Christy Lausch has dedicated 21 years of her life to the triathlon community as a competitor and coach.
Lausch, a Mount Airy resident, was recently named the USA Triathlon Developmental Coach of the Year for the second year in a row in recognition of her contribution to the development of USA Triathlon’s top up-and-coming athlete.
She’s the head coach of Mini Cow Tri/MC Elite, a youth and junior high performance team based in Mount Airy. The club was co-founded by Lausch and her husband Brian in 2008, and it’s the first youth-focused USA Triathlon Club in Maryland. The club’s inaugural triathlon took place in 2008 and had 52 finishers, Lausch said, nearly all of which were first-time triathletes.
It became an official organization with USA Triathlon in 2010, and Lausch became a USA Triathlon certified coach in the same year.
A triathlon is a multisport race comprised of three components — swimming, cycling and running. A common triathlon distance includes .93 miles of swimming, a bicycle route of 24.8 miles and a 6.2-mile run.
“It was a huge surprise and a tremendous honor to receive recognition, especially knowing some of the coaches who received the designation in the past,” Lausch said. “It was a real honor and I think it’s a really nice recognition, not just for me, but the team and the parents and athletes, everyone who has been a part of the team over the last 11 years.
“Without all of their support and interest and encouragement, it would not have been possible.”
Lausch said she grew up with very active parents and they were both avid bikers. Lausch’s mother, Donna Holt, who died last month, was also a triathlete. Lausch and her mother competed in a few triathlons together and she said there are many members of her family who are actively involved.
Her children, Anna and Ben, both have triathlon experience. Anna Lausch graduated from South Carroll High School in 2018 and recently completed her freshman year at Colorado Mesa University, where she was one of the first recruits for the university’s women’s Division II triathlon team.
She has 13 years of triathlon experience and holds a USA Triathlon Level 1 coaching certification.
Christy Lausch said her children were Mini Cow Tri’s first team members and both carry the competition in their blood.
Team membership at Mini Cow Tri ranges from ages 7 to 19 and there are three different practice levels — or groups — depending on age and skill level. The camaraderie between athletes and their families is rewarding for Lausch to see, particularly because her own family rallies around the sport as well, she said.
“If I look back at the last 11 years or so, it’s really about watching these kids grow as young men and women to see them come back year after year, growing out of their bikes and shoes and watching them go off to other sports and come back,” Lausch said. “Triathlon is inherently multisport and it supports so many things of what they do all the way.”
Mini Cow Tri is hosting its seventh Youth and Junior Skills Camp at McDaniel College beginning Wednesday and concluding Friday. It’s designed for beginner to intermediate level triathletes from ages 12-16, and is taught exclusively by USA Triathlon certified coaches.
“Triathlon is still a growing sport and our efforts have gone a long way in helping build opportunities for youth triathletes,” Lausch said. “It still has a lot of growth potential, but we work closely with USA Triathlon with different regional groupings and we’ve taken tremendous efforts to support other youth events in Maryland as well as within our region.”