The Coyotes women’s triathlon team won an at-large bid for the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships at Tempe, Arizona. They will next compete on Nov. 11.
One of the top performers for the Coyotes this year is sophomore Chelsea Webber. At the West Regional Championships this season, Webber finished second overall for the Coyotes and 15th overall in the event with a time of 1:05:42.68.
Webber, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, said she competed in cross country and swim and dive, which is a big reason why she decided to join triathlon.
“I grew up swimming competitively and running in high school, and during (COVID-19) when all the pools shut down, my parents told me to bike a little bit to keep up with my fitness,” Webber said. “That summer, my parents told me to try a triathlon, and there were colleges at that competition, and my parents told me to try and do it in college.”
Webber decided to do triathlon in college after her senior year of high school, and she credits the people at USD for why she is here.
“The people make it so fun and they make it easy,” Webber said.
Webber finished 28th in the National Championships last year as a freshman and hopes to do better this year. Webber said her teammates are a big reason she is where she is today.
“It feels like such an honor, and I feel like our team is really strong,” Webber said. “We all work so hard when we come to practice everyday, and everyone has their own individual personality so that they can lead in their own way.”
While the team can help Webber, she knows she has to come into practice and work everyday to be the best she can be, but in the end, it will all be worth it.
“We swim in the morning, and in the afternoon, we do a long bike ride into a run or a track workout,” Webber said. “It takes quite a bit of work, but I think once we get to the race it makes it all worth it.”
Webber said her team is a family to her. Webber also said head coach Kyle Joplin is the “team dad,” and she enjoys having him as the coach.
“Coach Kyle always puts us first and does everything for us, and he is like a team dad,” Webber said.
Webber and the Coyotes will compete in the USA Collegiate National Championship in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 11. There, the Coyotes will come into the event as the ninth-ranked team, and they will compete in “Heat 1.”
Photo Credit: Submitted | Black Hills State