By: Matt Merkel
Franciscan University of Steubenville has a new Triathlon Club on campus. Recently begun by Chris Radlicz, a sophomore pre-med/biology student and experienced triathlon participant, the Club is open for students of all different levels of skill and experience to discover a new passion and take their fitness to the next level.
“This is for everyone,” Radlicz explained. “Most certainly this is going to be a good base for me. I want to do a lot more than what the club is doing. This is a small dose of my personal training.”
Radlicz himself has run more than ten triathlons in his life, and qualified last summer for the World Championships in London in September 2013. He plans on taking this next year to train. Starting this new club will not only let him cross-train for his big event, but it will allow him to pass his passion on to his classmates.
The Triathlon Club is a part of the Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference. The MECTC has over 30 schools that participate. Franciscan has now joined ranks with universities like Michigan State, University of Dayton, Xavier University, Youngstown State, Purdue University and the University of Chicago. Radlicz and his new squad look to continue training for their first triathlon at the Ohio State University on Feb 3. The race will include a half-mile swim, a 12-mile bike, and a 5K run to top it off.
“We try and practice three times a week,” Radlicz said.
He explained that the best practices are consecutive exercises. For example, the club’s first practice included a 20 minute stationary bike ride, followed by an immediate 20 minute run and ended with another 20 minute bike workout. This lets the body prepare for its grueling, multi-event race.
The club has been focused on the running and biking portion of the race, but the most difficult event, swimming, is what Radlicz is ready to tackle next.
“We are trying to get a club discount to practice at the Big Red pool off campus,” Radlicz said. “Swimming is what everyone is always so excited to start doing, because most college students have been out of the water for so long.”
The Triathlon Club has almost 30 members. Members are encouraged to show up to any practice that they can find time for. While Radlicz said there are about six regular members that show up every practice, the Triathlon Club is growing by the day with more and more people showing up to practice, even Baron Athletes.
“After I posted on our school’s class page, I got a lot of sign ups,” Radlicz said. “A lot of the girl’s soccer team has contacted me about joining. The girl’s swim team may join as well. It would be an excellent way for them to cross-train during their off season.”
Starting with a small group has only hardened Radlicz’s resolve to make this club a mainstay on this campus.
“This is something I want to leave behind,” said Radlicz. “I definitely want it to become serious. Most schools even hire coaches for their triathlon teams.”
While the Triathlon Club is not recognized with the Baron Athletics, Radlicz would love to be under its umbrella in the future.
To those interested in joining or for more information, check out the group’s Facebook page: ‘Franciscan University Triathlon Club’.