This Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the University of Colorado Triathlon Team hopes to race to its 12th national championship.

Coach Mike Ricci said the team has developed a crew of strong triathletes in the past couple of years.

"When I first started coaching the team in 2008, we had a couple of superstars, but not a lot of depth," he said.

Now he hopes that depth will lead to another overall title.

"We're returning four guys who were in the top 20 last year," he said. "In addition, we have two freshman who are in that range. The potential is there to have six guys in the top 30."

"The girls, the same thing. We have the potential to have three girls in the top 15, if not four in the top 20."

Ricci said training to peak in April is an interesting challenge in this sport, but they manage.

"Nationals are kind of an odd time," he said. "It's in April, and triathlon is really a summer sport."

The team's last race came over CU's spring break. The team took the break to both race at Lake Havasu, Ariz., in the Mountain Collegiate Triathlon Conference Championships and train in Tucson.

"That was their spring break, so that told me how dedicated they were," Ricci said.

At Lake Havasu, the men's and women's teams each took first place, and six men and five women placed in the top 10.

"That was great, we dominated the race," Ricci said.


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Junior Jessica Broderick was out with an injury for the Lake Havasu race, but she'll return to racing this weekend to seek another first-place finish. Broderick took first at the championships as a freshman and placed second last year.