Lopes prevail in “Arizona’s Most Difficult Race”
By: Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
In their final and most difficult race of the year, the Grand Canyon University Triathlon team conquered the Bartlett Lake Olympic Triathlon in Scottsdale.
Even in the face of a 1500-meter swim, 24.8 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run, the Lopes, led by GCU Triathlon Co-Coach Matthew Johnson and Lauren Roe, all placed high in their overall standings.
“In comparison to other races, this course was slower and more challenging due to the amount of climbing,” said Johnson. “The times we were able to post were really good – considering the difficulty of the course.”
This was the Lopes’ first time competing in an Olympic distance race, and the sheer difficulty of the course took its toll.
“We increased our interval training leading up to the race, but the amount of climbing took us all by surprise,” said Johnson. “However, the team took on the challenge, completed it, and all placed in the top of their age groups.”
Johnson posted the fastest total time for the Lopes at 3:01:14 and placed 5th overall in the Men’s Division. The Lopes’ Andre Stablein wasn’t far behind Johnson, placing 6th overall with a time of 3:07:14.
“Andre had a spectacular run time (42:49), which was the third-fastest run time overall,” said Johnson. “His strong finish in the end allowed him to climb up the overall rankings.”
The Lopes’ Harrison Snell posted the fastest swim time (29:38) for GCU and placed 8th overall.
“Snell had a great swim and bike time as he was the first Lope out of the water,” said Johnson. “He was able to post a great overall time despite dealing with some calf cramps during the run.”
In the Women’s Division, Roe posted the second-best run time (54:12) and took 3rd overall. The Lopes’ Hope Ramsperger posted the third-fastest bike (1:57:20) and run (1:00:10) to end the race 4th overall.
“The swim was pretty rough for all us,” said Johnson. “Even though Hope struggled in the swim, she made up a lot of time with a great performance on the bike and run.”
Even though the Lopes ended their final race with success, they already have their eyes set on preparation for their next season.
“The season has ended, but that doesn’t mean training has stopped,” said Johnson. “We aren’t going to let off the gas over the summer. We will continue pushing ourselves and comeback next year even stronger.”
|NAME||RACE||AGE GROUP||PLACE||TOTAL TIME|
|Andre Stablein||Olympic||Male/ 15-19||6th/1st||3:07:14|
|Lauren Roe||Olympic||Female/ 20-24||3rd/1st||3:23:46|
|Hope Ramsperger||Olympic||Female/ 20-24||4th/2nd||3:43:01|
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