Texas Triathlon’s history is interesting. A triathlon team formed at The University of Texas at Austin in 2002, but it unfortunately fell apart. Another unsuccessful attempt was made in 2006. In Fall 2009, Molly Kent and Chris Smith worked with Coach Allan Besselink to become the co-founders and first co-presidents of Texas Triathletes. This team grew over the years to become what we are today.
In April 2010, Texas Triathletes attended the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships for the first time. It sent 6 men and 3 women. The men’s team placed 47th out of 70, but unfortunately the women’s team did not have enough racers to score as a full team.
After two years, UT Austin’s Recreational Sports unanimously voted to make triathlon the newest club sport. Shortly afterwards, Texas Triathletes changed its name to Texas Triathlon. It then became the greatest triathlon team in the country. Well, maybe not yet… but we’re getting there!
In 2012-13, Texas Triathlon placed 2nd behind those pesky Aggies at Regionals. Our team went on to Tempe, Arizona for the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. We placed 34th, improving significantly from our 43rd place finish in the year before.
In 2013-14 season, Texas Triathlon came in 3rd at Regionals behind Texas A&M and Texas State. We traveled to Tempe, Arizona again for the Collegiate National Championships. The women placed 30th; the men placed 40th; and the team placed 34th overall in a growing field of 119 teams.
The 2014-15 season got off to an auspicious start with a FIRST PLACE VICTORY at Regionals—beating those Aggies by a whopping 3 points! Not so pesky anymore, eh? Our team then sent 38 members—its largest number ever—to Nationals in Clemson, South Carolina. Out of the 117 teams present, Texas Triathlon finished in an incredible 15th place overall. The women finished in 10th place, and the men finished in 30th. Additionally, our team recognized its highest scorer ever when Becca Novelli finished in an astounding 12th place overall.
In 2015-16 Texas Triathlon hosted the South Midwest Collegiate Conference Championship, Bevoman Triathlon, in which we placed 2nd. The race was a huge success, with 187 athletes racing! Despite injury and sickness, our team managed to salvage a 24th place finish at Nationals, despite the most competitive field in history.
2016-17 was a year of rainy races. Bevoman was cancelled due to inclement weather. This didn’t, however, stop the team from another overall 2nd place finish in the conference. Zach McVey set a new Texas Tough course record in the pouring rain. At Nationals, the men finished in 21st place, and the team came in 33rd overall.
In the 2017-18 season, Texas Triathlon achieved several victories. Chris Pietraszkiewicz finished the season undefeated after grabbing first place in the four races that he participated! He also placed 10th overall at Nationals. With Kyle Polansky and Tomas Minguel’s tremendous help, Bevoman was a tremendous success. At Nationals, the men finished in 16th place; the women finished in 38th; and the team came in 23rd overall.