Triathlon Women Gear Up For Regionals

The Royals have become a tight-knit group in their first season. (photo by DoCo Photography)
The Royals have become a tight-knit group in their first season. (photo by DoCo Photography)

In their just their second full triathlon in program history, the Eastern Mennonite University women held their own in a field packed with upper division athletes.

The Royals were at the Tri at the Trump on Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte, N.C., and were again led by Abigail Shelly (Collinsville, Miss./West Lauderdale).

Shelly charted a time of 12:37 in the 750m swim, held her own in the bike, and then ran a 22:09 5k to come in 31st out of 114 participants. Emma Hoover (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) made her move with a 42:17 time in the 13.25-mile bike, the best of any EMU women, before a solid 23:29 in the run.

Lydia Chappell Deckert (North Newton, Kan./Newton) and Leah Lapp (Lowville, N.Y./Beaver River Central) had times of 13:07 and 13:33, respectively, in the frenetic swim to start Sunday's race.

The EMU women head to Smith Mountain Lake in two weeks for the Southeast Regional qualifier on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Tri at the Trump
Top Finisher:
Abigail Shelly – 31st of 114 (1:20.35)
Full Team: Emma Hoover – 36th (1:24.13); Lydia Chappell Deckert – 38th (1:25.14); Leah Lapp – 57th (1:31.28)

Coach Bob Hepler said:
The women of EMU Triathlon continue to improve. Today, once again, they competed against all D1 and D2 competition as they prepare for the NCAA Regional race on October 19th. That's when our athletes will finally get to compete against other D3 schools.

Today's improvement was mostly seen in the swim and bike that has been our training emphasis the last month. The Royals were once again lead by Abigail Shelly who had a strong race despite being sick. Emma Hoover, Lydia Chappell Deckert and Leah Lapp also showed great improvement in the second full triathlon.

The next two weeks will see lots of pool time under the guidance of Coach Chad Gusler and intense bike rides with Coach Joanna Friesen. The athletes and I are very grateful for these coaches as we prepare for regionals.