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Colorado’s Abby Levene Wins Women’s Collegiate Nationals

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Abby Levene of Colorado picked up her second national title of the year at the 2015 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship, held at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont.

Read the recap from USA Triathlon below:

A field of 80 women competed in the draft-legal 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run event, which followed the competition structure and rules that have been proposed for use at the collegiate level when triathlon is granted official NCAA sport status.

Levene clocked in at 1 hour, 2 minutes, 39 seconds to capture the title, crossing the finish line over a minute ahead of the field. She was part of an eight-person chase pack and helped bridge a 30-second gap to catch the leaders.

“This is amazing. I’m so excited that triathlon is becoming an NCAA sport. I’m in grad school, so I envy those girls who are coming up into college now,” said Levene, who ran at Princeton and Colorado and earned the overall title at USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals in August.

Grace Obando (junior elite), Marissa Ferrante (Stanford) and Melissa Rios La Luz (Webber International) led out of the water and worked together to maintain a lead throughout the first three laps of the four-lap bike course. Levene took an early lead on the run, while Ferrante and Jocelyn Bonney (Queens University of Charlotte) pushed the pace, battling it out for second and third.

“We were trying to work together on the bike. We could tell that each lap the chase pack was gaining and gaining on us. It was nice to compete and dig deep,” Ferrante said.

Bonney, a junior who was recruited to race for Queens University next year, had a kick in the final 200 meters to take home silver in 1:04:06. Ferrante rounded out the podium in 1:04:16.

“It was by far the best race I’ve ever had. I’m so stoked to be able to race with Queens and come home with second today,” Bonney said.

Ten schools fielded teams of three or more athletes, with Queens University of Charlotte, Marymount University and UCLA taking home the top spots.

For more information on triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit Usatriathlon.org/ncaa.

2015 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship
Clermont, Florida
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Complete Results

Individual Overall
1. Abby Levene (Colorado), 1:02:39
2. Jocelyn Bonney (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:04:06
3. Marissa Ferrante (Stanford), 1:04:16
4. Melissa Rios La Luz (Webber International), 1:04:42
5. Katie Gorczyca (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), 1:04:49
6. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA), 1:05:02
7. Grace Obando (Junior elite), 1:05:10
8. Brittany Warly (Colorado), 1:05:29
9. Melissa Teeple (Marymount University), 1:06:05
10. Jessica Tomasek (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:06:30

Team Overall
1. Queens University of Charlotte, 15 points
2. Marymount University, 22 points
3. UCLA, 36 points
4. California, 38 points
5. Texas A&M, 62 points
6. Colorado, 67 points

Varsity Individual Overall*
1. Jocelyn Bonney (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:04:06
2. Melissa Teeple (Marymount University), 1:06:05
3. Jessica Tomasek (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:06:30
4. Caroline Condon (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:07:25
5. Brooke Saunders (Marymount University), 1:07:36

Varsity Team Overall*
1. Queens University of Charlotte, 15 points
2. Marymount University, 22 points

*Five schools have established varsity triathlon programs as part of the triathlon’s NCAA Emerging Sport for Women status: Black Hills State University, Daemen College, Marymount University, Queens University of Charlotte and the University of West Alabama