Season Kickoff Race Preview: Cranberry Sprint
The NECTC kicks off its 2016 season at Lakeville, Massachusetts at the Cranberry Trifest Sprint Triathlon. Last year it was the West Point ladies that stole the show taking 4 of the top 5, led by Angelica Dickson. This year however, none of those top 5 West Point ladies will be returning and the West Point newcomers will need to fill the void.
On the male side Spencer Ralston (Saint Michael's) was the surprise story of the day taking the win in his first ever collegiate race, holding off Dylan Morgan (West Point) by just 7 seconds. Like the West Point ladies, Ralston will not be at Cranberry this year as he has changed in choice of races this fall.
Female Race Favorites:
Julia Jesse (Syracuse) is the top returner from last year when she finished 11th overall. Katrina Josberger (West Point) was the highest place finisher in last years conference standings to compete this weekend. I would expect some of the newer West Point ladies to fill the void left by last year's dominate crew.
Male Race Favorites:
Jacob Slife (West Point) was last year's Conference Champion and took 4th at Cranberry last year in what ended up just being a slow start for him. Barring any newcomers this race should be in the books for Slife. The closest competition is likely to come from his own team in Peter Hetzel and Nicholas Chatel.
As the individual favorites would suggest, this is West Point's race to win on both the male and female side. Their top 4 athletes are just too strong and deep for the competition this early in the season. USCGA brings a solid female squad led by standout Skye Jensen. The remainder of the field seems open for the taking, and some smaller teams will have the opportunity to score some serious points this weekend.
Check out last year's race videos!