Julie Rogers ’17

This past Columbus Day, St. Lawrence students took part in the 31st annual St. Lawrence Quadathlon, a triathlon with a twist. This unique athletic contest includes four events: a 500-yard swim, five-mile bike, one-mile canoe, and two-mile run. Teams can compete in five categories: student teams of all men, all women, mixed teams (two men and two women), individuals called Ironmen and Ironwomen, and faculty and staff. The winner of each category gets to take home a Quadathlon champion T-shirt.

The late Bob Northrup, former head swimming and diving coach, created the Quadathlon as a team bonding exercise. Now, the event is run through the intramurals program, and is directed by Robert Clemmer, head swimming and diving coach.

“It was met with so much enthusiasm that the other varsity teams asked to participate,” Clemmer says. “Eventually the teams included other students on campus and faculty and staff.”

The event averages 15 teams with participation from across the Athletics Department. Annie Williams ’17, a member of the women’s rowing team, competed this year for the first time.

“The crew team has never done a Quadathlon before,” Annie says. “Our coach said this was a good cross-training exercise that also included a chance for team bonding.”

Swimmer Meg Musser ’18 participated in the last three Quadathlons with other members of the women’s swimming and diving team. “We generally kill it in the pool, which gives us a great jump on the competition.  But the rest of the race is much more land-lover friendly, so opposition catches up on us sea creatures pretty fast. The last leg is always a fight to the death.”

Though originally designed for the swimming and diving team, the event gets competitive for all participating athletes.

“We always do our best to protect our turf and try to bring home the gold,” Meg says. 

Kevin Swomley ’17 is a four-year Quadathlete for the Nordic ski team, and a repeat gold medalist. Members of the Nordic team are also regular participants in the event, and have won in at least one category for the past few years.

“I wouldn’t say the swimmers rule this event,” Kevin says. “I would say our record proves otherwise.”