|Gwen Jorgensen reaches the finish line at ITU World Triathlon Auckland on March 29, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand.|
AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- 2014 ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen ran to her 10th career ITU World Triathlon Series win on Sunday at ITU World Triathlon Auckland, while fellow USA Triathlon National Team member Katie Zaferes earned her second-straight silver medal of the season.
Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) clocked in at 2 hours, 9 minutes, 4 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 43.2-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course to break the tape. It was the seventh consecutive WTS win for the 2012 U.S. Olympian, who posted a 34:10 run split over 10k - the fastest run of the day by nearly 50 seconds. Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) finished second in 2:10:42, mirroring the podium from three weeks ago at ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi when Jorgensen and Zaferes also finished 1-2.
New Zealand's Andrea Hewitt was third in 2:10:58 to round out the podium, qualifying for her country's Olympic team based on the New Zealand federation's criteria.
Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.) finished eighth for her second top-10 finish of 2015, adding to the more than 20 top-10 WTS finishes she has collected since 2009. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) was 16th in her second-ever WTS race, and Lindsey Jerdonek (Brecksville, Ohio) was 21st.
Zaferes and True were near the front heading out of the water, Carolina Routier of Spain and Lucy Hall of Great Britain leading the way. Jorgensen exited the water more than 40 seconds back, but connected with a chasing group that included 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden of Sweden, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Emma Moffatt of Australia and Hewitt. The chase group made up the gap in the first three laps to merge the packs with five laps to go on the 43.2k bike course.
Entering the second transition, Jorgensen moved toward the front of the pack, posting the fourth-fastest bike split before heading out on to the run. She moved into the lead and kept charging through the finish.
"I really wanted to be with the leaders at T2 and I'm thrilled that it happened," Jorgensen told ITU media at the finish. "And for Katie to come in second again, it's just awesome for Team USA."
Zaferes started the run behind Hewitt and eventual fourth-place finisher Vendula Frintova of Czech Republic, but steadily climbed to the second position by the halfway point on the run to finish on the podium again.
"I'm super excited," Zaferes said after the race. "Typically I've been doing well in sprint distances since I started ITU racing, so it's nice to do an Olympic distance and feel strong in that."
With today's results, Jorgensen and Zaferes maintain their 1-2 position in the world rankings, with 1,600 points and 1,480 points, respectively. True moves to sixth in the rankings with 893 points, and Lindsey Jerdonek (Brecksville, Ohio) is ranked ninth with 710 points. Complete rankings are available at wts.triathlon.org.
In the men's race, Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) posted a career-best finish in a WTS event, finishing ninth in 1:57:20 for his first WTS top 10. Previously his best finish was 11th, earned last year in Stockholm. Kanute was in the lead group on the swim and was part of the lead group throughout the bike to start him off on the run in a prime position. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) finished 20th.
ITU World Triathlon Auckland
1,500m swim, 43.2k bike, 10k run
Elite Women Podium
1. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:09:04
2. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 2:10:42
3. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 2:10:58
Elite Women - U.S. finishers
8. Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.), 2:12:22
16. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 2:14:07
21. Lindsey Jerdonek (Brecksville, Ohio), 2:14:40
38. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 2:20:32
Elite Men Podium
1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 1:55:26
2. Javier Gomez (ESP), 1:55:41
3. Pierre Le Corre (FRA), 1:55:52
Elite Men - U.S. finishers
9. Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), 1:57:20
20. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 1:59:15
44. Sean Jefferson (Palisades, Calif.), 2:04:58
DNF Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) - broken handlebars