TEMPE, Ariz. - Three-time defending champion University of Colorado added another team title to their collection Saturday at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. Colorado also won the men's team title and the women's team award went to California, while the Elite Triathlon Academy bested the Mixed-Team Relay field.
Colorado scored 3,926 combined points, edging out second-place team California by only two points. The CU Buffs have been dominant since 2010 and have now taken four consecutive team awards back to Boulder, Colo. California scored 3,924 points, and UCLA was third with 3,727.
The Colorado men had three finishers in the top eight, scoring 1,986 points for yet another men's championship. California earned runners-up honors with 1,926 points, and Michigan took third place with 1,897 points.
Erickson also won the combined award for her performances in the Draft-Legal Collegiate Championship on Friday and the Olympic-distance championship on Saturday. Ben Kanute from Arizona locked up the combined award on men's side with his back-to-back titles in the individual events. Recaps of Friday's draft-legal event and Saturday's Olympic-distance race are available on usatriathlon.org.
The Elite Triathlon Academy at University of Colorado Colorado Springs was nearly three minutes faster than the rest of the field in the Mixed-Team Relay, the final event of the Collegiate Nationals weekend. Avery Evenson, Luke Farkas, Johanna Gartman and Kevin McDowell combined their talents to finish in 1:06:15. California was second in 1:09:07, and U.S. Naval Academy was third with a time of 1:10:05.
"It was amazing to come out here in this team atmosphere and participate as a team," McDowell said. "That's not always a triathlon thing. You have a team, and you train with them, but to actually finish as a team and do this altogether when everyone has just as important of a role, it's just one of the best things you could ask for."
In all, 1,015 athletes representing 108 schools competed in the Olympic-distance Collegiate National Championship, an event that first began in 1994 at the Wildflower Triathlon.
Complete results will be available here later this weekend.
Photo: The winning Mixed-Team Relay team from UCCS (USA Triathlon).