The Colorado Buffaloes Triathlon Team certainly has a lot to live up to this season, but they are more prepared than ever to take on the challenge. The reigning champions will aim to defend their title at the 2011 Collegiate National Championship, which will be held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Still, they have miles of swimming, biking, and running – as well as hours of teambuilding – to go before they reach that point.

For many of the team’s top triathletes, training and racing continue long past Collegiate Nationals and into the summer. For top female Jessica Broderick, who pulled out a second-place finish in Lubbock in May, Nationals was just the beginning. She has raced in three major races this summer, including the World University Games in Spain, the Coteau de Lac Continental Cup in Canada, in which she achieved a top-ten finish, and the Treasure Island Continental Cup in San Francisco. Men’s team standout Chris Braden demonstrated his speed with a win at the Santa Barbara Semina Nautica 15k road race, finishing in an impressive 50 minutes and 36 seconds. Several Buffs raced at home in the Boulder Peak Triathlon on July 11th, while junior Laura Greer completed the Missoula Marathon on the same day.

Besides determination to defend the national title, what will keep the Buffs going this season? For Greer, team goals are about more than just race results. The team aspect of triathlon is not always easy to master or take advantage of, so one crucial goal is to “have a team that trains together and wins together while always enjoying the sport.” The Buffs will work to have their highest attendance ever at scheduled practices, and will also try to become closer by spending more time together outside of training. In addition, they will try to “[stay] healthy physically and mentally,” a task easier said than done. The Buffs hope to create a network of support within their team so that they can push each other to new limits and become faster as a result.

Of course, says Greer, the most obvious and exciting goal still remains: “Representing CU as the best tri team in the nation!”