Photo: Kaneland sophomore Victoria Clinton (1059) competes against familiar foe Skyler Bollinger of Yorkville at the Nov. 11 Nike Cross Midwest Regional in Terre Haute, Ind. Clinton was joined in Terre Haute by Lady Knight teammate Brianna Bower (not pictured). Runners from five states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri—competed in the Regional for a chance to move on to the National meet in Oregon. Clinton has a chance to be invited to the National meet, but that information wasn’t available as of press time. Photo by Ben Draper
Class 2A cross-country queen applies skills to triathlon circuit
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Many fellow cross-country runners were witness to Kaneland High School sophomore Victoria Clinton’s success at the Class 2A State meet in Peoria two weeks ago, specifically the back of her jersey.
From November through August, area followers of Clinton can also keep up with her on the triathlon circuit.
Clinton won the Class 2A State meet with a time of 16:56, but a foot race that asks everything of an athlete would only be a third of the task asked of her as part of the run-bike-swim elements of a triathlon.
Clinton competes as part of the Multisport Madness Triathlon Team (MMTT) housed in the western suburbs. The group boasts more than 20 individual national champions as part of the youth triathlon world, and Clinton doesn’t mind the extra work.
“For triathlons, you have to have endurance,” Clinton said. “You have to have technique and know what to do. It’s swimming, biking and running; and you have to have more strategy.”
MMTT team director John Lorenz has seen what area standouts like Geneva’s Kelly Whitley can do when competing, and has been privy to athletes reaching success under the USA Triathlon banner as part of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He feels Clinton’s skillset is amplified by her work ethic.
“It takes a unique athlete to compete, and she’s always had a desire to want more. Swimming is the hardest for a new athlete coming in, and she showed she was up to the challenge early on,” Lorenz said.
Back in August, Clinton was second overall in the 13-15 category at the National Championships in Westchester, Ohio, and moved up to the 16-19 category this season.
“I’ve always had a love for running, but as I’ve trained and competed, I’ve become fond of swimming, and I’ve felt like it’s helped my running,” Clinton said. “It’s helped me cardiovascularly and made me more flexible.”
Lorenz feels that the sophomore’s triathlon possibilities are limitless.
“She has the drive and talent to compete for Team USA one day, and the world championships are an achievable goal,” Lorenz said.
In just her second season, Clinton isn’t intimidated by what could lay ahead.
“The World Championships would be great, and then there’s the Junior Olympics. It’s my second season, and we’ll see what happens,” Clinton said.
Clinton’s MMTT outfit looks to compete in March as part of a competition in Claremont, Fla. The team website is www.mmtt3.org.