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Montana Women's Triathlon continues to pick up speed in Helena

MTWTri 2
MTWTri 1
Posted at 9:47 PM, Jul 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 23:57:47-04

HELENA — The Montana Women's Triathlon's stated mission is to support and empower women of all ages, sizes, colors and abilities to improve lives through sport.

According to its website, the MTWTri aspires to bring together a community of women who support and encourage each other through the complete process of training in order to participate in this USA Triathlon sanctioned multi-sport event. Sanctioning means that you can get nationally ranked as a triathlete as this race is insured by USAT and, Yes, there are rules to keep everyone safe during the 500-meter swim, 10-mile bike ride, and 3.2-mile run.

Ann Gilbert has been the event's director since its inception in 2015.

“The best thing about this triathlon is it’s so friendly to beginners. It’s totally doable, or you could get a team, (but) then you want to do the race,” mentioned Gilbert.

Bozeman native Jenee Daws won the event last year with a total chip time of 1:14:41.14 followed by Kari Blomster Veradale, Washington, and 14-year-old Manhattan resident Teagen Flint.

This year at 15, Flint finished first in her age group and fifth overall with a final time of 1:18:31.59. Carolyn Weber, from Pocatello, Idaho, finished fourth with a chip time of 1:17:41.56.

MTWTri Top Three Finishers
1st Place: Teresa Patten (middle); 2nd Place: Jenee Daws (left); 3rd PLace: Ashley Coggins (right)

In third place was 47-year-old Ashley Coggins out of Helena (1:15:40.71). In second place was Daws (1:15:14.81). The 2023 winner was 26-year-old Teresa Patten, who currently resides in Nashville but is originally from Helena. She came up to visit her mother for the weekend and will be leaving with a first place MTWTri medal, finishing with a time of 1:13:31.24.

“The first one I did, I did not train very much and I got beat by some of my mom’s co-workers who were older than I was, so I was not very happy about that and so that really motivated me to get training and do better this time,” said Patten.

When asked, “What’s next?” for the 2023 champion, she simply responded: “Oh, taking a break for a couple months.”

Top three MTWTri age group
Linda Gryczan (1:47:17.67), Ann Waickman (1:44:46.07), Carolyn Estes (2:17:03.00)

There are individual groups for all ages.

"I think I like the Biking best, the swim is the one I find hardest, but, because of this Tri, I like to swim a lot, it’s a fun challenge," said Ann Waickman, who finished under 1 hour & 45 minutes.

For a full list of 2023 results, visit MTWTri's website.