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Triathalon Club sparks interest

Kristen Durbin | Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Although its founders encountered a few obstacles throughout the club approval process, the Notre Dame Triathlon Club had a good year, said junior Karl Kingery, co-president of the newly formed club.

Kingery, an experienced triathlete, and junior Brian Sheridan, co-president of the club, came up with the idea of creating a group dedicated to training for triathlons last year.
“Brian approached me with the idea because he knew I had done triathlons in the past,” Kingery said. “I thought it was a great idea, so we went through all the hoops with the Student Activities Office and got it working.”

During the process of gaining approval for the club, Kingery and Sheridan enlisted junior Kyle Nickodem to fill the position of club secretary.

After garnering a sizable amount of student interest at Activities Night in the fall, the club officers said they were enthusiastic about the club’s first year.

“About 130 people signed up at Activities Night, and a lot of people showed up at the first meeting, too,” Kingery said. “I think some people were turned off to the club because we can’t actually compete for Notre Dame.”

Kingery said he hopes the club can become a member of the Collegiate U.S. Association of Triathlons (CUSAT) within the next two  or three years, which would allow club members to officially compete as a team in triathlons.

“RecSports requires that clubs be at tier three to compete against other schools,” Kingery said. “Since we’re not at tier three yet, we have to wait a few years before we can compete.”

Despite its current non-competitive status, the Triathlon club holds four one-hour practices a week, with each practice focusing on a different triathlon event. Each club officer also unofficially leads a different aspect of practice based on their athletic specialties.

“I lead the swim practices because I swam here freshman year,” Kingery said. “Brian and Kyle are big runners, so they lead those practices.”

Kingery also said the current treasurer, freshman Tyler Saucedo, specializes in virtually everything involved in the club’s practices.

Kingery said the club has attracted students from vastly different skill levels, from students who have never done a triathlon to people who have completed Ironman equivalent competitions.

Saucedo said he agreed, and said anyone who is interested in triathlons to find out more about the club.

“If people are trying to get in shape for summer triathlons, join the club,” Saucedo said. “If you haven’t done one or are just interested, come to practices, too.”

In addition to functioning as a triathlon-training group, the club members participate in the biathlon held each fall on campus and hope to host a biathlon on campus next spring, providing SAO approves the club’s budget, said Kingery. The club is currently selling shirts for $15 as a fundraiser for the group.

Kingery said he hopes to find a triathlon for students to compete in individually sometime in April.

“Our main goal is competing, even if it is hard to find triathlons happening now,” Kingery said. “But I have high hopes for next year.”