South Dakota’s triathletes finished second behind Arizona State at the West Regional Qualifier on Sunday morning. The event consisted of swimming, running and biking. Five other schools competed at this event, including Wagner College, Black Hills State, Colorado Mesa, Northern Vermont and Daemen College.
Freshman Leah Drengenberg led USD’s triathletes with a fourth-place finish. Drengenberg completed the entire course in 1:02:38. She had the second fastest time out of the water and the fourth fastest time on the bike course. The winner, Arizona State’s Hannah Henry, finished the course in 1:00:42. Arizona swept the top three spots in this event and has won the last two national championships in women’s triathlon.
South Dakota freshman Sammy Whitting competed in her first triathlon event as a part of USD’s team. Whitting finished the course in 1:04:03, good for eighth place. She completed the 5,000 meter-run in 20:55, the fastest time by any Coyote.
USD’s final scoring triathlete in the event was freshman Payton Ryz. She finished the course in 13th place, with a final time of 1:05:13.
Seniors Brook Benes and Kathleen Juffer also competed in the event. Benes finished in 32nd with a time of 1:10:48, and Juffer finished 42nd in 1:17:19.
USD’s next event is at the East Regional Qualifier on Oct. 20 in Huddleston, Virginia.