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Breaking Down the Favorites and Contenders: Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals 2024 Preview

Updated: Apr 10


Lake Mission Viejo

Back in November, 2023 I wrote a detailed prediction post of NCAA Triathlon Nationals that ended up being incredibly accurate. One thing I need to mention is that leading into NCAA Triathlon Nationals almost every team and their top athletes race 2-4 times in the 2 months leading into Nationals so there is a lot more recent and relevant data for me to analyze and pull from. In Club Triathlon that is not the case. Many east coast and central conferences have not raced since October. Therefore, to detail a full top 100 prediction model without the correct data is simply not possible for Collegiate Club Nationals which take place in Mission Viejo, CA on April 13th-14th. As a result, for this blog post I will put some names into the categories of Favorites (for the podium) and Contenders (for top 5 - 20th). If your name or the name of another contender is not on this list, I do not have anything against you or think you cannot win. I can almost guarantee that someone not listed on this list will do very well. It has happened since I raced Collegiate Club Nationals back in the 2011-15 era. If you don't see your name on here, email or DM me some results. If you did not race at your conference championship last year or this year there is no way for me to have you listed in this unless if someone emailed or DMs me about you.

It is also almost impossible to know who is returning back to their program as grade is not listed in last years results and there is no "eligibility limits" for grad students in collegiate club triathlon as long as someone is a full time student. So if someone was top 20 at Nationals last year and is returning but not listed below, email or DM me and let me know!


This is my best effort to help promote a sport that doesn't get much promotion these days. Lastly, the names are listed in no particular order:

Men's Contenders

Name

School

Conference Result

Nationals 23'

Prashanth Ganesh

Berkeley

3rd

OLY - 20th

Dmitriy Major

UCSD

4th

OLY - 47th

Johnathan Dolan

Berkeley

5th

Dl - 16th, OLY - 17th

Nick Dorn

Stanford

6th

DL - 23rd, OLY - 59th

Matheus Menezes

CU Boulder

2nd

DL - 31st, OLY - 21st

Stephen Garr

GCU

3rd

OLY - 43rd

Conrad Sanders

U of A

4th

DNS

Charlie Smoak

Wingate

6th

OLY - 11th

Martin Garcia

Wingate

7th

OLY - 27th

Kevin Burke

West point

1st

DNS

Adler Brininger

West point

2nd

DL - 25th, OLY - 31st

Samuel Andrews

West point

3rd

DL - 18th, OLY - 45th

Tommy Doubleday

VT

-

OLY - 80th

Jackson Harrell

MSU

-

DL - 9th, OLY - 34th

Women's Contenders

Name

School

Conference Result

Nationals 23'

Ava Smith

SBCC

4th

DL - 14th, OLY - 16th

Mckenzie Clark

Berkeley

5th

OLY - 28th

Bridget Patrick

Stanford

6th

OLY - 72nd

Madeline Tapp

CU Boulder

2nd

OLY - 46th

Shoshanah Stukas

GCU

3rd

OLY - 50th

Tenley Hughes

U of A

4th

DNS

Anna Besenyei

Queens

3rd

DNS

Abby Kim

NAVY

4th

OLY - 36th

Anna Heard

UW-Madison

1st

OLY - 163rd

Rachel Ilgen

UW-Madison

2nd

DL - 15th, OLY -19th

Amanda Joy

Northeastern University

1st

DL - 20th, OLY - 30th

Emma McGovern

West Point

2nd

DNF

Anna Pertl

Yale

3rd

OLY - 84th

Bella Chirafisi

Colorado St

-

DL - 42nd, OLY - 197th

Men's Favorites

Name

School

Conference Result

Nationals 23'

Wiktor Rajca

Berkeley

1st

OLY - 37th

Edoardo Leone

UCLA

2nd

DL - 14th, OLY - 24th

Mark Romano

USAF

1st

DL - 10th, OLY - 6th

Jeremy Maclean

Queens

1st

DNS

Luis Steiert

Wingate

2nd

DL - 5th, OLY - 3rd

Dan Odell

Queens

3rd

OLY - 16th

Xoel Abad

Wingate

4th

DL - DNF, OLY - 8th

Tristen Jones

Queens

5th

OLY - 18th

Jake Baugher

Wingate

DNS

DL - 2nd, OLY - 5th

Joshua Berles

Queens

DNS

DNS

Daniel Gossow

Queens

5th (DL)

OLY - 9th

Ben Capozzi

Queens

6th (DL)

OLY - DNF

Women's Favorites

Name

School

Conference Result

Nationals 23'

Gigi Mitchell

UCSB

1st

OLY - 44th

Fiona Davoudi

UC Davis

2nd

DL - 24th, OLY - 25th

Joanna Coker

UCSD

3rd

DNS

Annie Meeder

CU Boulder

1st

OLY - 34th

Jana Millat

Queens

1st

OLY - 20th

Clare Anne Dasso

Queens

2nd

DNS

What I Expect:


With the DL and MTR on day one, and the Olympic on day two, this race is slightly different than the format from the early 2010's. Back then, DL was day #1, Olympic was the morning of day #2, and MTR was afternoon of day #2. What that meant was the deep teams that could rest someone from the Olympic (rarely happened) had a massive advantage on the MTR. That is no longer the case. In the MTR, Cal Berkley returns as the reigning National MTR Champs. Queens took 2nd in the MTR last year, NAVY was 3rd, Colorado St was 4th, and Cal Poly was 5th (CU Boulder had a DQ I believe). I expect each of these same 5 teams, along with CU Boulder to be in contention for the win. I could see a few more WCCTC teams sneak into the mix as well due to historically having some of the strongest women in the field. This MTR / DL course has a little bit of technicality in it, for a full DL and MTR course preview check out my YouTube Video Here. For the DL, its very hard to predict what will happen. I do think this course potentially favoring a group of 5-10 athletes that swim well and can get a gap on the main group. DL format usually rewards strong swim-runners but I think the course has potential to also reward aggressive riding. However, we will see if either race has people take that risk or if it comes together into a bigger group and thus becomes a running race. For the Olympic, this is my old training grounds from back when I could hold 448 watts for 30 minutes. If you need a coach to improve your FTP send me a inquiry (shameless plug). This course is not very technical, but it does have some fast descents depending on if there is any crosswind. I hit 50mph a few times in the canyon section of the ride during training, but you really have to hammer the crest of a climb to make that happen. I think it will reward big power riders (*who can still climb well). I think the WCCTC who raced at the famous MTS course for their conference championship have a big advantage as this bike course plays out in a similar fashion. What will be exciting to see is if big gaps open up, if anyone "overrode" to get the big gap. Because with a big hill near mile 4 of the run, if you go above redline you will pay on the back half of the run. All this to say I don't expect super fast times but I do think it should play out in a exciting way! Ill stay away from trying to predict the top 5 athletes this year, but best of luck to everyone racing!


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