Graduate student Cymon Kersch places sixth in world triathlon

September 18, 2017

Cymon Kersch, M.D./Ph.D. student and triathleteShe's done it again. Cymon Kersch, M.S., an M.D./Ph.D. student in the OHSU School of Medicine, competed in the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Sept. 17. The event consisted of a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer bicycle ride and a 10-kilometer run. Kersch's time of 02:15:52 puts her at number six in the world in her age group. View the results on the International Triathlon Union website.

The weeklong event is a widely-anticipated global competition with 78 nations represented. More than 3,500 athletes signed up for a chance to win a world championship in their respective age group category. Just under 2,000 people competed in the standard distance race, which Kersch completed, with about 1,600 choosing to compete in the shorter sprint distance course. 

Before qualifying for the world finals, Kersch placed first in her age group in the U.S. National Championship. Blogging about the experience of being a student-athlete on OHSU StudentSpeak, Kersch said, "As students going into medical sciences and practices, we dedicate our lives to the health of others, and it's easy to become completely immersed in our academic training to prepare ourselves for our careers. This immersion often comes at the cost of our personal wellbeing and life experiences outside the walls of the library, the laboratory, the classroom or the clinical office. But we can and should make time to take care of ourselves, our health, and to enjoy life."

Kersch is enrolled in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and works in the laboratory of Edward Neuwelt, M.D., professor of neurology, OHSU School of Medicine. Her current research focuses on understanding the dual role of adhesion and growth factor receptors in the ability of metastatic breast cancer cells to grow in the brain microenvironment.


Finding balance through racing

Photo credit: Johanna Colgrove