The Gauchos’ first race of Triathlon season was both a success and a blast! The team left for Irvine on Saturday, 2/9, taking two vans and enjoyed a smooth ride down from Santa Barbara. As alarms went off at 4:30am the next morning, the gauchos sprung out of from their sleeping bags filled with excitement and nervousness ready to take on the first race. Upon arrival at the transition area, the news quickly spread that bike section was cancelled due to the rain that morning. The athletes experienced mixed emotions as they then keenly prepared for the run-swim-run.
At the starting line, all the jitteriness and nerves were encountered with a beautiful Southern California sunrise and our “olé, olé” cheer that rang through the Irvine suburbs. When the horn went off, the men, shortly followed by the women, dashed around the field beginning the 6k run. Athletes sped through transition until jumping feet-first into the pool where they zig-zagged, flip-turned, and splashed their way through a transient two-hundred-fifty yards. Emerging out of the water and tearing their way back the transition, they raced the final stretch as a 2k until flouncing their feet through the finish line.
Our very own Iris Wu took second place on the women’s side followed by Bella Ward placing seventh, and there were many strong performances from first time Zot-Trotters Bella Siering, Emily Wapman, Addie Seale, and Angela Huang. On the men's side, Ricardo Cortes took eighth place followed by Eddie Schultz, and Jacob Ogawa, and Jared Kliszewski taking 10th, 11th, and 12th place, respectively.
Overall, this race was a great way to kick off the season! Special thanks to Dane’s family for allowing us to squeeze into their lovely home in Irvine and making it possible for so many athletes to compete. Also thank you to Coach Matt, Sean, and former president Gordon for making the drive down to support all of us.
KellyClaire Robertson, Team Member.