Tritons Win USAT Pacific Northwest Regional Championships!

Tritons Win USA Triathlon Pacific Northwest Championships in First Year as an Official USAT Club

The Bozeman Tritons are the 2008 USA Triathlon Pacific Northwest Region Club Champions.

Mike McCormick, USAT-PNW regional president, notified the Club of the thrilling news last week.

The regional championship includes a $750 cash award, which the Bozeman Triathlon Club intends to put to good use enhancing its program.

The team took first place, in the top division, beating out triathlon clubs in major metropolitan areas like Seattle, Portland, Honolulu, Anchorage, Spokane, and Boise.

For 2008, the USAT-PNW Championships were geared towards a membership drive, rather than direct athletic competition, to foster triathlete growth in the Pacific Northwest.

To take the championship crown, the Bozeman Triathlon Club recruited thirty-one new USA Triathlon members. Total Triton membership now stands at 44.

Referring to the first place finish, Triton Coach Laurie Thatcher beamed “It’s pretty cool, for our first year! We’re definitely a fun group, while offering serious training for all ages and abilities.”

Montana State University student and Triton Chris Depner gushed, “The first place finish is really exciting. I am so glad to have been part of it all.”

Chris added, “Our local Treasure State Triathlon was in late August.  I improved my time over last year by seven minutes, and I was really impressed by how all of my teammates met their goals, too, whether it was improving their times or simply finishing their first tri.  While keeping it fun, the coaching, the Club training program, the group motivation really help.  The results are there. It’s why the Club is growing.”

The Championship tops off a terrific first season for the bootstrapping Tritons.  Previously, the Club was the recipient of a $600 grant from the national office of USA Triathlon in Colorado Springs.  The grant is to be applied towards the purchase of a CompuTrainer, a cutting edge, indoor “virtual reality” cycling trainer.

The Bozeman Triathlon Club thanks its sponsors, especially Bangtail Bikes, Fleet Feet, and Gold’s Gym, for supporting its championship drive.

The Tritons are currently commencing its off season training program. The Club welcomes adults, MSU students, and athletes of all ages and abilities. Additional information is available at

The Complete Idiot’s Guide for Starting a Tri Club, a Backgrounder on the 1-Year Old Club from Start-to-Finish

2008 Treasure State Triathlon Group Photo

Will Compete for Team Unis!  Smilin’ Ragtaggin’ Tritons at the Treasure State Tri, Bozeman, MT – August 17, 2008

Front Row:  Nicole Youngbauer, Dan Heil, Minde Erickson, Elizabeth Campbell, Jen Masquelier, Ryan Takeshita,
Art Thompson.  Back Row:  Chris Martin, Eric Martin, Jonathon Rulseh, David Gaillard, Zack Jay, Steve Clayton,
Chris Depner, Greg Benjamin, Lander Purvis, Sherri Pearson, Lawrence Sampson.  Triton participants missing from
Photo – Coach Laurie Thatcher, Molly Hayes & Ada Montague.

Tri•ton (tr?t’n) n. — Greek Mythology.  A god of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, who is portrayed as having the head and trunk of a man and the tail of a fish.  Centauro Tritons have the legs of horses, too.

The Bozeman Tritons arise, not from the sea, but from pools of water.  The Club is the offspring of the “SwimStrong, SwimAltitude” Bozeman Masters Swim Club (“BOZE”).  Similar to most United States Masters Swimming programs, one-third of BOZE members are triathletes.

Swim — Mass Start – Summer 2007
Chris Axelson of the former Threshold Sports agrees to sponsor the Swim Club.  As a sweetener, Chris indicates that he wants to get back into coaching, and would like the opportunity to coach track workouts once-a-week for BOZE triathletes.  Art Thompson agrees, and the start of a triathlon club is underway.

T1 — Fall 2007
Fresh from the Ironman Kona World Championships, Triton Coach Laurie Thatcher volunteers to share her triathlon experience and coach the team.  Having conquered Ironman Coeur d’Alene and now pregnant, Triton Coordinator Sherri Pearson cuts back on training and volunteers to help organize the Club.  Sherri files the official USAT Club application, for 2008.  Triton Coaches Justin Mellman and Minde Erickson join the coaching ranks and volunteer to respectively coach outdoor running and indoor dryland sessions at Gold’s Gym.  Triton Molly Hayes represents Team USA and takes gold at the ITU World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

Bike — Winter 2007/2008
Coach Laurie organizes a series of free triathlon clinics for the Bozeman area community, an educational outreach program to stimulate interest in the sport and the Club.   Clinic topics include off season training, training intensity, training plans, nutrition, and injury prevention.  Meanwhile, Chris Axelson shifts gears, and along with his wife, Mandy Bowden, start up Homestake Lodge.  They agree to serve as Triton Nordic ski coaches for the Club’s off season training program.

T2 – Spring 2008
Coach Laurie goes live with the Tritons 20-week group training program, focused towards the Club’s A-Priority race — the local Treasure State Triathlon.  Laurie starts coaching cycling sessions, and the Club expands group training to three intensity sessions per week – cycling, running, and dryland.  Most Tritons continue to obtain swim training through the Bozeman Masters.  Due to the late winter, the Club suffers a disastrous beginning to outdoor cycling.  Through June, Wednesday evening group rides are frequently forced indoors due to snow, hail, and t-storms.  Coordinator Sherri Pearson writes a grant letter to USA Triathlon requesting funding for an indoor cycling alternative, the CompuTrainer.

Run – Summer 2008
An incredible twenty-two Tritons compete in the Olympic-distance Treasure State Triathlon.  Four Tritons qualify for and compete in the USAT Age Group National Championships at Hagg Lake, OR – Chris Depner, Molly Hayes, Dan Heil, and Cheryl Juergens.  USA Triathlon awards the Club a $600 grant towards a CompuTrainer.  Seattle-based CompuTrainer is happy to “do its part,” by sponsoring the Club and selling the $2000 machine to the Club for the $600 USAT grant amount.  Fleet Feet Bozeman and Bangtail Bikes agree to sponsor the Club, and support its championship drive effort.  The Tritons win the USA Triathlon Pacific Northwest Region Club Championships.

Triton Roster
Greg Benjamin, Steve Clayton, Joe Cobb, Chris Depner, Kris Evans, Jenna Fallaw, Doug Fletcher, Furry Fulton, David Gaillard, Molly Hayes, Brenda Hegel, Dan Heil, Janet Heiss Arms, Sara Jay, Zack Jay, Cheryl Juergens, Jeremy LeFeber, Chris Martin, Eric Martin, Jen Masquelier, Justin Mellmann, Lisa Lee Mellmann, Ada Montague, Brooke Nelson, Matthew Parks, Sherri Pearson, Suzanna Peters, Lander Purvis, Summer Reece, Kitrick Rhodes, Jonathan Rice, Mary Robbins, Cole Robertson, Jonathon Rulseh, Lawrence Sampson, Neil Sexton, Marlow Stevens, Ryan Takeshita, Laurie Thatcher, Tony Thatcher, Andrea Thomas, Art Thompson, Emily Van Court, Nicole Youngbauer.

Triton Sponsors
Bangtail Bikes, Berg Lilly & Tollefsen, Catch & Release Graphics, Community Food Co-op, CompuTrainer, Finis, Fleet Feet Sports Bozeman, Garage, Gold’s Gym, Hammer Nutrition, Homestake Lodge, La Parilla, Leaf & Bean, Naked Noodle, NIKE Swim, Patagonia, Kevin Pearson DDS, Selby’s, Universal Athletic Service, Wells Fargo.

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