Breaking News
The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Madison Ledgard takes on national triathalon competition

Keyur Joshi
TIME FOR TACKLING TRIATHLON TRAINING: Senior Madison Ledgard (left) stretches before cross country practice.

As thousands of athletes gather at the Milwaukee Lakefront, senior Madison Ledgard takes a deep breath. Three…two…one… and she dives, marking the start of her USA Triathlon Nationals experience.

This is nothing new for Ledgard. After meeting qualification requirements to attend the 2023 USA Triathlon Nationals in Milwaukee, she placed 83rd in her age group for the Sprint Triathlon with a time of 1:36:22. Among the over 2,000 participants across all age groups, Ledgard ranked 1,535th.

“The competition at the nationals was pretty hard,” Ledgard said. “There were many more people in the 15-19 category, so going up against those girls really increased the competition.”

A triathlon involves three components—swimming, biking and running—with transition stages woven in between. Competitions take place from March to November and allow athletes of varying levels to compete through youth/junior categories and more. The Sprint triathlon involves shorter courses when compared to other versions, but still covers over 16 miles.

Ledgard, one of 100 other high school students at the competition, began her journey with the sport in elementary school, owing her first race to her former track club coach.

“My coach randomly wanted us all to try a triathlon and I really liked it,” Ledgard said. “We competed in a few others as a club, and I started doing it on my own afterward.”

Since her start in the triathlon, Ledgard has participated in competitions regularly during the summer. Ledgard trains year-round, despite not being a part of a club team. Her on-campus sports, cross country and track, aid with the running portion of the triathlon, but she also trains in the pool and on the bike independently.

Competitions start early, as setting up each transition station and getting gear in order is a crucial step to minimize wasted time moving from one portion of the race to the next. The races themselves, which start as early as 7:15, last anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the event and level of the athlete. Despite having attended similar competitions throughout California, Nationals was a valuable experience, allowing Ledgard to face competitors from across the country.

Ledgard has had a long journey of recovery through physical therapy to maintain her athleticism and health following a bout of shin splints last year. For runners like her, this injury can have debilitating effects, including a greater vulnerability to stress fractures and having to sacrifice the intensity of training, making it much more difficult to prepare for a high-level competition.

“I decided to get surgery near the end of junior year,” Ledgard said. “I wanted to have time to hopefully recover for the triathlon.”

Ledgard’s commitment to both of her high school sports as well as triathlon have challenged her with busy days. As she prepares for the cross country postseason and her final season with Northwood, Ledgard hopes to keep training in college.

“To anyone interested in trying out the triathlon, I would recommend it, ” Ledgard said. “It’s definitely a challenge, but saying that you were able to finish after is a great feeling.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Shreya Aithal, Staff Writer
Shreya Aithal is a Northwood junior and staff writer for the Howler. She loves to aggressively float in water and dance and she naps whenever she can. She can typically be found at school until at least 5 p.m. so if you ever need company, she'll be there, but she might be spreading at a pitch only dogs can hear or drowning in bio notes.
Keyur Joshi, Photographer
Keyur Joshi is a junior, photographer, and business team member for The Northwood Howler. Keyur is a fan of 80s and light rap music, and he often listens to music while working or when he has free time. One of Keyur's hobbies is competing in competitive robotics.

Comments (0)

All The Northwood Howler Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *