Bailey Zubke: What is your favorite part of competing in triathlon?
Brook Benes: My favorite part of competing in the triathlon was being able to mentor the freshman coming into the program and USD because freshman year as an athlete can be so tough. Especially when you are joining a first-year team at a D1 college. I am excited to see the progress of this program and am grateful to be able to say that I was apart of the inaugural year of triathlon at USD. I also enjoyed being able to travel to some fun places throughout the season!
BZ: Was it difficult to prepare for triathlon when it hasn’t been a sport at USD until this year?
BB: Yes, it was very difficult as I had never competitively swam or biked before. I was previously on the cross country and track team here at USD and still have eligibility for outdoor track, so running was not a problem for me. But I had to learn how to properly swim with a correct stroke and form as well as breathe correctly, which took a lot of time in the summer and I kept progressing throughout the season. However, I took on the bike pretty well as I had been injured a decent amount of my years here at USD running so I have cross-trained on the bike before. But getting on and off the bike in the transition area took some time to learn.
BB: It is a little frustrating because I feel like I could have significantly improved, but the current and recruited triathletes at USD are amazing and honestly if I had another year left of eligibility I would have been blown out of the water… literally. But honestly, I am really grateful for the opportunity and I can always sign up for races as an age grouper in the future if I want to continue to compete!