April 2013-Vol#6, Issue #6

Seven National Championships, 15 All-Americans, 20 of America's Finest Young leaders
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West Point Triathlon Team Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE
A New Style of Racing
Awards at USAT Collegiate Nationals
My First USAT Collegiate Nationals
My Last Collegiate Nationals
Meet Dustin Fulkerson
Meet 2nd Lt. Edward Chao

Crest Modification
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PRe-Race Huddle
TEAM SPONSORS
sponsor panel 2013
TEAM DONORS

Mr. David Hurley
USMA '65

Mr. Preston Miller
USMA '68

Mr. Jon Noll
USMA '70 

Mr. Bill Watkins
USMA '77

Mr. David Alberga USMA '84 

Mr. Daniel Webster



Letter from the Team
Greetings!
Coach OB
Head Coach Ian O'Brien

In the fall last year I set out some team objectives training wise in conjunction with the cadet leadership mission. To develop a team worthy of going to collegiate nationals. This was all about building a real team who train and suffer together, but also support each other and bond like brothers and sisters in arms on the field and in the races. With honesty, loyalty, courage, selfless commitment, respect for others and all the key morale components that are essential to building such a team.

 

The result of this hard work lead into the final weeks of the national championship race; the team was tightly knit, finely tuned machine, with each team member being a well oiled cog.  

 

Tied in with the morale components of team building were the self sacrifices needed to met along side their demanding training schedule. As the coach it's a very fine line to push them to the point of fatigue, to enable super-compensation and real performance gains, without impeding the teams academic standards. Introducing multiple new training protocols and logging workout diaries enabled the feedback and reaction necessary to make changes and gains within each of the athlete's programs.  

 

The result was a year unlike any previous years in terms of training and training load adaption. The specificity was developed in everything we did. There was no sessions without a specific goal. No junk yardage in the pool, only detailed and specific sessions led by my talented Swim Coach Greg Sautner. No junk rides on the bike and every session had a multitude of coaching guidelines to follow in reaction to the initial and continual analysis.  

 

The following year has been a tremendous success in reaching our original goals and team mission. The team won the North East Triathlon Collegiate Conference by a landslide, with much of the team hitting personal records at Montauk.  Taking the USA National Ironman 70.3 Collegiate title at Austin, TX, bringing home a seventh national championship! 

 

The first mile marker in the spring training was the team's spring break training trip to Cave Creek AZ.  The ten days of hard training, focused technique development, endurance capacity expansion and a ton of other aims. My goal was to make the training fit the current components of fitness needed at that time, but also put the cadets under a load to further take advantage of the effects of super-compensation. 

   

The team arrived in Tempe AZ for USAT Collegiate Nationals with a spring in their step. A real confidence in themselves and each other.  The draft-legal race went very well with all team members taking it out hard as they had trained to do. With a top 10 in both the men's and women's races. This was a great start and set the conditions for success in the following olympic distance race. Lt. Col. Allen gave a stirring speech the night before the race and the mood was set. 

 

When the gun went off and the chaos ensued, shortly after it was apparent that the young leaders were firing on all cylinders and taking it out hard. The speed and gusto from which they attacked each portion of the race was a sight to behold. The preliminary results yielded six athletes going under two hours with the fastest being 1:53:40. This was a huge statement in terms of progression compared to last years 2:03:00 as the best time. After the races the atmosphere was amazing.  

 

In the sport of triathlon comes the chance of gaining time penalties for numerous infractions. With a lost number belt, a misplaced helmet and an overtaking penalty, this had an effect on the scores. The original score was 43 points down from the outstanding University of Colorado Boulder triathlon team (who won the overall title with a plethora of professional athletes and triathlon recruited grad students) to the time penalties combined with a team 500 point deduction hit us hard in the rankings. However the ladies placed 3rd team overall. The results in terms of performance were the very best by the team and the biggest and most important factor  was we arrived as a confident and tight knit team and we left in the same manner.  I am very proud to coach and be associated with this amazing team! This is not because of those performance accolades, but because they simply are the most amazing human beings, and talented future leaders in the nation.  

 

2013 seen a tremendous and steep development for the team, and a promise that next year will be even better! Go Army Triathlon!

 

Ian O'Brien 

Head Coach

 

A New Style of Racing at Nationals
Comments by Cadet Andrew Lagasse '14
Clay and Lagasse
Cadets Jessica Clay '14 and Andrew Lagasse '14

The draft-legal race was an exciting addition to collegiate nationals this year. Spots in the draft-legal race were determined by the college's ranking within their regional conference. Cadets Chris Ryan '14, Andrew Lagasse '14, and Jessica Clay '14 all represented the Black Knights in the draft-legal race. Cadet Chris Ryan finished in 10th place in the men's race while Cadet Jessica Clay earned 7th place in the women's race. Together Chris and Jessica scored 83 points leading into Saturday's Olympic distance race.

