On the Record with Emilio Sta. Rosa

by Trevor Skanes
Senior Emilio Sta. Rosa completed his first competition, The New Jersey State Triathlon, in July 2013. A triathlon is a race in which the competitor swims, bikes and runs different distances. A sprint triathlon, which is the type of race Sta. Rosa competed in, is the shortest race with a .5-mile swim, 12.4-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
Emilio
What motivated you to start competing?
My dad started doing triathlons four years ago and he has competed in 36 triathlons and two Ironmans since. Watching him finish and seeing people clap for him motivated me to start training so those cheers could be for me.
What is your strongest event?
The swim is my strongest event because I started training for the swim three years ago. I learned to swim with my eyes closed so I would be able to swim with a bunch of people blocking my vision.
Which event do you enjoy the most?
I like the run because it’s the last part and you can start thinking about the finish line. Whenever I want to stop, the runners around me encourage me to keep going. That’s what I enjoy about the sport the most—the sportsmanship most competitors compete with.
How did you feel when you ran across the finish line in your first triathlon?
I wanted to finish strong and look good for the camera. After I finished, I knew I was going to compete again because I loved the feeling of accomplishing a major goal.
When you see someone in front of you, does it motivate you to keep going?
Yes and no. There will always be people in front of me, so if I overexert myself just to pass one person, it could harm my overall performance in the race. In contrast, as I pass someone, the person usually says “good job” and encourages me because they know triathlons aren’t about beating other people, but beating their personal record.
What do you hope to accomplish in your triathalon career?
My goal is to compete and finish a triathlon called the Esprit de Montreal. My dad competed in that race, and whatever he can do,  I know I can do just as well.