Cal-Berkeley’s Bear Schickel and UCSD’s Marissa Saenger win 2021 collegiate club national titles


MALIBU, California. – Bear Schickel of the University of California-Berkeley and Marissa Saenger of the University of California-San Diego won the men’s and women’s national titles on Saturday at the 2021 US National Triathlon Collegiate Club Championships, held as part of the iconic Malibu Triathlon.

Approximately 400 college athletes from over 20 club teams competed in the flagship event of the National College Club Championships weekend. The Olympic distance course centered on Zuma Beach and included a 1,500-meter swim, a 41-kilometer bike, and a 10-kilometer run.

The Malibu Triathlon presented by Bank of America, held at Zuma Beach, is one of the most anticipated events on the US multisport calendar each year. In addition to the collegiate club championship races, the weekend also featured sprint and Olympic distance races by age groups and the famous celebrity division of the Malibu Triathlon, in which celebrities, studios, corporations entertainment industry and professional triathletes compete while raising funds for the children’s hospital. Los Angeles.

The 2021 US Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships were originally scheduled for April in Tempe, Arizona, but have been postponed and moved to Malibu, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schickel competed at the 2019 U.S. Collegiate Triathlon National Club Championships, the last time the event was held. Saturday’s race was a welcome return to college racing for the Cal Bear triathlete.

“It went on for two and a half years. I loved coming here and racing with my team and just seeing all the guys there. I missed it so much,” said Schickel. He won Saturday’s Olympic distance race in 1 hour 55 minutes 18 seconds.

Schickel nearly led end to end, coming out of the water 6 seconds behind Cal-Berkeley teammate Johnathan Dolan, who swam the fastest of the day in 19:16. Schickel created his lead on the bike, covering the 41km bike course with a lead time of 57:34. He also had the fastest transition from bike racing to racing – those precious seconds count as he finished just 7 seconds ahead of Parker University’s Garrett Mayeaux, who was second in 1: 55:25.

“It was absolutely amazing to be here. I couldn’t be happier with the way the race went,” said Schickel, who ran with familiar faces leading the field, while Cal- Berkeley placed four in the top five, including Ryan Lund, who was third in 1:56:09 to complete the men’s podium.

“We were hungry to prove ourselves. We had a great performance,” said Schickel, who competed in the IRONMAN 70.3 world championship last weekend in St. George, Utah.

In the women’s race, it was triathlon rookie Saenger who used her elite running skills to fight her way to the national title in 2:10:51. Saturday’s race was only the second triathlon for Saenger, who used to compete as a track and field and cross-country athlete, but injuries often forced her to readjust in the pool and on the bike.

“It was tough. The start of the swim was a bit hectic, people were swimming on me, but I knew that if I could hang on to the swim I could get back on the bike and the race.” said Saenger, who started this semester as a graduate student at the University of California-San Diego. “Everyone on the team has been great and very supportive and since I don’t know the sport very well , they teach me everything. ”

Saenger used a blazing speed of 37:24 10km – 3 minutes faster than anyone on the pitch – to fight his way to the podium and win the national championship.

Kathryn Kennedy of Cal-Berkeley was second in 2:11:23 and third place was a familiar face – two-time Paralympic medalist Grace Norman who won silver in the women’s PTS5 category last month at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Norman, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, has now competed twice at the Collegiate Club National Championships, joining Paralympic gold medalist Allysa Seely as the only two paratriathletes to compete in the Olympic distance field of the collegiate club national championships.

Norman, representing Cedarville University, finished with a time of 02:14:03 in just his second Olympic distance race.

“Running here was super fun. It’s an amazing, fun, beautiful course, the girls didn’t disappoint with their competitiveness. I’m grateful for everything Cedarville University has done for me, so come run a last time to wrap up this chapter on college racing is amazing, ”said Norman.“ The bike felt a lot longer than I wanted and so was the race so it was a bit painful. I felt like I had enough time to get into my zone and run the miles and it ended up going a lot better than I expected. ”

In addition to the Collegiate Club National Championships and the Annual Age Group Race, for the first time, the Malibu Triathlon also hosted some of the world’s fastest triathletes competing in the Series Finals of 2021 Super League triathlon championships – the first Super League event to be held on American soil. The Super League Triathlon acquired the Malibu Triathlon in December 2020. Britain’s Alex Yee won Saturday’s race in an exciting way, securing the overall Super League Triathlon Championship Series victory for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist. in the women’s, Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the Super League final on Saturday, while Britain’s Georgia Taylor Brown took the overall victory in the Super League Triathlon Championship Series.

Katie Zaferes, American bronze medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, finished third in the Super League triathlon championship series.

Collegiate Club Nationals action continues Sunday, with a traditional relay featuring teams of three (one athlete in swimming, one in cycling and one in running). The relay will be a sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and the teams will be all male or all female.

United States Collegiate Triathlon Club National Olympic Distance Championships
1,500 m swimming, 41 km cycling, 10 km running

College men

1. Bear Schickel (University of California, Berkeley), 1:55:18
2. Garrett Mayeaux (Parker University), 1:55:25
3. Ryan Lund (University of California, Berkeley), 1:56:09
4. Jonathan McKinley (University of California, Berkeley), 1:56:32
5. Prashanth Ganesh (University of California, Berkeley), 1:56:42

College women
1. Marissa Saenger (University of California, San Diego), 2:10:51
2. Kathryn Kennedy (University of California, Berkeley), 2:11:23
3. Grace Norman (Cedarville University), 2:14:03
4. Sarah Darcel (University of California, Berkeley) 2:14:08
5. Jenna Horner (George Washington University), 2:14:16

About the United States Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions over 4,000 events and connects with over 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multi-sport organization in the world. In addition to its local work with athletes, coaches and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing in international events, including Championships of the world of triathlon, the Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is proud to be a member of the World Triathlon and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

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