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09-24-2014

Clarkson University Student Wins International Triathlon Bronze Medal

While many Americans spent Labor Day Weekend relaxing, Clarkson University engineering student Abbie Sullivan '18 was swimming, biking and running her way to a triathlon bronze medal.

Abbie SullivanSullivan, from Canandaigua, N.Y., qualified to represent the United States in the Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon at the 2014 International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. More than 3,000 athletes representing 75 countries competed in the 2014 event.

Sullivan had trained for the triathlon last year, but was unable to participate after she broke her foot. She said she practiced again all year to be able to compete, and on Sept. 1, she swam 1,500 meters, biked 38.8 kilometers and ran 10 kilometers in under 2 hours and 24 minutes. Sullivan said she was most looking forward to the swimming portion of the triathlon because she has swam competitively since she was 8 years old.

"It was kind of surreal because I was really excited to represent my country, and it was something I was waiting to do all year," she said.

Sullivan finished third in the female 18-19 division, earning the bronze medal. After crossing the finish line, she said she was initially surprised to learn she had done so well.

"When I found out I won the bronze medal, I couldn't believe it since I hadn't been running a lot," she said. "I didn't think the podium spot was possible, but it was exciting."

Sullivan believes she may have reinjured her foot in the triathlon, so she is waiting until next year to run cross country at Clarkson. In the meantime, however, she has joined the swim team. Sullivan said she has been enjoying her first year at the University so far.

"Everyone seems really nice, and I like my classes," she said. "It's just a good environment."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/asullivan.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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