Erica Hawley has got her collegiate triathlon career off to a flying start at the University of Boulder, Colrado. Erica raced for the university raced in the USA Triathlon draft legal collegiate regional sprint triathlon just outside Boulder on Sunday (25th September) and took 1st place with her team also winning the collegiate trophy.
Erica came out of the 750 meter swim in th lead in 10 min 54 secs with Liberty Ricca.The two of them opened up a big gap over the chasers coming into transitions over 3 minutes ahead. Erica posted a time of 33:38 for the 20km bike entering transition some 15 secs ahead of Ricca. Erica then showed her experience racing in the draft legal format as she gained a further 12 seconds on Ricca in T2. She then ran the 2nd fastest 5km run split of the day, 20:25 , to fonish in 1 hr 6 mins 25 secs, 40 seconds ahead of Ricca .
For full results go here
Erica’s win comes soon after the news that she has been offered an amazing opportunity to work with a new coach, Ian O’Brien, in Boulder/Colorado Springs. Erica and her parents acknowledged the fantastic work done by Canadian coach Kelly Guest to get Erica to the junior elite level but with Erica based in Boulder they felt that she could not turn down this opportunity.
The coaching company founded by O’Brien, ORIGIN Performance, is one of the leading coaching organisations in Boulder. O’Brien is originally from the UK and is also a consultant working with USA Triathlon. Erica’s new team consists of top level triathletes racing for the USA at U23/Elite and Junior Elite level including junior sensation Taylor Knibb who, as the defending champion, easily won the junior elite World Championships in Cozumel and was 2nd to Flora Duffy in the Montreal World Cup Triathlon just before the Olympics. O’Brien asked Erica onto the team when he heard she was in Boulder ( he had known her from a USA Junior camp a few years ago where he had done some coaching). Here is what he wrote to the Hawleys….
“I cannot wait to see where we can take her. She is a great person and athlete. I really focus on coaching good people first then everything else comes later. so I am really looking forward to working with Erica! I will also ensure she gets to the next level with complete consideration for her academic load.
There will be opportunities to be analyzed by some of the Olympic sports scientists here at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I use as many specialists as possible to ensure ultimate performance progression, as I have with Taylor Knibb and all my elite athletes Its going to be an epic first year and then a continuous developmental pathway.
My ultimate focus is 2020. I really want Erica to progress through the elite ranks and racing circuits effectively over the next few years, gradually building success and doing it right. It’s going to be great to see her develop as an athlete and as a person!Thanks for allowing me to coach her. It is going to be my pleasure.”