UMN Grad Student Tackles Triathlon....


By John Miller (mndaily.com)


At the University of Georgia, Rachel Zilinskas was a seven-time All-American long distance swimmer who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic trials. After tearing her rotator cuff her sophomore year, she knew that swimming would not last forever.

“At the end of my college career, I was just kind of tapped out in terms of what my shoulders could handle,” Zilinskas said.

Being a fierce competitor her whole life, the now-University of Minnesota graduate student gravitated toward a sport that she had been watching since an early age.

“My mom has done triathlons for a really long time,” Zilinskas said. "I knew it was something I was interested in getting into.”

When she first started training for a triathlon, it was more of a bucket list item that she wanted to check off. That was until she competed in her first race....


“I did my first real competitive triathlon and I did really, really well,” Zilinskas said. “Then I just kind of never looked back from there.”

On July 13, she competed at the CHERRiSH Life Time Tri Minneapolis Triathlon at Lake Nokomis. It consisted of a .93 mile swim, 24.5 mile bike ride and a 6.2 mile run. Despite not winning, she took second place in the International Distance Women’s division. It was one of the best finishes of her career.

“It was a pretty elite race,” Zilinskas said. “I was pretty proud of the second place because it was a pretty competitive field.”

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