Top Olympic-distance triathletes battle for U.S. crowns
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With national titles on the line, a field featuring nearly 40 top American triathletes — including three Olympians — will be in action at the 2012 USA Triathlon Elite National Championship, held alongside the Nickel City Triathlon on Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.
The Olympic-distance races, which will feature a total of nearly 100 international athletes, also serve as the Buffalo ITU Pan American Cup. The elite action at NFTA Boat Harbor Park begins at noon Eastern with the women’s race, followed by the men at 2:30 p.m.
The spectator-friendly elite races will open with a two-lap, 1,500-meter swim, followed by a 40-kilometer bike comprised of eight 5-kilometer laps and a 10-kilometer run featuring four 2.5-kilometer loops. Complete event information is available at eclipsemultisport.com.
In search of her first USA Triathlon Elite National Championship title since 2006, Beijing Olympian Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) headlines the women’s field. A winner of five domestic non-drafting events this year, she returns to draft-legal racing for the first time since placing eighth at May’s ITU World Triathlon San Diego.
USA Triathlon Project 2016 program members Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and defending under-23 national champion Kaitlin Shiver (Gainesville, Fla.) are also on the start list. Other women to watch include Anna Battiata (Mechanicsville, Va.), who owns three top-10 Pan American Cup finishes on the year; two-time USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship winner and two-time Under-23 National Championship runner-up Jessica Broderick (Boulder, Colo.); and 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship winner Marissa Ferrante (Aptos, Calif.). Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.
London Olympian Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) and Beijing Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) — both USA Triathlon National Team members — lead the men’s start list. Huerta’s season has been highlighted by a ninth-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego to earn a spot on the Olympic Games roster, as well as top-five ITU finishes in Dallas and Edmonton. Shoemaker, the winner at 2010 Elite Nationals, owns a pair of ITU podium finishes on the season, was 10th at the Dextro Energy World Triathlon Sydney and stands 25th in the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings.
Also slated to compete in Buffalo are USA Triathlon Project 2016 program members Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) and Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.). VanOrt was second at Elite Nationals a year ago, while Billington is the defending under-23 national champion.
Among USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program standouts slated to compete on the men’s side are Dan Feeney (Wilmington, Del.), Eric Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.) and Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.).
Additional rising men’s stars to watch at Elite Nationals include William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) and Kevin McDowell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.
About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – one of the fastest growing sports in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions 4,000 races and connects with more than 150,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including ITU World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic Committee.