Isaksen Captures National Title
2008 Olympian Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) won the 2011 U.S. Modern Pentathlon National Championships on Saturday at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Isaksen began the day winning 24 of her 30 fencing bouts and followed that up with the second best time in the swim (2:19.78). In the third event of the day, the ride, Isaksen fell off her horse after the eighth jump but managed to get back on and finish all 10 jumps clean and without a time penalty. Despite losing 60 points for the fall, she entered the final event of the day, the combined run/shoot, with a 56-second advantage over second-place Rendy Opdycke (Mercer Island, Wash.).
Isaksen would cruise to the victory with a combined time of 12:41 for a total of 5304 points. Suzanne Stettinius (Parkton, Md.) moved up from third place to finish second with 4804 points, and Samantha Achterberg (Littleton, Colo.) moved from fifth place to third overall with a total of 4696. Opdycke would finish fourth with 4604 points.
Isaksen would also capture the junior division title, with Achterberg finishing second and Anna Olesinski (Roswell, N.M.), who had the best time in the combined event (12:10.00) placing third.
"My shooting has been going up and down and I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself," said Isaksen. "But it was nice to be able to compete here today in front of family and friends."
For the first time, all five disciplines of the modern pentathlon were held on the grounds of the Olympic Training Center. A riding arena was constructed on the site of a demolished building and the combined event was held on the Olympic pathway.
"Having other resident athletes from the Training Center, as well as family, be able to come watch was special," said Achterberg, a resident athlete herself from nearby Littleton, Colo. "The other athletes are always asking how the sport works and today they were able to see it for themselves."
The National Championships continue on Sunday with the men's competition.