Triathlon Gold Proud to Call UNC Asheville Home

About halfway through 2018, Olympic Triathlon Coach Jarrod Evans and his group Triathlon Gold starting looking for a new home base for their top-level program.

In looking to relocate from San Diego, Evans and Triathlon Gold visited 16 different cities over the course of their search for a new home.

Asheville was the last place that they visited, but it was quickly apparent upon their arrival that they had found their new home with UNC Asheville.

"I had a meeting with (Director of Athletics) Janet R. Cone and she was very open to the idea of supporting a USA Triathlon elite program and combining with UNC Asheville's athletic facilities," Evans said. "The reasons we chose Asheville are many and varied, but probably the top of the list is that we wanted to find a place that the athletes could live year-round that also had world-class facilities and a good sense of community."

As part of the collaboration, Triathlon Gold has access to UNC Asheville's Justice Center Pool, the Karl Straus Track, the Asheville Jewish Community Center pool (home of diving for UNC Asheville swimming & diving) and much more. Triathlon Gold also spends a great deal of time preparing in and around Biltmore Lake.

The collaboration also works fluidly thanks to the efforts of UNC Asheville Campus Recreation and the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission.

Triathlon Gold's decision to work with Bulldog athletics in this capacity was made even more appealing given the on-campus expertise of the UNC Asheville Department of Health and Wellness as well as the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness, in addition to the University's truly unique partnership with Mission Health which is based on five pillars: sports medicine, scholarships and internships, healthy campus, career and professional development and sponsorship.

Cone is thrilled that Triathlon Gold decided to call Asheville home.

"This is great partnership that allows our student-athletes and coaches to be surrounded even more by elite athletes training at the highest level," Cone said. "I could not be happier that Jarrod and his team decided to train at UNC Asheville. Like our Bulldog coaches and staff, Jarrod is working hard daily to build Champions in Athletics and Leaders in Life."

Evans in his over 20 years of international coaching has produced more than 25 World Triathlon Champions and over 40 National Triathlon Champions. He has also prepared over 250 IRONMAN World Championship athletes and multiple International Triathlon Union champions.

Triathlon Gold operates within with the USA Triathlon National Team Program. The program is currently open to elite triathletes from the United States and International professional triathletes.

Evans' current grouping of athletes includes Mary Alex England and Sophie Chase, who will represent the U.S. at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The 2019 Pan American Games run from Friday, July 26-Sunday, Aug. 11.

"We have athletes who are competing in the Pan Am Games coming up, but with the Olympics next year (Tokyo, Japan), the Olympic trials is the next main qualification focus of our athletes," Evans said. "It's a good mix of athletes and we have some internationals in our group as well, but it's predominantly a US Elite team."

Triathlon Gold officially started shifting things to Asheville in April of 2019 and it's been easy for Evans to see over the last few months that moving things to the Western North Carolina area was the right choice.

"Absolutely," Evans said. "We obviously have moved here in a great time of year coming around the summer, and we could not be happier. The training facilities are first class, the natural resources are amazing and the community is great. People have been hugely welcoming of our program, whether it be utilizing a pool, a track or a gym. We're very happy with our decision."

To learn more about Evans and Triathlon Gold, please visit triathlongold.com. You can learn more about UNC Asheville athletics by visiting uncabulldogs.com.