Last September, MSU Billings announced a new sport was coming to campus, triathlon. Now they’ve found their founding member of the Yellowjackets’ newest sport, Crow Agency’s Madisan Chavez.
Chavez has always kept herself busy with sports. During her four years at Hardin High, Chavez didn’t just play, she excelled in four different sports, earning state honors in basketball, tennis and cross country.
But Madisan always thought later on in life, she’d like to give triathlon a try.
After high school, Madisan decided to play basketball at Sheridan College. After a year with the Generals, she decided basketball wasn’t the sport for her anymore.
“I just didn’t put in as much work as I thought I would when you play like that you have to really love it,” said Chavez.
Then in September, MSU Billings announced they would launch a new Triathlon team in 2019. Madisan’s dad told her about the new sport being offered, and she decided to contact head coach Kevin Bjerke.
“Well she actually reached out to me and talked about her running and swimming background and especially at the high school had a great running background some nice top finishes in the state for cross country and some good track times and the fact that she has that swimming background to back that up when she was younger,” said Coach Bjerke.
Always juggling multiple sports with the Bulldogs in high school, Madisan thought triathlon could be the perfect sport for her to focus on.
“In high school you know I did so many sports and I was never focused really on one sport so that’s where this would be perfect because you focus on one sport every other day you know you don’t have to just focus on running every day biking everyday or swimming everyday its all three of them,” explained Chavez.
MSUB will be the only school in Montana to offer Triathlon, and one of just thirty in the nation. Madisan will join the Yellowjackets officially in the fall with four years of eligibility. But she and coach Bjerke have already started their training.
“The sport is so new to everyone at the NCAA level so I think if we can just get her comfortable and familiar with all the aspects and putting it together to me it would just be feeling confident in a race and feeling comfortable in a race that would be my number one goal at this point,” said Bjerke.
Chavez has a similar goal. “Just to get better and better they always say in competition its mainly a race against yourself you know you want yourself to get better and better so that’s what my main goal is going to be,” said Chavez.
Madisan will compete against Division I athletes from across the country, but most importantly, she hopes to use her new platform to show Native Americans they can play whatever sport they love.
“You know their main focus is basketball and this will be a cool platform for me to just show them we don’t have to just play basketball not just have to run we can broaden our horizons and do what comes at you and do what you love and probably do for the rest of your life,” said Chavez.
Chavez will major in environmental science at MSUB. The Triathlon season starts in August in South Dakota.
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