 

The draft-legal race was by far one of the best races I have been able to be a part of since I have been at the academy. The draft-legal aspect was an exhilarating and highly competitive atmosphere at the collegiate level. Each athlete in the race gave it everything they could to represent their college and to give their team the biggest advantage going into Saturday. While the point value for each race was not large, the points played a huge factor in determining the overall winner of the race. The 1st and 2nd place teams overall were separated by only 2 points after the conclusion of Saturday's Olympic race. If it had not been for the draft legal race on Friday, Cal Berkeley would have been crowned the overall victor rather than the University of Colorado. This fact makes the draft legal race even more interesting as it grows and becomes a larger part of collegiate nationals. I look forward to the expansion of the draft legal race in future collegiate national events due to the fan friendly atmosphere it promoted while offering a lot of fun to the racers.

 

Andrew Lagasse '14

Awards at USAT Collegiate Nationals
Comments by Cadet Norris Overly '15
 

After an unbeatable and exciting race, the energy continued into the awards ceremony later that evening. As hundreds of athletes gathered in Tempe, Arizona Marketplace for the Collegiate National Championship awards ceremony we shared some good music and great conversation with rival teams.  

 

With the awards ceremony underway Tim Yount, the race announcer, led a vivacious ceremony, building anticipation of which teams and individuals would be carrying away the victories. But before any winners could be announced, the atmosphere needed to be a little louder and more exciting with a spirit contest between all the teams. Finally, on to the awards. Tim Yount held the audience's anticipation and attention without a doubt. The Armed Forces Award, was explained and awarded with distinct honor. The ceremony then moved on to award the overall winners of the draft-legal, non-draft and combined categories with outstanding excitement. The overall team awards served as the culminating event ending the night with a burning desire in every athlete's heart for next years' Collegiate National Championship.

 

Norris Overly '15


My First USAT Collegiate National Championship
Comments by Cadet Jordan Bush '16
  

Every time I went by a group of spectators, I'll hear at least one "Go Army!" and usually the voice is unfamiliar, but that's what makes it even better. I don't have "Jordan Bush" emblazoned across my uniform, I have "Army." Knowing that people who have no idea who anyone on the Army Triathlon Team is, yet fill us with their support because we represent the United States Military Academy as a whole. I get so much more motivated when I hear cheers from people who don't even know who I am because I know they are cheering for Army and I have to represent it well. There's also a great sense of pride knowing that my triathlon jersey doesn't have some random college acronym on it, but rather a name that is revered and well-respected.

 

It was also really nice to hear the friendly cheers from Air Force and Navy and even Coast Guard just because we all know we are serving together. Of course, there's a little rivalry, too. Seeing a girl wearing a race suit that says "NAVY" loud and clear automatically makes her my next target to try to pass. The rivalry was always out of competitive fun though, and each service academy cadet I ran into on the course gave me words of support, which I also gave in return. Considering how many schools attended nationals, I was a little shocked to see how well-represented the service academies were. The announcers at the finish line always seemed enthusiastic to cheer on Army, Air Force, and Navy, and with the results we all had, I know our military members are proud of us as well.

 

Jordan Bush-Class of 2016


My Last Collegiate Nationals
Sarah Haight
Cadet Sarah Haight '13
Comments by Cadet Sarah Haight '13
 

And...it's done. Four grueling years of training, sacrifices, and hardship ended this past weekend, as did my last time to have a blast in a culminating collegiate event, race for the academy, and sprint it in at the end for my teammates.  

 

Last weekend was the last collegiate triathlon race for me at the academy and it is both a liberating and a melancholy feeling. Before the race, it felt like my four years of training came down to this one race, the last race that would be the lasting imprint on my memory and of my four years on the West Point Triathlon Team.

