MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (June 29, 2016) – Former West Virginia University track and field and cross country student-athlete Sarah-Anne Brault has punched her ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a member of the Canadian Triathlon Team, announced on Wednesday.
Canada Triathlon Release
Brault is one of five triathletes, three women and two men, to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games from August 18-20. She is joined by Kristen Sweetland, Amélie Kretz, Tyler Mislawchuk and Andrew Yorke.
The Olympic triathlon event will be held at Fort Copacabana with a total of 110 competitors racing in a .93 mile (1.5km) swim, 24.8 mile (40km) bike ride and a 6.2 mile (10km) run.
“Four years ago in what was a very stressful announcement, Sarah was named an alternate to the Olympic team while still a WVU student-athlete,” said WVU coach Sean Cleary. “Four years since naming the 2012 Olympic Team, Sarah has trained an average of four-five hours a day for this very moment. It’s an incredible achievement for an amazing young lady.
“While at WVU, Sarah set the bar very high for future student-athletes. While swimming with coach Vic Riggs, training with both the track and cross country team, Sarah was able to hold herself to the highest academics and athletics standards. She’s an All-American in the 10k and an Academic All-American in the classroom. It would be very difficult to exceed these accolades. Sarah met them with a laid-back presence that always made those around her feel good about themselves. She will go down as an all-time great Mountaineer.”
The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native started running when she was 10 years old in youth triathlon races in Canada, and at age 16, began racing junior elite and qualified for junior worlds. After competing at the 2007 Cross Country Canadian Junior Nationals, Brault knew she wanted to represent Canada on a much larger scale.
Brault’s vision of representing Canada developed early as she started devoting her time to triathlons. Balancing the commitment of being a student-athlete at WVU was a challenge for Brault, but in 2012 she took the indoor and outdoor track and field season off to fully train for the Canadian Olympic Trials in the triathlon, where she qualified to serve as an alternate for Team Canada at the London Olympics.
Also in 2012, Brault was the Pan American champion and made her first World Triathlon Series debut winning two medals – a bronze in Ishigaki, Japan, and a silver in Edmonton, Canada. She represented Canada at three world junior championships from 2006 to 2008, where she was named the junior division Pan American champion in 2008. She achieved her first senior international title in 2011 at a Pan American Cup event.
Brault joined the national team in 2013, and in 2014, she raced to a career-best finish in the World Triathlon Series. In Auckland, New Zeeland, she crossed the finish line in fourth place (2:09.15) and followed that up by taking seventh in Yokohama, Japan. In 2015, she posted another top-10 finish in Auckland.
A 2013 WVU graduate, Brault received a bachelor’s of business administration in economics and finance. During her collegiate career as a Mountaineer, she earned Second Team All-America honors in the 10,000 meter, was named All-Big 12 and All-Big East, a CoSIDA Academic All-American and was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team.
Another WVU graduate, Jessica O’Connell, has a chance to make the Canadian Olympic Team in the 5,000-meter run at the 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials on July 7, in Edmonton.