On January 3rd, it was announced that the Xavier University Triathlon Club qualified for 3 slots at the Collegiate Nationals on April 21st, 2012.
After 3 successful collegiate races in September and October, Xavier earned 2 male and 1 female slot to compete in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Representing Xavier will be Juniors John McClellan and Aaron Isett and Freshman Alexis Vanbastelaer.
This will be McClellan's 19th career triathlon, his third at the Olympic distance. His personal record at the length is a 2:37:45 at Deer Creek in 2010. He is ranked 65th overall in the MidEast Collegiate Triathlon Conference. 2011 was his most successful triathlon season, having completed his first Ironman and finishing 2nd in the Wheelie Fun Sprint Series that took place over the summer.
“I'm thrilled to represent Xavier on the national scale,” McClellan commented. “Some of the racers [at Nationals] have posted times faster than our USA Olympic team. It's an honor and a dream come true to compete with some of the best at this sport.”
McClellan hopes to post a 2:15 in April.
Isett is in the first year of his triathlon career, having completed his first in May of last year in Cincinnati. Prior to triathlon, he was a member of Xavier's Boxing Club. He has since competed in 7 triathlons of 3 different lengths. He has only done one Olympic distance race, Caesar Creek in 2011, where he posted a 2:54:45.
Though she will have only done 3 triathlons prior to the competition, Vanbastelaer has posted some of the conference's fastest times. Her sub-23 minute 5k places her high on the list, and her times are still improving in the three disciplines. It's Vanbastelaer's hope to complete a 100+ mile bike ride over the summer in her home state of Indiana.
Obviously, qualifying for nationals in its first year in the MECTC is a huge success for the Xavier Triathlon Club.
“I'm pleased we were able to send some of our athletes to Alabama,” Club President Stephen Lamb announced. “We've grown a lot over the year, and sending a team to Nationals is a true testament to our growth.”
Other members of the club hope to compete in the open division—which means they will be able to represent Xavier's colors but cannot contribute to Xavier's final 2011-2012 rank.