By Lyn Stoler
A mere week after the UCSD Tritonman, the Cal Triathlon team made the sleepy drive to UC Davis for the Aggieathlon. For those who did not race UCSD, it was the first race of the season, and the energy was high as both beginners and veterans prepared themselves for the sprint. Looking around, bright green race shirts were everywhere- warming up, setting up transition, or simply there as a spectator and cheerleader.
As the spectators gathered along the bridge, they could look down and see the freezing American River, and the baptism that was taking place at the moment. And just upstream of the baptism, the Cal women were congregating and loudly huddling for the team cheer as the men began their race.
To everyone’s great shock and surprise, Greg Harper was first out of the water for the Cal men, followed shortly by Eric. After some lightning-fast transitions, the men were off to the bike portion of the race. Just a few minutes behind them, the girls were finishing up their swim. First out of the water was Lydia Roth, with Emily Lin a mere second behind her. Again, the transition flew by as the girls made their way onto the fast and flat bike course.
Although there is some speculation on the actual distance of the bike course, the three short laps gave Greg Harper enough time to move into first place for the collegiate men, which he would hold throughout the remainder of the race. With no time for dead legs, the Cal men sped over the out-and-back, shaded 5K run to take first place (Greg Harper) and three other spots in the top 15.
The women’s race was just as exciting, as Lydia Roth held her first place position for the entirety of the race, and Kat Velicki managed to slide into second with a frighteningly fast run split. And if anyone ever questions how fast our girls are just point them to the women’s leaderboard- with Lydia R., Kat, Anna Kudej, Emily Lin, Anna Belk, Liz Bruns, and Aisia Azus all placing in the top 10.
Whether it was their first triathlon, or the beginning of their last season with the team, every athlete did an amazing job representing Cal at UC Davis.
The Cal men were clearly a force to be reckoned with, and the Cal women simply dominated as they made up half of the entire collegiate women’s field. Whether it was taking over the rankings or cheering loudly in our equally loud green race shirts, Cal Tri made it absolutely clear- the 2015 Aggieathlon was Bear Territory.