 

However, once the starting gun went off, I began to think back on all my fantastic experiences on this team that have helped define who I am as a cadet and a soon-to-be commissioned officer. During the swim I reminisced about all those early mornings in "Paradise Cove," and I realized how far I had come in this new sport: from my first triathlon at Nations (Washington D.C.) in 2009 when I swam straight into the brick walls that lined the Potomac (yes, I swam perpendicular to the swim course, and no, I didn't know how to sight yet), to squealing with my teammates arm-in-arm as we shimmied into the frigid waters of Bartlett Lake over Spring Break '13.  As I was cruising along the beautiful Arizona roadways on the bike course, I remembered what it felt like to be in the aero position for the first time and feeling just so, so fast! It was an exhilarating experience and extraordinarily liberating, providing me an outlet and sometimes a needed refuge and different perspective to see some green outside of these gray walls for these four long years. Once I headed out on the run course, that's when I started to remember the tougher times of my cadet and triathlon career. During the overheated back stretch of the run, I was overcoming the memories and current feelings of sickness, weakness, and deep fatigue while I was running through all the challenges of these past four years and trying to just persevere and keep one foot in front of the other. I could have slowed down, stopped pushing myself through, and succumbed to negativity. But, the memories of my teammates, our long years of overcoming the hardships together, and their profound impact on my life here at the academy gave me the spark to overcome the hardship on that back stretch where there was no one there to see me.

 

I picked myself up, put my head down, and continued on with the mission at hand. The finish line was exciting to reach, of course, but the time during the race spent reflecting on these last four years will last longer than a memory of my swim pace, my transition time, or the heat index in one mid-April race. The long four years of determination, perseverance, and just putting your nose to the grindstone to finish strong are invaluable skill sets I have learned from the years of training for this simple sport of swim, bike, and run with my teammates.

 

Go Army Tri!

 

Sarah Haight '13 

 

Meet Dustin Fulkerson a New Officer-Representative
Fulkerson
Dustin Fulkerson
Officer Representative

Information by Maj. Olivia Nunn
 

Mr. Dustin Fulkerson is a Survival Swimming Instructor within the Department of Physical Education at the United States Military Academy. Prior to USMA, he attended Ball State University.

While at BSU, Mr. Fulkerson completed a B.S. in Physical Education (2006) and was a member of the Men's Swimming & Diving Team.  

 

After graduating, Mr. Fulkerson enlisted in the US Coast Guard (2006-2011). Upon separation from the Coast Guard, Mr. Fulkerson was the Head Coach for Old Town Hot Springs

Triathlon Club in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. At the end of the season, Mr. Fulkerson returned to Ball State University to pursue a B.S. in Aquatics while acting as a volunteer coach for the Women's Swimming & Diving Team.

 

Collectively, he has over 15 years of experience with competitive swimming and 3 years of coaching experience within competitive swimming and triathlon. 

 

Welcome aboard Dustin!

Meet 2nd Lt. Edward Chao a New Officer-Representative
Chao
2nd Lt. Edward Chao
 Officer Representative
Information by Maj. Olivia Nunn
 

Second Lieutenant Chao is originally from San Jose, CA. He graduated from Tufts University in February 2012 with a degree in International Relations. He is an ROTC graduate who branched Military Police.

 

He has attended Basic Officer Leader's Course (BOLC) at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO as well as Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA.

 

He is currently at West Point as a Platoon Leader for the Military Police Company's Honor Guard. As a former Cross-Country and Track and Field athlete, 2nd Lt. Chao is excited to help support the West Point Triathlon Team as an officer representative!

 
Welcome aboard Ed!

2012-2013 Team

West Point Triathlon Team

US Military Academy at West Point

 

Primary Address: 

West Point Triathlon

 

C/O: Lt. Col. Kenneth Allen 

 

745 Brewerton Road


West Point , New York 10996

 

Phone: 845-938-5042  

E-mail:

wptri@yahoo.com 

 

Visit us on the Web! 

www.usma.edu/triathlon

Sincerely,

West Point Triathlon Team
    on

TEAM MISSION

 

The mission of West Point Triathlon is to use the sport of triathlon to develop leaders of character by providing a venue to develop cadets' physical prowess, mental fortitude, team-building and commitment to excellence to prepare them for greater leadership responsibilities.  Our performance goals are to win national championships, qualify as many cadets as possible for World Championship events, have fun and of course... Beat Navy & Air Force!

Every team member is a cadet at the United States Military Academy and receives a world-class education and commission as a United States Army Officer upon graduation.

The team's success is only made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and independent donors. If you would like to support the team, please contact the team Officer-in-Charge, Lt. Col. Kenneth Allen, at kenneth.allen@usma.edu

If you are interested in becoming a team member as a current West Point Cadet or if you are interested in becoming a West Point Cadet and a member of the team, please contact the team recruiter, Maj. Jason Toth, at jason.toth@usma.edu

If you are media or would like to know about the team's social media, please contact the team media coordinator, Maj. Olivia Nunn, at olivia.nunn@usma.edu