“Yeah, it’s so cool I can’t wait to tell my kids like I was on the inaugural Drury triathlon team,” said Drury junior Hannah Polinske.
The excitement of a new program can feel like the start of a race.
“You’ll never meet a more positive group of people than before a triathlon race at like 5:30 in the morning,” Drury head coach Doug Fredrick said.
In its short time as a NCAA sport, Drury’s triathlon team has had a lot of success out of the gate.
“We were ranked number one in the nation for Division II most of last year,” said Fredrick.
Success they hoped would carry into this fall, but the Coronavirus pandemic pushed the season to the spring semester.
“I was kind of disappointed when I heard we weren’t competing but I also figured it was a good opportunity to work that into my favor,” said freshman Aurora Stone.
Despite that setback, they’re still moving forward though it may not look like it.
“Because I’m new to the team and I’m also new to the sport, it’s been very good to like have the training without the pressure of having to compete, and the girls have been very good about like encouraging me and building up my strengths and working on my weaknesses,” said Stone.
The team, helping each other get stronger, realizing there probably won’t be a season this spring either.
“It’s hard to find open water that is swimmable before the school ends, which is, you know, early May. So the chances of us having an any kind of season, are very very low,” Fredrick said.
Just like a race, getting through this pandemic is going to be difficult —
“Getting on that start line when you know you’re about to be in pain you know it’s gonna hurt,” said Polinske.
— but still they push through, for the high of coming out on the other side.
“Crossing that finish line is one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever had,” Polinske said.
A feeling we all can relate to.