David versus The Goliaths

And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead so that he fell on his face to the ground

– 1 Samual 17:49 NASB


Today’s Mental Monday post was going to be about internal versus external motivation. However, the events and inspiration of the weekend took precedence. I present to you:

David versus The Goliaths

IMG_7545I’m working on this post at 33,000 feet while flying back from our whirlwind trip to Arizona. So whirlwind, I didn’t even take my running shoes! Therefore, no selfie in front of a town sign or a cactus! Oh, well. Maybe in 2020.

As I mentioned in Friday’s Tri Parents post, we were heading out to watch our triathlete son, Miles, compete in the Collegiate Club National Championships in Tempe, Arizona, with his team, Queens University of Charlotte, NC.

Triathlon in college is an oddball sport. Combining swimming, cycling and running into one “sport” is strange enough, but that’s the normal part. Let me attempt to explain. Currently, Queens has three triathlon teams – men’s and women’s club teams and an NCAA women’s team. The NCAA is currently evaluating the viability of triathlon becoming an NCAA sport with a fall women’s season.  However, the club teams are not governed by the NCAA. They are governed by the USA Triathlon organization.

IMG_0882So, this weekend was THE national championship for collegiate triathlon, with three USAT Collegiate Club titles on the line: men’s, women’s, and overall combined. Also, in collegiate club triathlon, all size schools compete against each other at Nationals. There’s no separate Division I, II, and III like in NCAA.  Despite small schools being able to compete against the big guys, no Division II school has ever won the national championship.

To further complicate the club nationals, there are five different races at three different distances: a men’s and women’s draft-legal sprint distance (750m swim, 13-mile bike, 5K run), a men’s and women’s non-draft Olympic-distance (twice the length of the sprint), and mixed-team relay (MTR). Teams earn points in the sprint and Olympic distances to combine for either the men’s or women’s titles. The points earned in the relay are then added to the gender-specific races to give a combined men-women overall title. Told you it was complicated.

When little “David” of a university, Queens, with an enrollment of 2000, hired Sonni Dyer to be the head coach over the new triathlon program, I don’t know if the administration expected him to go out and slay Goliaths, but I think Sonni expected it.  As he recruited and built a team of young men and women from around the globe, he taught them to expect it.

I’m happy to report that Queens University, in only its fourth year of triathlon, did what no other Division II school has done in Collegiate Club triathlon – they won the men’s national championship. To start, Milan’s Tomin’s took 4th place in Friday’s sprint race. On Saturday in the Olympic distance race, Jack Felix of Queens took first place, followed by teammates Justin Lippert and Max Sperl in 3rd and 4th respectively to seal the men’s championship.

Combined with the Queens’ women’s 3rd place spot in their sprint race and three in the top twenty of the women’s Olympic distance, Queens sat in first place for the combined title heading into the final event of the weekend, the Mixed-Team Relay (MTR). Queens won the MTR in 2018 and appeared to be the favorite in 2019. As expected, they slung their last stone and nailed the Goliaths between the eyes, winning the MTR convincingly. It looked the tiny school from Charlotte, NC had done it – the combined overall title.

However, someone filed a late protest against one of the QU men’s uniforms and the USAT agreed. Unfortunately, this disqualified the team from the MTR and cost them the overall team title. They officially finished third in the overall combined score.

If that sounds crazy, you can read about the DQ situation here:


Final Official Standings


1. Queens University of Charlotte
2. University of California, Berkeley
3. University of Colorado, Boulder


1. University of California, Berkeley
2. Colorado State University
3. University of Colorado, Boulder


1. University of California, Berkeley
2. University of Colorado, Boulder
3. Queens University of Charlotte

So, today’s Mental Monday lesson: Davids still can slay Goliaths. Time for me to polish some stones.

Thanks for reading,





PS – Here are other links to information on this weekend’s events:

Queens Athletics article: https://queensathletics.com/news/2019/4/7/mens-triathlon-royals-place-third-overall-at-usat-collegiate-club-national-championships.aspx

USA Triathlon article: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/News/Articles-and-Releases/2019/April/06/University-of-California-Berkeley-Wins-Overall-Title-at-USA-Triathlon-Collegiate-Club-Nationals

3 Replies to “David versus The Goliaths”

  1. Cindy Deane says:

    Thanks for the clear explanation of the complicated situation. Despite the drama surrounding the disqualification, we are incredibly proud of Miles and his entire team!

  2. […] you didn’t read the original David Versus The Goliaths post from last week, you may do so by clicking […]

  3. […] my blogging software tells me the daily post views count. My most viewed post was David Versus The Goliaths because my son’s highly connected triathlon coach shared it out. That post hit at least a […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *