VERMILLION — The first home triathlon meet in South Dakota history highlights the 2019 South Dakota triathlon schedule announced Tuesday by USD head coach Kyle Joplin.

South Dakota makes its home debut at Lake Yankton near Yankton, South Dakota, for the inaugural USD Invitational. The Coyotes will toe the line against Black Hills State and Drury at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22.

The Coyotes are scheduled to make appearances at all three regional qualifiers, providing three opportunities to qualify for the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. To qualify for nationals, the team needs to place in the top-two at any of the three regional qualifiers.

South Dakota kicks off the season with the Central Regional Qualifier at Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, on Sept. 1.

The Coyotes will return to the Belle Fourche Reservoir in Belle Fourche for the second-straight year. South Dakota dueled Black Hills State on the course in 2018, but this season’s edition will be the West Regional Qualifier on Sept. 15. Returner Leah Drengenberg earned the all-West Region Freshman award after last year’s meet with her fourth-place finish.

After a trio of September meets, the Coyotes will rest up for the East Regional Qualifier held Oct. 19 at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia.

The season concludes with the 2019 edition of the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship on Nov. 16. The Coyote women finished runner-up in their inaugural season behind top-10 finishes from Drengenberg, Sammy Whitting and Payton Ryz. All three return for their sophomore campaigns. The national meet returns to Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona.

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