Salutes & Awards

November 2, 2012

Cadet reaches podium at Ironman World Championship

Tags:
Amber Baillie
Academy Spirit staff writer

Cadet 1st Class Samantha Morrison prepares to swim at the Iron Man Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Oct. 13. Morrisson is assigned to Cadet Squadron 06 and is the Air Force Academy’s 102 triathlete. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The first cadet to qualify in the Ironman World Championship, Cadet 1st Class Samantha Morrison, placed third in the 18-24 age competition Oct. 13 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Morrison, a behavioral science major from Fredericksburg, Va., finished a 2.4-mile swim race, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-mile marathon in 10 hours and 35 minutes.

Morrison qualified for the championship when she took first place at the Wisconsin Ironman competition last year.
“I finished 45 minutes faster than my first Ironman triathlon I raced in Wisconsin,” Morrison said. “My goal is to win at Kona next fall.”

Lt. Col. Freddie Rodriguez, the Academy’s director of Air Force Reserve Research and a professor in the mathematical sciences department here, has coached the Academy’s Cadet Triathlon Team since 2002 and said he has seen Morrison get stronger over the past four years.

“She is the third fastest women in the world in her age group of the Ironman triathlon,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a phenomenal achievement. I’m very proud of Samantha, not only that she qualified for the championship but has kept her focus over the past year and executed her plan.”

Morrison said the fierce, coastal winds made the bike competition a good challenge.

“The Hawaiian winds definitely gave Colorado winds a run for their money,” Morrison said. “If I had taken a hand off of my handlebars at certain points, I would have blown off of my bike.”

Morrison said competing with 2,000 other skilled swimmers in the ocean was intense.

“It was a fight for my life the whole 2.4 miles,” Morrison said. “Everyone was so close together and it actually got kind of scary at times.”

Morrison said there was an unspoken bond among participants.

“The best part about this experience was getting to be around so many athletes from around the world,” Morrison said. “Even though we might not have been able to understand each other’s language, we all understood the love for the sport and the dedication that we all had.”

Morrison said she trained five to six hours a day, six days a week for almost seven months to prepare for the championship. She said she would swim, bike, run and weight train every day to stay in shape.

“It is every triathlete’s dream to race at Kona,” Morrison said. “I love staying busy and getting better. I think the best feeling is working so hard toward something and finally see it pay off in the end. I also love being a triathlete because I never get bored.”

Morrison is on the triathlon club team here and said it’s her seventh year competing in the sport. She said she would love to race professionally in the future.

“I definitely want to make a career out of triathlons,” Morrison said. “I love Ironman and I will continue to do it all my life.”

This year Morrison placed second among collegiate women at nationals at the University of Alabama and the Academy’s team placed 10th overall.

Other cadets who participated at nationals are Cadet 1st Class Loring Ross and Cadets 2nd Class Margaret Haley, John Bierman and Megan Cox.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

What to know before you go to the open house

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” Air Show and Open House April 12 and 13. The event is open to the public and admission is free. It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests. Traffic...
 
 

D-M Airman defuses situation downrange

One of the biggest defense mechanisms of any expeditionary air base is the ability to launch aircraft to neutralize threats. Several 380th Air Expeditionary Wing agencies are charged with getting air operations back up and running as soon as possible should the flightline or runway be attacked. The 380th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal...
 
 
wall

The writing on the “Walls”

The “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house will feature many showcases, mostly centered on aerial displays. But one exhibit takes us from the skies to the ground and across thousands of miles to the sands of Iraq, ...
 

 

Will Allen: The Flying Tenor

Combining his vocal talents with his flying, Will Allen as “The Flying Tenor” brings a new type of air show performance that will stir your soul. Will sings the national anthem live from the cockpit of his Pitts bi-plane while flying an aerobatic routine that has been choreographed to harmonize with the cadence and crescendos of the...
 
 
DesertRat

Desert Rats

The “Desert Rats” Warbird Demonstration Team makes a high-speed run past each other in their CJ-6A Chinese basic pilot trainer aircraft. The CJ-6 aircraft, designed in 1958, are still flown today by China’s People’s Lib...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin