COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In just one month the nation's top collegiate triathletes will once again descend on Tuscaloosa, Ala. - the home of the University of Alabama - for the 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship on Saturday, April 21.
A capacity field of more than 1,200 collegiate triathletes is expected to vie for individual and team national titles in the Olympic-distance championship event, which features a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run starting and finishing at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. The women's race will start at 7:30 a.m., followed by the men at 10:30 a.m.
New for 2012 is the mixed team relay, which will begin at 4 p.m. Each four-person team must consist of two females and two males who will complete a super-sprint triathlon before tagging their teammate. The first athlete will race a 275m swim, 6k bike and 1.6k run; the three remaining athletes will complete a 250m swim, 6k bike and 1.6k run.
"USA Triathlon has enjoyed remarkable support from the town of Tuscaloosa over the past six years, and we look forward to returning Collegiate Nationals to one of the nation's best-known college towns," USA Triathlon National Events Director Jeff Dyrek said. "The atmosphere and camaraderie of Collegiate Nationals is unparalleled in triathlon, and our new team relay event gives the student-athletes another opportunity to display their school spirit."
Led by men's national champion Rudy Kahsar, Colorado repeated as the combined team champion in 2011. CU also won the men's team title a year ago, while the U.S. Naval Academy won the women's team crown.
The USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship has been a springboard to success for some of the nation's top up-and-coming triathletes in recent years, including current elite athletes Rudy Kahsar, Kaitlin Shiver, Caitlin Snow, Barrett Brandon, Kevin Collington, Amanda Felder, Ben Hoffman, Nicole Kelleher and Steve Sexton, who all captured individual collegiate titles.
Photo Credit: Rudy Kahsar won the men's race at 2011 USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals (CIMAGES).