For those who claim cheerleading is not a sport, an Atlanta native and former University of Mississippi cheerleader proved her athleticism by recently finished first in her age division in Oxford’s Rebel Man sprint triathlon. The 440-meter swim, 22K bike, and 5K run was the 14th annual event with 88 participants open to all ages.
Kindall Carpenter, of Johns Creek, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, was a University of Mississippi cheerleader her freshman and sophomore years, but decided to turn in her pom-poms her junior year for a new challenge and goal.
“By signing up for the event, it forced me to realize that is actually happening, and I need to get training,” she said. “It is time to put these words into action.”
Carpenter trained for the event by swimming around 1,700 yards and at least four miles daily four days a week, sometimes more.
“The bike portion of the event was something I just winged,” she said. “I didn’t get on it once or practice prior to the event, which isn’t the best idea. It was also raining the day of the event, so the roads were a little wet, but it worked out, and I met some cool friends during that bike ride.”
Carpenter finished first place for her age division (20-24). She completed her 440-meter swim in 7 minutes and 59 seconds. At an average speed of 15.7 miles per hour, she completed her 22K bike ride in 49 minutes and 48 seconds.
She finished the event with a 7 minute 57 second pace mile, making her 5K run a 24 minute and 38 second run. She came in fifth place over all. Her total time of the triathlon was 1 hour 26 minutes and 32 seconds.
“It was awesome just to be able to say I did this, I completed it,” she said. “It really inspired me and makes me want to do more. It was also amazing seeing my family at the transition stations saying how proud they were of me and cheering me on.
“The best was at the finish line seeing my friends and family just cheering my name, and I knew I accomplished something amazing. My advice 100 percent would do it, commit to it, sign up before you even really get into it just so you know you are dedicated and make that a goal to work towards.”