February 2013-Vol#6, Issue #4

Seven National Championships, 15 All-Americans, 20 of America's Finest Young leaders
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West Point Triathlon Team Newsletter
Class of 2013 Graduation Around the Corner
A View to the World
500 Days and Counting!
The Physics King?
The Road to Your First Triathlon

Crest Modification
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PRe-Race Huddle
sponsor panel 2013

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
         Cadet Adam Leemans           Team Captain

This year we've put together an exceptionally strong team. Every day I see all of my teammates working hard toward the common goal of winning collegiate nationals. Coach O'Brien, the other seniors, and I created a plan for nationals that we are confident will use everyone's strengths to make us a force to be reckoned with in April.  


While the exact details are still "classified," I can say that we intend to have everyone on the team race. There is a draft legal sprint race which we intend to dominate on Friday. We will follow that race up with another victory the following day at the Olympic distance. In this race every second will count as we go head to head against hundreds of other universities and colleges. The team is dedicated and prepared to do the hard work necessary to win.  


While the team is training hard, life at the academy continues to develop us into Army officers. This month's newsletter is meant to afford our fans, families, and supporters a glimpse into the lives of the cadets on the triathlon team. Finally, if you're thinking about TRI-ing for the annual West Point triathlon (or any other triathlon) for the first time this year, our most improved athlete from first semester, Connor Wernecke, describes some strategies to prepare.


Go Army, Beat Navy!



Adam Leemans 

Class of 2013 Graduation Around the Corner
Sarah Haight
Cadet Sarah Haight '13

Remarks by Cadet Sarah Haight '13

There are approximately 98  days until the Class of 2013 graduates from the United States Military Academy. Where we will enter the profession of arms and lead America's sons and daughters. These last 98 days are the remaining days of these 47 month long leadership experiences as we embark into our respective Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) to learn branch-specific tasks.  


On the 29th of November, 2012, the Class of 2013 received their branch assignments, informing us of the types of missions we will perform for at least the next five years in the Army. Cadet Sarah Haight branched Quartermaster (logistics), and both Cadets Adam Leemans and Brian Trainor branched Engineers. We are all grateful that we received the branch assignments that we had been hoping for, and we are all eager to begin leading logisticians and engineer Soldiers upon graduation from our respective BOLCs.


On the 31st of February, 2013, the Class of 2013 received their post and unit assignment. This assignment was based solely on cadet preferences and their ranking within his/her branch's order of merit list. Cadets have the ability to select what post they will be assigned to for the next two to three years and also have the decision to pick certain available units within that post. Cadet Haight received an assignment to 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, and she looks forward to logistically supporting the highly esteemed light infantry unit in a Forward Support Battalion, and to join her fianc� at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Cadet Leemans did not post this February, but instead he will be attending graduate school in Britain. He is excited to study and train alongside British military forces and to enjoy the incredible travel opportunities in Europe. Cadet Trainor will be assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade, and he looks forward to doing combat engineer operations with his future platoon at the beautiful post of Fort Lewis, Washington.


Those are the plans for next few years of the first class cadets on the triathlon team. All three of us are anxious and excited to start our new assignments, but will indeed enjoy our last 98 days left at West Point. We will finish strong, lead the team to our last national championship in Tempe, Arizona, and prepare ourselves for one of the biggest life changes that we will ever experience on the 25th of May, 2013.  


We want to thank our whole family-from the unconditional support we've received from home, to the close relationships we've made over the past 3 � years on the triathlon team, to the coaches, officers, and supporters, and fans of the team who have graciously supported our development along the way-for helping us get this far. Now, we have 98 left...and we're going to take it by storm.  





Cadet Sarah Haight '13  

A View to the World
Cadet Kelly Kingma '14
Comments by Cadet Kelly Kingma '14

Throughout my time here at the academy, I have been fortunate enough to take part in an Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) to Rochefort, France.  


AIAD is an opportunity training that cadets can participate in during their summers. In order to get secure an AIAD slot, a cadet must apply through the department of their choice (typically relating to their major). My experience at Rochefort, France at a Gendarme base (military police equivalent) was a three week immersion, and is just one example of the many opportunities West Point offers cadets during their summers.  


As a French major, I have been given the great opportunity to spend next semester abroad at the French Military Academy, at St.Cyr. Taking all my classes in French and trying to find time to train for triathlon might be challenging, but I look forward to the unique opportunity. Au revoir!



Cadet Kelly Kingma

500 Days and Counting!
Cadet Christian Ryan '14
Comments by Cadet Christian Ryan '14

Winter at West Point is a very exciting time for the junior class, other-wise-known as "Cows". Shortly after returning from Christmas Break the Class of 2014 set their eyes toward "500th night". Each class has a weekend devoted to a specific celebration at the academy. Over the final weekend of January the cows celebrated 500 days until their graduation. A special occasion, many cadets fly in dates from across the country. Preceded by a cocktail hour, the weekend culminates in a formal dinner in the Cadet Mess Hall.


