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Madisan Chavez helps MSU Billings place 4th at Oktoberfest Triathlon

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Posted at 9:05 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 11:05:46-04

(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)

LONGMONT, Colo. – Montana State University Billings triathlete Madisan Chavez led the way with a 1:16:06 – good for 15th among 39 collegiate women – plus the team placed fourth among collegiate teams at the Oktoberfest Triathlon, held in Longmont, Colo. on Sunday morning.

Coming off less than 48 hours from running at the Gage McSpadden Memorial Invite on Friday, Chavez, Izzy Siegle, Ally Whitmer and Kylee Halpin strung together solid performances on a quick turnaround. Siegle and Whitmer placed 26th and 27th among collegiate women, respectfully, then Halpin placed 33rd. Sunday marked the first time MSUB has had a full triathlon team score.

“We were coming off of our first 5K of the season in cross country – and we probably had a little tired legs from that –but they all handled the race really well,” MSUB head triathlon coach Kevin Bjerke said. “We’re definitely going to take advantage of some nice, easy days and recover, but I’m really happy with how everyone handled it coming off of a race not too long ago.”

One of the standout performances included freshman Izzy Siegle’s opening swim, in which she covered 750 meters in 12:08 – good for the second-fastest amongst all Yellowjackets in the water.

“It was a phenomenal swim for her first open-water competition,” Bjerke said. “Madisan has been swimming well so far, and Izzy was right on her toes for a lot of the race. That was good to see because there’s such a learning curve involved in how to sight and swim straight in open-water swims. Izzy obviously has a good open-water swimming background, but open-water is a completely different thing.”

In addition, Bjerke added that all the newcomers surpassed his expectations for the opening swim. Yet the team is ready to focus on the technicalities of the swim and the bike portions of the triathlon in the time between races.

“I’m excited for a six week break with no races, so we can start honing in on what to do on the bike and get a little stronger in the pool,” Bjerke said. “We will for sure race in our home cross country meet just to get everybody staying in a competitive mindset.”

“With how raw the newcomers are with the newness of the sport, it will be really nice to get that time to hone in on different skills,” Bjerke added.

UP NEXT: The MSUB triathlon team has a brief respite before the championship season, which starts at the NCAA National Qualifier, held at Quail Creek State Park in St. George, Utah on Oct. 30. The race is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.