Saint Michael’s Spencer Ralston Makes IMPACT and Qualifies for World Triathlon Championship

Ralston2-Barry Ralston credit
Photo Courtesy: Barry Ralston

Saint Michael’s College rising sophomore Spencer Ralston, a dual-sport student-athlete on the men’s lacrosse and swimming & diving teams, recently qualified to compete in Maui, Hawaii, at November’s XTERRA World Championship, the world’s premier off-road triathlon.

A USA Triathlon All-America qualifier in 2014, Ralston has entered six triathlons this summer, winning three – all within the last month – while topping his age group at all six. He completed last year ranked first in the Northeast Region in the Male 18-to-19 age group and was the top-ranked triathlete in the Northeast under the age of 20, encompassing three age groups.

Ralston qualified for the world championship by virtue of winning the Male 20-to-24 age group at the XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Va., on June 14. His time of 3:04.05 was 8.31 seconds better than the runner-up in his age group, and allowed him to take 42nd overall among 133 finishers. Ralston completed the 1,000-meter swim in16:48, the 32-kilometer mountain bike ride in one hour, 52 minutes and 12 seconds, and the 10K trail run in 52:56.

On Nov. 1, Ralston will take part in the XTERRA World Championship in what its website touts as “a tropical roller-coaster ride through pineapple fields and forests.” Eight hundred athletes from 28 countries and 42 U.S. states are slated to compete, including professional triathletes. The route includes a 0.93-mile (1.5K) rough-water swim, a 20-mile (32K) mountain bike ride, and 6.1 miles (10K) of trail running.

A little more than two weeks after his performance at regionals, Ralston stayed within an hour of his home to win the June 30 Winding Trails Triathlon, part of a weekly triathlon series in Farmington, Conn. In his only entry into the series this summer, Ralston topped a field of 143 finishers with a time of 48:13, besting the runner-up by 1:46. The 103.6 points he accrued during that victory accounted for the highest single-event total for any of the 171 men who have competed in at least one triathlon this season in Farmington, as of earlier this week.

On July 19, Ralston earned his second victory of the summer, winning the 198-finisher Litchfield Hills Olympic Triathlon in New Hartford, Conn., with a time of one hour, 49 minutes and 57 seconds. He was 1:13 ahead of the second-place finisher.

This past Sunday, Ralston won the 196-finisher Colchester Triathlon across town from Saint Michael’s with a time of 56:15.1, placing ahead of the nearest finisher by 28.2 seconds. Ralston crossed the line pushing Joe Soares, a 13-year-old Williston native who joined the men’s lacrosse team this spring through Team IMPACT. Former Saint Michael’s women’s swimming & diving and tennis student-athlete Eileen Mullowney ’12¬†was the third woman to finish, placing 12th overall.

In his debut season of college lacrosse, Ralston went 101-for-235 as the squad’s top faceoff man, adding 51 ground balls. He tied the second-highest faceoff win total in school annals, and set a first-year record in the process, despite missing two games due to injury. Ralston appeared in every regular-season meet for the swimming & diving squad, focusing primarily on distance events. He saw time most often during 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle races.

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