KIT Triathletes again DHM Team Vice-Champion
The triathletes of KIT were one of the strongest participants of all universities at this year's DHM in Braunschweig. With a men's and women's team of four each, the Karlsruhe team traveled to Braunschweig to compete against triathletes from other universities over the sprint distance (750 / 23 / 5). For the men's team with Cornelius Goldbeck, Andreas Klein, Roché Persinger and Max Schwab, nothing less than the defense of the runner-up title from the previous year was at stake. The women's team, with Franziska Stemmer, Laura Lentzer, Marie-Fleur Gümbel and Tina Brandt, made their debut in the action of the university championships.
Unlike the relay sprint of years past, this year's event featured a single mass start event. The times of the three fastest athletes of a team were included in the team ranking. The race was opened for the total of 88 endurance triathletes over the 750m swim course in Braunschweig's Heidbergsee. Here Goldbeck was able to place himself favorably in the field and was the first Karlsruhe athlete to leave the water in the direction of the transition zone. He was followed shortly by Klein, Schwab and Persinger, which meant that all the men from Karlsruhe were within reach of the top 20 fastest athletes on the bike. In the women's race, Stemmer and Gümbel held their own in the mixed field of participants and were certainly able to leave some of the male competitors behind. Lentzer and Brandt also created a good starting position for the rest of the competition with a solid swim performance.
On the fast, slightly undulating 23 km bike course, Goldbeck struggled in vain to reduce the gap to the leading group that had formed during the swim. Behind them, Schwab and Klein, always within sight of each other, started a real race to catch up and had both caught up with their colleague Goldbeck by the end. Persinger was also able to make up a few places on the bike, so that the Karlsruhe athletes managed to get all four athletes within the top 20 on the run course thanks to an outstanding performance homogeneity in the team. In the women's race, all athletes continued their performances in the swim. Stemmer and Gümbel in particular were able to secure their position at the front of the women's field here.
For both teams, the podium was within easy reach on the subsequent, undulating 5 km run course. The men's team once again showed a very homogeneous performance and with Schwab (11th place), Klein (13th place) and Goldbeck (15th place) three athletes finished within one minute of each other. Persinger (17th place) would also have secured the team placing here in the event of a possible failure of a Karlsruhe athlete ahead of him. In the end, they only had to admit defeat to the Bundesliga team from Münster and the team was able to celebrate the successful defense of the runner-up title.
The women also proved their willpower despite the difficult conditions with over 30 °C outside temperature on the running course. Stemmer and Gümbel deserve special mention here, as their running performances propelled them to 11th and 14th place. Brandt and Lentzer secured the team result, so that in the end the debutants managed to make it onto the podium in third place.