Canadians were front and centre once again at today’s NCAA National Triathlon Championships in Tempe, Arizona as San Francisco University’s (SFU) Kira Gupta-Baltazar and Arizona State University’s (ASU) Hannah Henry went one-two in the Division I race. Henry also helped the ASU team take a fifth-straight national title. ASU’s Alexe Coursol (yes, another Canadian) took the freshman of the year honours with her eighth-place finish. ASU is coached by Canadian Cliff English, too.
Canadians have won the last four NCAA titles – with Henry taking the title in 2017 and 2018, her ASU teammate Kyla Roy taking the 2019 championship, and Gupta-Baltazar keeping the Canadian string going this year.
While ASU has been dominant in the team competition since the first NCAA event, this year’s race showed that other teams are catching up. Gupta-Batlazar’s SFU team had three athletes in the top four, enough to get them second overall in the standings. South Dakota took third overall in the team competition with a couple of athletes in the top 10 and has three Canadians on its roster – Cassandra Dalbec (29th), Ella Kubas (14th) and Teagan Shapansky.
In today’s race Gupta-Baltazar was first out of the water after the 750 m swim (9:54) and stayed near the front through the bike, hitting T2 in second place right behind Henry. Gupta-Baltazar’s 18:12 run split was enough to get her a clear win – she hit the line in 1:04:20 with Henry crossing 26-seconds later. Gupta-Baltazar’s teammates Gillian Cridge (1:05:23) and Molly Elliott (1:05:27) were fourth and fifth. Roy finished seventh in 1:06:12 with Coursol 11 seconds behind.
You can find results from today’s race here.