Wonder Twin Powers ... Activate

by Monique Koll

UL alumni sisters qualify to compete for Team USA at the Sprint World Championship in London next year.

UL alumni sisters qualify to compete for Team USA at the Sprint World Championship in London next year.

Laura and Analise Zaunbrecher placed within the top 18 of their age group at the 2012 USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship in mid August, qualifying them to race for Team USA in the Sprint World Championship London in 2013. The USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship is a sprint distance event (750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run) that took place this year in Burlington, Vt.

Laura and Analise were born in Carville and moved to Saranac Lake, N.Y., in elementary school. The twins returned to study at UL Lafayette, both with scholarships. They were three-sport athletes during their attendance at UL from 2000-2005, competing in the cross-country, indoor and outdoor track teams. Their indoor distance medley team still holds the school's record. Both women also hold a pair of 12-year-standing records from Saranac Lake High School: Laura in the 800 meter, Analise in the 1600 meter and together in the 4x800 relay.

Laura double majored in physics and mathematics at UL, graduating with honors. She then moved on to the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned her master's degree in earth and atmospheric science and is now a Ph.D. candidate in isotope geochemistry at Georgia State University. Laura qualified for her first Triathlon World Championships in just her third competition, and 2013 will be her third consecutive year competing at the international level. She currently races for Team Endurance Concepts in Atlanta and made the podium several times already this year.

Analise was honored as a UL Outstanding Scholar for 2004. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in microbiology and finished her academic career at UL as valedictorian. Analise earned a full scholarship and completed her Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics at Emory University. She is now a post-doctoral research fellow in medicine at Harvard. Analise also placed well in triathlons this year, and next year will be her first experience at the World Championships.

You can follow Laura's blog of her pursuit of excellence in the world of multi-sport here. This is a unique opportunity for UL alumni to represent our country. As students and non-sponsored athletes, they can use your support. If you wish, you can donate toward travel, coaching and equipment expenses using the PayPal button on Laura's website.