What pro career was on your mind when you attended high school? Basketball, football or baseball? Andrew Yoder from Pennsylvania didn't just think about it, he turned pro triathlete and is still a senior in high school.
ST: Andrew, you had a great race at the Columbia Tri in 2007. Were you happy how the rest of your 2007 season went?
Andrew: Columbia was a breakthrough race and gave me the confidence to go pro. I was happy with how the rest of the season went but there were races, such as Philly and NYC where I came so close to a top 5 finish. I won two competitive regional races, Wilkes Barre and Skylands. I was mainly injury free and was very happy with the progress of my bike and run. I think the most important part of last year was the experience I gained racing against other pros.
ST: You are still a senior in high school. Do you get funny looks when other pros find out about that?
Andrew: I'm not sure about funny looks. When racing and training, I try not to let age be an excuse. Now that I am racing pro, it doesn’t matter about age anymore. I do think I will gain strength and experience over the next five to ten years and that should help.
ST: What does your weekly training look like right now?
Andrew: I am still working on building base. 2008 is going to be a really long season, so my coach (Charlie Foltz) and I are trying not to rush things. Most of the training is aerobic with some tempo and max intervals. The training is usually somewhere around 25,000 yards of swimming, 15 hours of biking, and 5 hours of running.
ST: Can you tell us about your athletic background?
Andrew: I was mainly a competitive swimmer. I started swimming around five and club swimming at age seven . Swimming taught me work ethic and gave me a great aerobic base.
ST: What are your plans in terms of racing for 2008?
Andrew: The season will be split in two parts this year. The first part I will try to peak for ITU U23 Worlds in Vancouver and second half of the season will be focused on the Lifetime Fitness Series. I will be racing Columbia and Philadelphia again.
ST: Do you have a favorite race?
Andrew: NYC Triathlon is by far my favorite race. The city makes the race. Running through Central Park was a huge rush.
ST: What or who was your inspiration to do triathlon?
Andrew: My first taste of triathlon was in a relay at a local race when I was 12. I loved the feel of the race. I did my first triathlon when I was 14 and it was the hardest thing I had ever done. I crashed twice on the bike and walked the entire run, except for the last 50 yards of course. After the race, I was so motivated to improve. I have been lucky to come along so fast and have met people that have helped with my development.
ST: Have you had help with your bike fit?
Andrew: I have been very privileged to work with David Greenfield at Elite. He spent countless hours working on my fit. Every time I go Philly, we work of my fit to make sure everything is dialed in. He also calls to make sure things are feeling good. We made the position as aggressive as possible without sacrificing comfort and my running legs.
ST: How are things going for you in terms of sponsorship?
Andrew: I have been riding for Elite Bicycles for over a year. I love riding for guys who care about the sport and the people in it. This year I am also with Rudy Project and TriAll3Sports Bike Cases. I am very grateful for their help. My parents are my biggest sponsors. Without their support, I would not be able to travel and compete at races.
ST: Can you tell us about your family?
Andrew: My parents were athletic when they were younger. My dad was a good runner and ran in college. I have a 7 year old sister who acts like she is 16. Even though I live in Lancaster County (PA Dutch Country) and my last name is Yoder, I am not Amish!
ST: Do you follow any other sports?
Andrew: I am a huge University of Maryland basketball fan. My dad went to school there, so we live and die during college basketball season.
ST: Can you share with us some of your food likes and dislikes?
Andrew: It is hard for me to turn down a trip to Chipotle for a burrito. Besides Chipotle, I like all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Bacon would have to be on the short list of dislikes.
ST: What about music? Anything you listen to more often?
Andrew: I like all types of music. My favorites are the Killers, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison.
ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?
Andrew: I am still deciding where to go to school next year. It's going to be interesting trying to balance triathlon and college.