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April 5, 2012

ULM Triathlon teams qualify for nationals

The University of Louisiana at Monroe will send two triathlon teams to the National Collegiate Triathlon Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 21.

Members of the men's team include Madison Raborn, George May, Joe Ussery, Jonathan Ledet, Jonathan Putnam, Kyle Bullitt, and team captain Wynston Lyman-Johnson.

The women's team consists of Alison Bryan, Emi McIntyre and Carly Tubbs.

Both teams automatically qualified for the competition.

The teams were a product of a KINS 1002 Triathlon course taught by Dr. Lisa Colvin, ULM professor of kinesiology.

"Triathlon is an emerging NCAA sport so I thought it would be a good time to see if ULM students were interested and wanted to be prepared to compete at the national level if it ever became an NCAA championship," said Colvin.

The triathletes will leave on April 19, and compete on April 21. This is the university's first time to qualify a team. The region they compete in is one of the most difficult in the country.

"I just wanted to say how proud I am of them," continued Colvin. "To have students willing to get up at 5 a.m. to swim, run and bike on a training plan is amazing."

The team will attend the competition with a reportedly strong support system behind them.

The triathletes qualified with the assistance of the YMCA Oxford Natatorium and LA Gold's swim coach Hannah Martin May (Triathlon Team swim coach), and Cameron Douglas, Mark Johnson, Dr. and Mrs. Mark Barnett, Christopher Myers, Eddie Raborn, and Dr. Bob Raulerson in training.

David Boles and The Bike Source assisted the students with bike fittings and supplies.

Former ULM graduate and track and field stand-out Jacobus Smit, director of Athletic Republic, provided time on the facility's indoor bicycle trainers (Computrainers) during days of inclement weather so team training could still occur.

Colvin said Vantage Health Plan/Team Colvin have been instrumental in assisting the team with funds for equipment, travel costs and entry fees, which are all the responsibility of the students.

Since there is no budget for the team, students held fundraisers and received equipment donations from north Louisiana area athletes.

"I am so grateful for everyone's help," said Colvin. "This would only be a dream without all their financial and equipment support."

The athletes themselves will donate books and supplies to local libraries for a tornado relief drive being held during the competition.

This effort is in response to a deadly tornado that devastated the Tuscaloosa, Ala. area on April 27, 2011.

Donations to help the team register and travel to nationals would be appreciated.

Please contact Colvin at for funding opportunities.

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