Thursday, April 8, 2010


(Photos: Top - Mike, Cate, Matt & Cody: Eat-Drink-Repeat. Middle - Megan Brandes, a top 10er at Lake Minnetonka. Bottom: Tracy, David, Erika & Sam on campus.)

By Erika Sperl-Imhoff

“The University of Minnesota has a triathlon team
???” That’s usually the reaction I get when I tell people I’m racing for the U. Yes, we do have a triathlon team, and although we’re fairly new, you better believe we’re here. The University of Minnesota Triathlon team was founded in January of 2009 byMike Torchia and Kate Cowger, who were also our President and Vice President, respectively, for this past year. As they will both be graduating this year and moving out into “the real world” we have passed on the baton to our new official staff – the President, Aaron Barlow, and VP, Tom Kandiko.

, you say? Hmm.. where have I heard that name before? Well if you’re familiar at all with the Minnesotan male triathlete field, as I believe at least 50% of you readers are, then you might know Joe Kandiko, Tom’s dad. Some other names that dot the UMN Tri roster might sound familiar as well – we have athletes that race all over the Midwest, and a few racing across the country. We have a wide experience range on our team, from first time newbies who’ve never ridden anything other than a mountain bike, to Ironman finishers! Here are a few impressive finishes from U of MN triathletes, from tri-sport events, to running, and swimming:

Mike Torchia
: North Mankato – 1st place (2007)

David Preston
: Buffman Squeaky Olympic Tri – 1st overall and BOUS Texas Qualifier (2009)

Andrew Turner
: Ironman Wisconsin – 9th 18-24M (2009)

Megan Brandes
: Lake Minnetonka Sprint - 1st in AG, 9th overall (2009)

Me! Erika Sperl-Imhoff
: Med City Marathon – 2nd overall, 1st in AG (2008)

In addition to prepping for USAT Collegiate Nationals (April 17th – Lubbuck, TX)… UMN Tri is working on compiling our summer racing schedule for 2010. As far as I know, we have athletes racing everything from XC 5Ks to ironmans all over the country! Keep an eye out for some flashy new UMN Tri jerseys racing down the Greenway or speeding through the transition areas… and make sure to say hi (if you can catch them)!

Stay tuned for news on our team going to compete at Nationals in the coming weeks! If you have questions in the mean time, shoot em’ on over to !

Wishing you all strong legs, speedy recoveries, and sunny training days!