Fitness team works for championship win

Rural Valley, Pa., masters Candidate Krista Nordby; Carrollton junior Chistabelle Alexander; Ames, Iowa sophomore Lucas Borg; and Dallas senior Josh Brame will soon head to Colorado to participate in the National Fitness Challenge. Matt Hellman | Lariat Photographer

By Molly Dunn

Four students will represent Baylor at the American Collegiate Intramural Sports Fitness National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., on April 30 and hope to bring home the win this time around.

Ames, Iowa, sophomore Lucas Borg, Dallas senior Josh Brame, Carrollton junior Christabelle Alexander and Rural Valley, Pa., master’s candidate Krista Nordby will represent Baylor in the tournament, which brings together teams from universities across the nation.

Van Davis, assistant director for fitness and nutrition education, coaches the team and wants to bring home first place after placing second the past two years.

“I really think we’re going to do well. I think we have a really solid team. I’m giving it 110 percent, just go out there and do the best I can,” Alexander said.

In the competition, one male and one female competitor will do the biking section of the mini-triathlon, the other two competitors will do the running section and then all four will swim in the final part. All competitors will also participate in a tug o’ war and an obstacle course.

Davis said the obstacle course will be the most challenging for all teams competing.

“It covers the whole football field. So not only is it taxing endurance-wise, but you have got to have the quickness, you’ve got to be able to be smart on a certain event,” Davis said. “This year I’m bringing home the trophy. We’ll continue to strive for that until we get it.”

None of the team members competing this year have competed in previous ACIS Fitness National Championships.

“I think it’s going to be neat because [for] all of them this will be their first time,” Davis said. “It will be fun because they’ll get to experience all the new things together. From the trip, traveling together and just being there, I think that’ll be great.”

Along with excitement comes nerves.

“I’m kind of nervous because I’ve never gone before, but in the past years my friends have gone, so I’ve talked with them about what it’s like,” Alexander said.

Brame competes on Baylor’s crew team and said he feels prepared to compete nationally.

“I’ve always been driven to work hard and play harder,” Brame said. “ACIS Fitness Challenge is another way for me to compete and hopefully succeed at what I do. I feel like I can compete heavily with the top percentage of the school or nation, so ACIS is definitely a way to do that.”

Although competitors can physically prepare themselves for competing in each event, preparing to cope with the altitude change from Texas to Colorado is a difficult adjustment, Davis said.

“There are a lot of other teams that are from the north part of the country, so the altitude, they’re pretty much used to that, especially the two teams from the Air Force Academy,” Davis said. “They really have the inside advantage because they’re used to the weather, they’re used to the campus and a part of their physical training revolves around swim, bike and run.”

The two teams representing the Air Force Academy have taken first place the past two years and are Baylor’s biggest competition.

“The altitude, to me, is a big deal. They’re [the Air Force Academy] already adjusted to it. If you’re in the academy, you’re fit,” Borg said.

Brame said rowing for the crew team has helped him with oxygen consumption and usage, which will come in handy during his biking event outside.

Although the altitude puts the southern teams at a disadvantage, the competitors representing Baylor said they are excited to compete.

“Give it my best and let God do the rest. If I give my best, there are no regrets; I won’t be able to regret anything,” Alexander said.

Davis has been encouraging and motivating her students to work hard in training so that it will pay off when they compete nationally, but she said she wants them to enjoy their time in Colorado and at the competition.

“I do tell everyone that we’re going to bring home the trophy, but I say that but the bottom line is really for our students to go up there and experience this weekend and just really enjoy it,” Davis said. “I know they’re in great shape, I know they’re going to give it all they got, so I’m not worried about that.”