DARIEN, Conn. – Not many nationally ranked triathletes would spend the week before one of the biggest races of the year at music camp. Then again, Darien’s Hannah Goodrick breaks the mold in many ways.
Goodrick, 16, will compete at the U.S.A. Triathlon Junior Elite national championship in West Chester, Ohio, this weekend. Last week, the rising junior at Greenwich Academy attended the Chamber Music Institute Camp in Maine. It might not be the ideal training plan, but Goodrick is a whirlwind of activity who is diligent about doing her workouts.
“Even when I’m home, my coach gives me a training plan and we Skype almost every week,’’ Goodrick said. “I always give him feedback on my training, whether it’s by phone or email. Even though we’re not face-to-face, I still get a lot out of it.”
USA Triathlon ranked Goodrick as 34th in the nation among junior elite females in June. She earned a berth at the youth championships by finishing 20th at the Dallas Elite Development Race in June. Many of the competitors in that race, however, were older than 19. Of the 10 qualifying spots for the youth championships, Goodrick finished second.
She plays field hockey, swims and runs track at Greenwich Academy, but her passion is the triathlon. Four years ago, Goodrick competed her first — the Mini Mossman in Norwalk. “I didn’t place well and that did not matter because I was just trying it out,’’ Goodrick said. “I think I was hooked. The next year I did the same race and finished first in the girls race. I was completely shocked.”
She started competing in more prestigious events last year, racing several times against elite Northeast competition. She is ranked fifth among girls in the Northeast.
Goodrick is one of the rare teenagers who has adopted the triathlon as her specialty. She swam for the Darien YMCA Piranhas and swims for the Tokeneke Club but immediately loved the combined elements of the triathlon. “People always ask me why I do it,’’ Goodrick said. “I love the challenge, and the competition is always fun. I guess I’m a little competitive.”
Her hardest challenge was biking. She rode casually for years, but racing is far different. “I think I’ve improved,’’ Goodrick said. “Before I used to go out biking with the family but nothing serious. I found how important it was to get those muscles trained for racing. I always loved to run, too, but I just did it as fun exercise.”
Goodrick isn’t sure where triathlons will take her. She would like to continue in college, but it is not a sport sanctioned by the NCAA. Some colleges have club programs.
“I have a lot going on with my music, and I’m still passionate about field hockey, swimming and track,’’ Goodrick said. “But the triathlon is really special to me. I don’t know if it’s because nobody else does it, but I don’t think so. I love the sport and cannot imagine my life without it.”