Flames to host 2014-16 Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships
June 11, 2014 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University has been selected to host the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Triathlon Regional Championships in October for the next three years. For the past two seasons, the USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, which concludes the fall race series, has been held in Ellicott City, Md.
"We're super excited about being given the opportunity to host the Mid-Atlantic Triathlon Championships locally, especially seeing that it'll be for the next three years," said Kirk Handy, Liberty's senior director of campus recreation.
Last fall, the Flames hosted the Liberty University Collegiate Triathlon, a USAT-sanctioned sprint event on campus. That race was run so smoothly that it attracted the attention of the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Triathlon Conference.
"We look to have at least 200 participants from the 17 teams in the MACTC," said Dave Semenyna, Liberty's assistant director of Club Sports who also helped direct last year's on-campus event. "Liberty is partnering with Set-Up Events to run the event."
Hosting the Oct. 18 race will reduce travel costs and further benefit the program, which will receive a share of the entry fees. Club Sports will help shuttle triathletes to the event, located about a 45-minute-drive from campus.
"We are going to use Smith Mountain Lake because it currently hosts a triathlon and is ideally set up for an Olympic-distance race," said Lee Beaumont, Liberty's senior vice president for auxiliary services. "This distance is a 1,500-meter swim, 25-mile bike, and 10K run, making this the closest location to Lynchburg to run such an event."
Beaumont was one of more than 300 participants in the April 29 Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon, which featured a 750-meter swim, 20K cycling stage, and 5K run. That race, also run by Set-Up Events, was part of the Virginia Triathlon Series.
"It's huge for Liberty to have the opportunity to host this event," said Liberty first-year triathlon Head Coach Parker Spencer, who was officially hired on Friday. "All of the schools in the Mid-Atlantic are going to be there. Liberty's going to do a fantastic job in being able to put on that event and it's another thing that's going to set it apart as one of the best programs out there."