Cathedral sophomore Gillian Cridge was first to break the tape at the USA Triathlon Junior National Championships earlier this month, but she is already setting her sights on chasing her next title.
“In September, I will compete in the Junior World Championships,” Gillian said of the event which will be held in Australia. “I really enjoy being able to push myself and set my own goals and know my own limits. Then I am able to see how hard I can push myself and how good I can be.”
Mastering the three disciplines of the triathlon means a grueling training schedule, often at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park near the Cathedral campus.
“Monday through Friday, I am usually up by 5:30, 5:45 getting in my first workout before school. Then I go to school from 8:50 to 3:10 and then right after school I will try to get in, sometimes it’s just one workout, usually it’s two workouts, and then I will go home, eat, get my homework done and go to bed and start over the next day,” the 16-year-old said with a smile.
Gillian’s two-a-day workouts means she has those early morning training sessions, so Cathedral accommodates that by allowing her a later start to the school day. They also allow her additional absences to accommodate her competition schedule.
“Without them granting me late arrival, I would not be able to get all my training in and I would be up later and I probably would not be able to have the success that I do.”
While she already claimed a runner-up finish in international competition this summer in Brazil, Gillian looks to keep climbing the ranks at September’s Youth Junior World Championship.
“I’m really excited because I haven’t raced all these girls before and I am interested to see where I fall. I am only race age 17, so I still have two more years, so being able to get the opportunity as a 17-year-old to go and race 19-year-olds is just crazy.”