Women’s triathlon takes third at opening race


HOT SPRINGS, S.D. – Black Hills State University Women’s Triathlon competes in their first race of the season at the Southern Hills Triathlon Saturday, Sept. 3.

After competing in the collegiate wave at the Southern Hills Triathlon at Angostura Reservoir, which consists of biking, swimming and running, the BHSU Women’s
Triathlon team finished third overall.

“We were really happy with the results from our early season first race,” head coach, Connie Feist, says. “(We) are confident that our athletes will continue to develop throughout the season focusing on racing their best at the National Championships in November.”

Finishing first on the team was Lijia McKendry, with a time of 1:03:06; McKendry placed ninth overall. Freshman Emily Gilbert was next to finish with a time of 1:03:58. Finishing third from the team, with a time of 1:04:22, was Natalie Elkin.

Though small compared to other college sports, women’s triathlons are a passion for athletes like sophomore Cassidy Teeslink. “At first I just watched my sister compete for BHSU, but eventually I started entering an open wave at races.” Teesklink goes on to say, “I have been mountain biking since I was little and competed in Cross Country all through middle and high school. Switching from practicing one sport to three was a big adjustment, but I have grown to love the variation and doing something different every day.”

The Women’s Triathlon team will compete at five more races this year; including the Black Hills Tri Fest that BHSU will host April 23, 2023. The team hopes to see BH students, staff, and Spearfish locals at the race, supporting the sport.