Morrisville math teacher puts up impressive triathlon numbers

Jessica Reichert went undefeated in 2021 DQ Events competition. (Chuck Sellers/DQ Evergreen photo).
      At Morrisville Middle School, Jessica Reichert teaches mathematics and science, two subjects she’s quite familiar with, both in and out of the classroom.
      Weekdays, she uses her curriculum and so forth to educate about numbers and theories.
      On the weekends, she applies some of the same lessons to compete in – and win – one triathlon after another.
      In fact, while competing in the 2021 DQ Events schedule of competition, she won every race in her age group (40-44) and took the overall Grand Prix title.
      The Abington native knows all about air and fluid mechanics, pacing and projected finish times. She’s been a natural swimmer almost as far back as she can remember. A standout competitor in the pool at Abington High School, Reichert didn’t know it at the time but she was building a foundation for her future in multi-sport.
      “I actually grew up as a competitive swimmer,’’ she said in a recent phone conversation. “When I was young, we were on a family camping trip. My dad saw me swimming against the current. He said, ‘you look like a strong swimmer. We should get you involved in this.’ ”
      After a standout career at Abington, Reichert tried to carry her training into the program at Millersville University.
      “But I kind of burned out on competitive swimming at that point,’’ she said. “I stopped doing everything. Then, in my late 20s, my brother was like ‘I’m going to run a 5K. Do you want to run a 5K with me?’ I said sure. That kind of got me back into competing and eventually triathlon. I just love it.’’
      Jessica, who resides in Lambertville, New Jersey with her husband Todd, does a lot of her training with the Bucks County Triathlon Club. She says the club’s support contributes greatly to her success.
      Anthony Accardo and Kevin McKale provide strong leadership at BCTC.
      “You couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with,’’ Reichert said. “They are so motivating. They’re putting in the work too. They’re not giving you the training plan and not following through themselves. They are training with you side by side. They couldn’t be more supportive.’’
      Most of the DQ events are either sprint or Olympic distance. She has done as much as a half-Ironman (70.3 miles) but says she has no inclination to tackle a full Ironman.
      She’s been teaching at Morrisville Middle School for 17 years and maintains it was her goal to become a teacher from as far back as her own school years.
      “I think I always wanted to be a teacher from a young age,’’ she said. “I had a couple teachers who were supportive of me when I was very young. I thought that was pretty cool. So I wanted to be that person for kids.’’
      Reichert races as much as twice a month from May to October. While some might find that a bit of a grind, she insists it brings her a lot of pleasure.
      “It’s a little bit of everything,’’ she said. “I really love competing. I like staying in good physical health. It’s so much fun for me.’’
      Although she won the Grand Prix, securing the title wasn’t easy. Another woman, Lisa Kall, kept pace with her throughout the year and finished just behind Reichert in the points battle.
      “She really pushed me,’’ Reichert said. “And then we beat Philly Triathlon for the club challenge title, so it was a special year.’’
      Those points and race titles keep piling up. Good thing Reichert stays in touch with mathematics so she can keep track of all those honors she’s received.
      Race calendar
      Sunday
      NHRC Run for the Zebra 5K, 10:45 a.m., New Hope. Contact www.runsignup.com
      Bucks County Roadrunners Club Winter Series Staggered Start 4.6-Miler, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com
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About Wayne Fish 1782 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.