Central Region Qualifier
They’re back – in search of a third National Championship in as many seasons, the North Central Cardinals are in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin for the Central Region Qualifier. Cardinals not opening up at home for the first time in the program’s 4 year existence. Grace Miller returns as the only 4-year member – steering a roster full of new faces. Cloudy, rainy day won’t keep the lifeguards from breaking out the paddleboard.
To the beach for the start… and the mad dash to the water kicks off the season. Ahead of the athletes – a 750 meter swim – which requires two circuits around the buoys out in the middle of Lake Andrea.
The water a little choppy with storms and rain come through in the early morning hours.
First Cardinal to emerge from the water is the senior, Grace Miller. The Missouri native has three top-three finishes at Nationals – including the individual title in 2017.
Newcomer Annika Cotner exits as the second Cardinal, Molly Olk third.
Two laps are over…. At least for the leaders as they run up the hill and to transition. Miller not far behind with a 11:14 mark in the water, along with some athletes from Millikin.
Miller getting in and out of the first transition… 21.8 seconds to grab her bike and go.
Following 30 seconds behind is Cotner, who’s just as speedy moving to the bike.
Behind them is senior Maddy Scopp and freshman Cora Isaacson.
The course is wet, which means, bikers have to use caution around the turns – and the leaders from Arizona State are navigating it well.
Miller in a pack of five other cyclist hugging the turn heading to the turnaround – which completes the first of three loops.
Here come Olk in the same spot – the biking portion a 19k course with 6 turnarounds.
Scopp trying to make up some ground in her first collegiate triathlon race. The 2018 national qualifier in cross country making the switch to triathlon this season. Annika Cotner not far behind.
And here come the Sun Devils invading transition for the season time – Arizona State will once again host the National meet in Mid-November.
Miller finishing the biking portion in 34 minutes and 32 seconds. Cotner just a hair behind at 34 minutes and 40 seconds – and head coach Jenny Garrison cheering on from the road.
Meanwhile, Olk and Scopp both hitting the running portion – 3rd and 4th respectively among the Cardinals.
Kyla Roy and Audrey Earnest running away with the event thanks to a strong running performance.
Here comes Miller midway through the 5K run – she’d finish this portion of the race in 23 minutes and 11 seconds.
Cotner completes it in 22 minutes and 44 seconds.
And how about Scopp – 4th fastest time among ALL divisions with a 19:35 time.
There’s your winner… Roy with a time of 1 hour and 44 seconds.
Scopps blazing running time pushes her to 4th place in division three – 1 hour, 9 minutes and 38 seconds.
Miller places 6th – an hour, 10 minutes flat.
Cotner 7th, an hour, 10 minutes an 12 seconds.
Molly Olk the fourth Cardinal to finish, 2 and a half minutes behind
And Isaacson completes the 5 finishers with a time of one hour, 17 minutes and 5 seconds.
Cardinals finish first among D 3 schools – setting up another run to the National Title.