Samantha Sullivan/Mustang News

The lack of rain this year will affect water levels of Lake San Antonio, but Wildflower is still expected to go on.

Elyse Lopez
Special to Mustang News

Where Wildflower Triathlon goes, students will follow.

The lack of rain this year will affect water levels of Lake San Antonio, but Wildflower is still expected to go on, said Colleen Bousman, president of Tri-California Events. It just might be at another location.

Tri-California is not releasing much information until their team of experts who have been coordinating the race for ten years have explored all their options, Bousman said.

But the event planning team is keeping a close eye on the drought.

“We’ll have a better idea after a few showers,” Bousman said.

Tri-California Events is now in the process of examining different locations like Harris Ranch, which they will take a further look at next month. It will make its final decision after the first of April, Bousman said.

“The key point we’re trying to say is this the 32nd annual event,” Bousman said. “We’ve dealt with heat, cold and drought in that time and always put on a unique and memorable experience.”

“We’re still going to have a finish line,” she added.

The Cal Poly Triathlon Team has been training since September for Wildflower, and many participants don’t plan on cancelling even if the venue moves, said biological sciences junior Luke Paik, the team’s head run coach.

“I think anybody who would drop out simply because simply a change in location maybe isn’t going to Wildflower for the right reasons,” Paik said.

Wildflower is more about the camaraderie of a team, he said.

“So much apart of what makes Wildflower is the people and that hopefully will not change with the new location,” Paik said.

Location could have an impact on the race because getting familiar with an area and particular course is a significant part of competing in triathlons, Paik said.

“It will be interesting to see, if it’s at another location, how the dynamic will change,” he said. “Because everything we conceptualize of Wildflower is what it has been.”

Some students are interested in a change of scenery, like mechanical engineering senior Frankie Wiggins.

This year will be his fifth race, he said.

“It will be interesting, because I am so used to racing the same course,” Wiggins said.

The transitional phases — from swimming to biking to running — are the most worrisome if the location is changed, Wiggins said.

“It’s really big event for us, and it’s the race that’s most attended by our athletes,” he said.

Wiggins estimates that 50 to 70 percent of the Cal Poly Triathlon Team will attend the event, and he said the hardest task will fall on the Wildflower student committee, which helps Bousman and Tri-California plan the event.

“It’s probably pretty rough for them, but it pays off every year,” he said.

Bousman said she is looking forward to working with the student committee this year because of all the major decisions that need to be made.

“They will be learning about what it takes to put on events,” she said, “and I’m excited to see what they put on.”

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