FREMONT, IND. -- The Trine University women's triathlon team hosted its first-ever event this past Saturday (Sept. 14) and finished fifth overall at the Trine Triple Sprint Invitational held at Trine State Recreation Area in Fremont, Ind.
The Thunder finished in a three-way tie for third place in points (42), but took fifth overall out of 10 schools participating via tie-breaker. Drury (Mo.) University captured the overall team title with 10 points and was followed by North Central (Ill.) College in second place with 27 points. Daemen (N.Y.) University rounded out the top three with 42 points after tie-breaker.
The event consisted of three total races with each composed of a 300-yard swim, a five-mile bike and then 1.25 mile run. Each competitor's time in each race was then added together for the final overall cumulative time.
Individually, Trine was paced all day by freshman Amira Faulkner (Bellbrook, Ohio/Bellbrook) who placed seventh overall out of 50 total competitors with a cumulative time of 1:25:00 after three races. Faulkner finished sixth in the first two races of the day with times of 28:25 and 27:59, respectively. She then posted a time of 28:36 in the third and final race of the day which was the seventh quickest mark. In the second race, her fastest of the day, Faulkner had one of the fastest times in the swim leg of 4:58 and then had an equally strong mark of 14:28 in the bike leg and then averaged just over six minutes per mile in the run, finishing in a time of 7:47.
Freshman Ali Smith (Temperance, Mich./Bedford Senior) had the second fastest finish for the Thunder and posted a top-15 showing overall in 14th place with a total time of 1:30:35. Smith's strongest finish came in the first race of the day in which she recorded a time of 29:56 mark after a sub-five minute swim (4:55) to start things off, then 16:11 in the bike and ended with a time of 7:55 in the run. Smith recorded a time of 30:13 in the second race and fell just slightly slower in the final race, turning in a time of 30:26.
Junior Tori Klingsmith (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) was the third fastest Trine competitor and finished just outside the top-20 in 21st place after an overall time of 1:35:16. Klingsmith had three consistant races that included nearly identical times in the first two of the day with her best race time coming in race number one of 31:28. She followed that performance with a 31:29 mark in the second race and ended the day in a time of 32:19 in the final race. In the first race, she opened with a 6:14 mark in the swim and then had one of the stronger times among the field in the bike at 15:35 and then ran a time of 8:46 in the running segment for her overall time of 31:28.
Freshman Samantha Weaver (Stevensville, Mich./Lakeshore) was the next highest finisher in 26th place finishing with an overall time of 1:38:18. She recorded individual race times of 31:52, 32:17 and 33:09. Weaver's strongest segment in her first race was the swim in which she turned in one of the quicker times against her competitors of 5:08. She went on to finish in a time of 16:45 in the bike and then a mark of 8:48 in the run for her best cumulative race time on the day of 31:52.
The final Thunder competitor was sophomore Rachel Jones (Indianapolis, Ind./Plainfield) who ended the event with a combined total of 1:49:38 to finish 43rd overall. Jones recorded her best individual race time in the opening competition at 35:44 in which she had a solid time of 5:39 in the swim, then followed with a time of 17:58 in the bike and then finally a mark of 11:01 in the running segment. Her final two race times were almost identical that included a time of 36:58 in the second race and 36:56 in the final race.
The next race on the schedule for the Thunder will be the East Regional Qualifier on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Smith Mountain Lake, Va. The Division III race is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.