Former Bulldog Rowers Successful At 2011 Ironman

Former Zags after the 2011 Ironman.
Former Zags after the 2011 Ironman.

June 29, 2011

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - This past Sunday seven former Gonzaga University women's rowers and one former Bulldog men's rower reunited in Coeur d'Alene to take on one grueling task together; the 2011 Ironman Triathlon. Whitney Engle (2006-09), Katie Atkins (2006-09), Courtney Haase (2000-03), Julie Smetana (2005-08), Karen O'Hagan (2002-05), Nicole Lustig (2000-02) and Nicole Aadland-Lewis (2004-07), along with Matt Wernette (2004-07) all successfully finished the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run.

"Everyone did so well," explained Engle. "We had five people under 13 hours and almost everyone improved upon their previous times. It was just the perfect day. It was so much fun and an incredible event to be a part of. The crowd support was truly what made the day though. Having such wonderful supportive fans and teammates make this seven what it is."

Engle finished the course, which starts off with a two-loop swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene, after which they bike through rural northern Idaho and then hit the run course, which has the most spectacular support, with the group's fastest time - 11:38.18. Engle's time qualified her for the Ironman Kona World Championship, set for Oct. 8 in Kona, Hawaii.

Atkins closed out the course in 12:20.49, followed by Haase at 12:46.09. Smetana and O'Hagan finished in 13:18.45 and 13:53.59, respectively, while Lustig had a time of 14:06.05 and Aadland-Lewis had a time of 14:42.16.

"It was so awesome to be out on the course with so many Gonzaga rowing triathlon fans and what a great group of alumni to compete with," said Atkins after the momentous afternoon. 



Wernette, the lone former male rower, had the fourth fastest time of the group, finishing in 12:48.12.

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