A Summerland student has been competing in triathlon in the United States.
Emma Scholefield, a recent Summerland Secondary School graduate, has earned a triathlon scholarship from Delaware State University and has competed in the NCAA National Triathlon Championships in Tempe, Arizona.
Scholefield graduated with a 4.0 grade point average on the honour role and effort role from Summerland Secondary School in 2023.
She was a competitive swimmer with the Summerland Orca Swim Club from the age of nine through graduation. She also swam competitively with the Summerland Secondary School Rockets swim team and ran on the cross-country and track and field teams.
“For as long as I can remember I have loved sports and participated in anything sport-related,” she said.
While in high school, she also played field hockey for four years and was named team captain for the last two. In her final year of high school, she qualified for and competed in the BC Provincials for the school swim, cross-country and track and field teams, achieving personal best times.
“Due to my commitment and dedication to sport I was named Female Athlete of The Year in both Grade 11 and 12 and was awarded a British Columbia District Scholarship for Physical Activity and Health,” Scholefield said.
She also has been skiing since she was six years old. She trained with the Apex Freestyle Performance team for four years. In the 2022 to 2023 season, she qualified for and competed in the Canadian Freestyle U18 Junior Nationals in Ontario, placing 10th.
Having witnessed her father compete in Challenge Penticton and watching a Summerland Orca Sprint Triathlon when she was young, she developed an interest in triathlon.
“Through my passion for swimming, cycling and running, I started competing in triathlons when I was 10 years old,” she said. “In 2022, I qualified for and competed at the British Columbia Summer Games in Prince George, B.C., where I won a gold and bronze medal in different triathlon disciplines.”
At a triathlon event in the summer of 2022, Scholefield was introduced to the Kamloops Youth Triathlon race director, who was also a coach for an NCAA women’s triathlon team in the U.S. This interaction piqued her interest in the possibility of being able to pursue her passion in triathlon at the post-secondary level.
She was offered scholarships from several U.S. universities and accepted an offer from Delaware State University to compete on their women’s NCAA D1 triathlon team. Her goal is to accomplish her post-secondary education at the university as a student-athlete enrolled in their nursing program.
During her first year, she has maintained her 4.0 grade point average and has excelled at the five NCAA events she has competed in.
After an exceptional showing at the Blue Ridge Draft Legal Triathlon Festival, the regional qualifier, she and her teammates earned a spot at the Sun Devil Classic Women’s Collegiate Triathlon Championships in Tempe.
“It was great to have my family come to Arizona to cheer me and my team on,” she said. “The course was challenging, made even more difficult with the Arizona heat, making my average pace slower but I was still able to drop seven places in the national rankings. I really enjoyed nationals and am already looking forward to next season.”
Scholefield placed 17th out of 109 athletes in her heat. Triathlon is a new NCAA sport, with 43 participating schools and more than 300 athletes. She finished in the top third of participating national athletes.