LAHS graduate Kelly Wetteland (now a sophomore at the University of Arizona) holding her All-America Swimming Certificates poses with her family, from left, sister Anna, father Chris and mother Lynn. Courtesy/Max Corliss
By MAX CORLISS
Los Alamos High School graduate Kelly Wetteland, now a sophomore at the University of Arizona, helped propel the Wildcats to a 5th place team finish in their inaugural season at the Women’s NCAA Division I National Triathlon Championships Saturday, Nov. 11 in Tempe, Ariz.
This performance capped off a whirlwind fall sports season for Wetteland, who also scored for the ‘Cats at the Pac-12 Conference Cross-Country championships Oct. 27 in Seattle and in a swimming duel Nov. 3 at USC. Competing in three sports at a collegiate D-1 level is a remarkable accomplishment; doing so on consecutive weekends is virtually unheard of!
Echoes of Los Alamos Success
Recent observers of Los Alamos sports would not be surprised by this development. Wetteland was a three-sport state champion for the Toppers; lifting team trophies in XC and Track along with multiple individual swimming championships. She also was tied-fastest among women and top-10 overall at the 2023 Los Alamos Triathlon. It’s no shock that her prowess has transferred to the collegiate level.
At the Expense of Academics?
Despite having to wedge training and competitions into her busy calendar, Wetteland maintains a solid GPA in her double-major coursework (political science/law). She was named one of four Wildcat student-athletes of the month for October.
It ‘Runs’ in the Family
Meanwhile in New Mexico Saturday, her sister Anna Wetteland (LAHS senior) was pacing the ‘Toppers to a runner-up finish in the NMAA State XC Championships with a 3rd place overall finish. She also signed a National Letter of Intent the previous Wednesday to swim for UCLA.
Their father, Chris Wetteland, coached the ‘Topper swim team Friday in their first competition of the season at the Barney Relays. Anna will return to the pool for the Hilltoppers after recently earning All-America recognition and individual state titles during the 2022-23 season.
Wetteland was recently interviewed in the ‘Bear Down’ Podcast available here.