Women's triathlon coach Bob Hepler hosted a free youth clinic for 16 female athletes in July. The event was sponsored by EMU and USATriathlon, which has contributed three years of grant funding towards a new women's triathlon program at EMU. (Photo by Macson McGuigan)

EMU hosts first women’s triathlon clinic

Eastern Mennonite University hosted 16 women triathletes at a free July 22 clinic to promote NCAA Women’s Triathlon.

The university announced the addition of women’s triathlon to its athletic program in the spring, funded by a three-year grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation.

The program will begin its first competitive season this fall. Bob Hepler, a seven-time Ironman qualifier and head of EMU’s cross country and track and field programs, will coach the team.

Women’s collegiate triathlon, which features a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run, is classified by the NCAA as an “emerging sport.”

The free half-day clinic, presented by EMU and USA Triathlon, began with a workshop on bike handling and safety. Athletes participated in drills and a workout based on their level of experience, then moved into running drills and a 1600m time trial. EMU Associate Head Track and Field Coach Erick Camodeca was assisted by five-time NCAA national qualifier Grant Amoateng.

After cycling to the Westover Park pool, assistant triathlon coach Chad Gusler led athletes through drills and warmup before a 100m time trial. A bike-to-run transition workshop followed by area triathlon coach and athlete Emily Sherrill. After the adventurous ride back to EMU, the athletes were presented with wonderful parting gifts supplied by USA Triathlon.

A second clinic is being considered for later in the summer.

Contact Bob Hepler, bob.hepler@emu.edu, for more information.

 

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