2:26 with solid times in every leg. Rounding out the men’s team, Adam T. Jones G finished strong after having raced in the Boston Marathon just days earlier.

Unfortunately, due to a bike mechanical failure, only three MIT women completed the triathlon, leaving them without a valid scoring team. However, those three individuals posted very good results. Ariadne G. Smith G, a former MIT varsity swimmer, finished 99th out of 397 women in 2:34:33 with solid performances in every leg. Shaena R. Berlin ’13 came in three minutes later, placing in the top 10 percent out of females in the bike leg. Finally, Caroline S. Lowenthal G completed the race even after running the Boston Marathon earlier in the week.

As a new fun event this year, four team members also competed in a draft-legal mixed-team sprint relay a few hours after the Olympic race. In this relay, each team member swam 250 yards, biked 3.5 miles, and ran one mile. The team consisted of two males and two females, including Edrie B. Ortega G along with Lowenthal, Frankovich, and Nicaise.