Triathlon is a sport at Newman University this year. Coach Jeff Lovgren comes to Newman with years of experience in the sport. Lovgren, along with Coach Heidi Coble, are leading the first institution-sponsored college triathlon program in Kansas. According to newmanjets.com, Lovgren and Coble are the co-owners and coaches of the Wichita Triathlon Team and led the team to the 2012 USA Triathlon Division IV Club National Championship title.
Sports Information Director David Rung said, “Creating a triathlon team has been in talks for many years, and it is exciting to see it come to fruition.”
There are currently five members of the team. One of those members, Joel Beal, joined after being a competitive swimmer in high school and has a natural love for racing. Beal brings the perfect combination since a triathlon consists of swimming, cycling, and running.
Beal said, “My goals for our team is that we all improve on the three disciplines of triathlon (and) we push each other to get better.” He is especially looking forward to showing how the team has grown and improved at the upcoming YMCA indoor triathlon events. Beal hopes these events will be a good way to raise awareness and get more Newman students involved in the sport.
Fellow team member Brandon Steiner became acquainted with the coaches last year when the program was forming and decided to join the inaugural Jets triathlon team. “I expect a good first year and some good team bonding (…) some good results and times from us all,” Steiner said.
The triathlon team will compete in the Midwest Region championships and Steiner said, “After that, I am really looking forward to nationals in Alabama!”