With less than 500 days till graduation the Class of 2014 made a large step toward their senior year with their acceptance of their "Cow Loan" and class ring orders. USAA worked with the cows to offer them a $36,000 loan. The acceptance of a small fortune came just in time for the cows to order and purchase their class rings. The Class of 2014 worked with professionals from Balfour to create their personal class rings. The cows will receive their rings over "Ring Weekend" early next fall as seniors.  


With Spring Break on the close horizon, the cows look forward to a quick spring semester and the beginning of their senior year.  


For now the goal is to dominate collegiate nationals!


Go Army Triathlon!



Cadet Christian Ryan  


The Physics King?
Cadet Rylan King '15
Comments by Cadet Rylan King

My senior year of high school I happened upon a website that would change my life forever. Dr. Michio Kaku, world renown theoretical Physicist was coming to DC in two weeks. My closest friends and I made arrangements and headed to the Air and Space Museum. We may not have been the most brilliant physicists or scholars, but we were Michio Kaku's biggest fans.


When we finally got to meet Dr. Kaku, he told me one thing. The future is yours. When I heard this, I knew that I was born to be a physics major.


Well, that did happen. I am a physics major here at West Point, but before I signed my soul away to the PANE Department (Physics and Nuclear Engineering), I had to think it through. My mentor told me that the most important thing for me to do was to graduate, and the easiest way to do that was to take classes that I loved studying. While certain degrees may seem advantageous, regardless of what a cadet studies, they will leave West Point as a 2nd Lieutenant. West Point commission leaders of character who are well rounded. I decided to major in a subject I love.


I am joined by my teammate Cadet Brad Bachand '15 in the physics major. All though we have just started to get into the courses for the major, we look forward to learning everything we can while we are here. Do not major in something at West Point because you think it is marketable. Choose to study it because you want to learn and you have a passion for it. As Michio kaku told me, "The Future is yours".



Cadet Rylan King 

The Road to Your First Triathlon
Cadet Connor Wernecke '16
Advice by Cadet Connor Wernecke '16

Preparing for your first triathlon can be a very daunting task, but it is well worth the hard work! All you need to be a successful triathlete is the ability to swim, bike, and run, along with the proper equipment and determination.  


As a beginner, the easiest way to approach your first triathlon is by breaking down your preparation and training plan into the three sports of a triathlon.  


All conventional triathlons begin with the swim, so it makes sense to talk about the swim first. Although the swim leg of a triathlon is proportionally the shortest race leg, it is also the one that many triathletes struggle with and most beginners dread. Triathlon swims typically take place in open water, making the swim even more intimidating since few people swim long distances in the pool, let alone open water! Training for the swim can be done in a pool, but training in open water is very beneficial as it helps build your confidence in swimming. Develop a training plan that involves endurance sets and drilling, to improve stroke technique. Research open water swim techniques, such as sighting and bilateral breathing, and practice them in the pool. If you don't know how to swim, learn! If you stay committed you will learn fast and be a confident swimmer by the time you do your first triathlon.


The bike portion of the triathlon is very important, since it is the longest leg of the triathlon. The type of bike is not too important as a beginner, but if you plan to participate in future triathlons you may want to invest in a decent triathlon or road bike. For your first triathlon, almost any bike will do, but it is important that it fits you reasonably well. You can go to a local bike shop to get a simple bike fit if necessary. Training and racing on a poorly fit bike may lead to injury and is usually very uncomfortable. If you are new to cycling start with short rides and begin building up to longer ones, in order to get comfortable with being in the saddle for extended periods of time. You can also do drills or intervals (bursts of speed followed by rest) to break up the monotony of simply going out on a bike ride.  


The final leg of a triathlon is the run. Although it may seem simple, running in a triathlon is completely different from a regular training run. Running after being on a bike is difficult, especially for beginners, and takes time to get used to. In training, going on a short 5 to 10 minute run after a bike ride will help get your body used to running off the bike. In the actual race, you will feel less stiff and awkward coming off the bike if you simply incorporate these short "transition runs" into your training. In addition to transition runs, do other training runs as well. A medium length run and a longer endurance run each week should sufficiently prepare you for the run leg. Use the runs to focus on form and endurance, and use the medium length runs to focus on areas where you are weak (for example, hill runs to build strength or an interval workout to build speed). Make sure to build your running distance gradually, to avoid injury.


All this is probably a lot to process, but you still need to bring it all together into a single training and preparation plan! Approach training on a rotating basis according to the sport, alternating swimming, cycling, and running days. If you have time and as you get into better shape you may want to do two workouts each day, such as a morning swim and an afternoon ride. As you build your training, you may want to lean more heavily toward swimming or cycling since these are both low impact and thus can be done in greater quantity and will still get you into good shape. You just have to find a balance that works for you.  


There are many training plans available online as well. Regardless of how you choose to approach your first triathlon, it will take time and commitment but it will also be extremely rewarding. Make a plan, stick to it, and most importantly have fun!  Good luck and we hope to see you this summer at the 24th Annual West Point Triathlon!  http://www.active.com/triathlon/west-point-ny/24th-annual-west-point-triathlon-2013  



Cadet Connor Wernecke  

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  




Visit us on the Web! 



West Point Triathlon Team



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