The third annual Wittenberg University Homecoming “Tiger Tri” was held on Sunday, Oct. 13. The triathlon, which was open to the public, attracted many first time and seasoned athletes to compete in a fun filled weekend festivities that were part of the homecoming event. The Tiger Tri which consisted of 400 yard swim in the HPER Center Natatorium, a 15 mile bike ride from campus to Buck Creek State park and a 3.6 mile run around campus.
Tiger Tri is different from the spring triathlon that is held every year on campus and is open only to the Wittenberg faculty, staff, alumni and students. Tiger Tri is open to the public in order to “connect the University with the community” and at the same time “raise money for scholarship funds for area students” to attend Wittenberg, said Jade Gianakopoulos, Wittenberg class of 1995, who is the founder and race director for the Tiger Tri.
Gianakopoulos’ first triathlon when attending Wittenberg was in the spring. She said it was a “wonderful event” and still being held; however, she wanted to create an event that would bring the larger community to Wittenberg campus. So with these goals in mind, the Homecoming Tiger Tri was created in 2011.
The Tiger Tri has, in its three year existence, brought in “close to $10,000 to give away as a scholarships to area students to attend Wittenberg,” according to Gianakopoulos.
“The substantial amount of scholarship money that the Tiger Tri raises is mostly due to generous sponsors from the community,” said Gianakopoulos. She said that the most notable sponsor is Dr. Tomothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Moving forward Tiger Tri would like to “net over $30,000 within the first five years” as well as “gain a new sponsor for 2014” as Gianakopoulos mentioned.