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St. Kate’s at 2012 Y-Tri

Bike route volunteers Janet Muzulu ’14, Leah Nankumba’13 and Leslie Muzulu ’13 at St. Kate’s YWCA Triathlon tent.
Bike route volunteers Janet Muzulu ’14, Leah Nankumba’13 and Leslie Muzulu ’13 at St. Kate’s YWCA Triathlon tent.
Photo by Pauline Oo.

For the third consecutive year, St. Catherine University was the official higher education partner of the YWCA of Minneapolis Women’s Triathlon (YTri) — and sponsored the bike route of the three-sport race, which began and ended at Lake Nokomis on Sunday.

Women and girls of all ages and abilities swam 500 yards, biked 15.5 miles and ran 3.1 miles (a 5K). The event drew more than 1,500 participants, and nearly half were first-time triathletes.

“When we started the YWCA All Women’s Triathlon five years ago, it was a vision that an all-women triathlon would give women that extra support they needed to even think about doing an athletic event, much less a triathlon,” says Becky Roloff ’76, YWCA of Minneapolis president and chief executive officer. “This was certainly my story.  While I had always exercised and was a swimmer, I was neither a runner nor a biker.”

Roloff competed alongside more than 25 other Katies, including Pam Stegora Axberg ’85, senior vice president at UnitedHealthcare; Lenore Healey Schultz ’82, TC Ataxia Support Group leader; Amy Polski Larson ’91, St. Kate’s gift officer; LeAnn Weikle ’01, first-grade teacher; and Carissa Morris ’12, social worker.

Other St. Kate's participants were Nicki Hines, director of corporate and foundation relations; Jennifer Miller, associate professor of physical therapy; and Sarah Ferguson, assistant professor of social work.

The St. Catherine running group, Corps de Catherine, celebrated its nine-year anniversary with several members competing in the Ytri, including Biology Professor Martha Phillips, University Registar Cindy Egeness and Residence Life Director Heidi Anderson-Isaacson.

Among St. Kate’s 45 bike route volunteers were Carol Kuechler, St. Kate’s Master of Social Work program director; Margie Larson, graduate admission coordinator; Mary Kleinberg, Minneapolis counseling and student development administrative assistant, and students from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Coordinating the St. Catherine presence in the event was Maha El-Wailli, communications specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communications at St. Kate's.

“It has made all the difference to have such a worthy partner and to have such strong, encouraging voices on the trail," says Roloff. "Great institutions like St. Catherine’s or the YWCA can remove the barriers of self-doubt that each of us has, and to provide the skill training we need to do those things we thought were impossible even to consider.”

Proceeds from the triathlon benefit the YWCA Women's Wellness program. Click here to learn more.

Official St. Kate’s photos are posted on the University’s Flickr website.

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Aug. 14, 2012 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Athletics, Faculty, Leadership, Students