You've Qualified SampleQualifying for Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals 2016

Have you qualified for Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals? The following information will explain the qualification process. Please read all of the following information before contacting USA Triathlon to inquire about your qualification status. The picture on the right is a sample of the email you receive when you qualify.

What events qualify for Age Group Nationals?

To qualify for Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals, you must finish a USAT Sanctioned Age Group Triathlon of any distance. Distances can be as short as super-sprint and as long as ultra-distance (full Ironman). These events can include on-road and off-road triathlons. Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals is the only USA Triathlon National Championship which requires this strict qualification.

Qualification cannot be met by participating in a duathlon, aquathlon, or aquabike event.

There is no qualification required to participate in Sprint-Distance Age Group Nationals.

What Category Must I Participate In To Qualify?

To qualify, you must participate in an age group category. Participating in an Elite, Open, Athena, Clydesdale, etc. category will not qualify you. Qualification is based on the finish in the athlete's age group, not where the athlete is extended an award. For example, if an athlete wins an overall award at an event and is removed from their age group, they will be placed back in their respective age group for purposes of qualification and the USAT rankings database.

If Jane Doe is the overall female champion at an event and does not take first place in her age group at that event (because the race director removes her), Jane Doe will be placed back in her respective age group in the results that the race director submits to USAT for qualification purposes.

What Age Must I Be To Qualify?

To qualify for 2016 Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals, athletes must beat least age 17 as of December 31, 2016. Athletes can be age 16 on the day of the event as long as they are going to turn 17 by December 31.

What is the Qualification Period for 2016?

The qualification period for 2016 Age Group Nationals began on July 13, 2015. The qualification period will end eight days before the event occurs on August 13, 2016. Registration will close eight days before the event occurs or when the event sells out (whichever comes first).

What is the Qualification Period for 2017?

Updated: The qualification period for 2017 Age Group Nationals began on July 14, 2016. The qualification period will end eight days before the event occurs in August, 2017. Registration will close eight days before the event occurs or when the event sells out (whichever comes first).

How Do I qualify?

There are four different means of qualification.

Qualification Path #1: General USAT Sanctioned Age Group Triathlons

The first way to qualify is through a normal USAT Sanctioned Age Group Triathlon. These events include all non-championship events. To qualify, athletes must either place first or in the top 10% of their age group.

** Note: If there are 25 athletes in an age group and an athlete places third or higher, they have qualified for the 2015 Olympic-Distance Nationals. If an athlete places fourth out of 25 they have not qualified.

Qualification Path #2: Regional Championships and Special Qualifiers

The second way to qualify is through a USA Triathlon Regional or National Championship event or special qualifier.

Regional championships and special qualifiers will qualify the top 33% or top five (5) finishers in an age group (whichever is greater) in only the Olympic-Distance race at that event. No other distance at regional championships or special qualifiers will allow for qualification. Regional championships and special qualifiers are listed on this page.

** Note: If there are 35 athletes in an age group and an athlete places 12th or higher, they have qualified for the 2016 Olympic-Distance Nationals. If an athlete places 13th out of 35 they have not qualified.

*** Update on Rocky Mountain Regional Championship: Due to the cancellation of the Rocky Mountain Regional Championship on July 10, 2016, all remaining USAT Sanctioned triathlons in the Rocky Mountain Region will have the qualification criteria for that of a regional championship. This will apply to all USAT Sanctioned triathlons occurring between July 11th and July 30th, 2016.

Qualification Path #3: Last Year's Age Group National Championships

The third way to qualify is by participating in the previous year’s Sprint, Olympic, or Long Course-Distance USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.

The top 33% or top ten (10) finishers (whichever is greater) in each age group at the 2015 USA Triathlon Sprint, Olympic, or Long-Course Age Group National Championships will automatically qualify for 2016.

Qualification Path #4: Team USA and All-American Status

The fourth way to qualify is to be a member of Team USA or be an All-American.

Any athlete who competed as a member of Team USA in 2015 in Sprint, Intermediate/Olympic or Long Course Triathlon will automatically qualify. Qualification can no longer be met for any other Team USA discipline or from participation more than one year prior.

All-Americans from the 2015 USA Triathlon National Rankings automatically qualify.

Note on Rounding:

When performing qualification calculations, USA Triathlon will round to the next whole number. For instance if there are fifteen (15) people in and age group and only the top 10% qualify, the top two (2) finishers in that age group will qualify. This is because 10% of 15 = 1.5. Therefore, we will round up to second place (2). 

How Do I Know If I Have Qualified?

If you have qualified through the above criteria, you will automatically receive the “You’ve Qualified” email from USA Triathlon (see sample picture at the top of this page). One to two business days later, you will then receive a separate email directly from with your unique registration link. That link will be valid until registration closes.

Qualification emails will begin going out after registration opens for 2017. You will not receive any notification on qualification until after this happens. Please wait until after registration opens to inquire about your qualification status. Please note: due to the high number of qualified athletes, it may take a few days for your qualification email to be sent to you.

I Believe I Qualified, But I Have Not Received Notification

If you believe you have qualified, but have not yet received notification, please first check your email and spam or junk folders. Once you have checked your email and confirmed that you have not received notification of qualification, please consider the following:

  1. Results are not submitted instantly to USA Triathlon. Race directors have fifteen (15) days to submit results to USA Triathlon. Regardless of when the race director submits results, you cannot qualify until USAT receives official results from the race director. Once results are received by USAT, they are processed by the rankings department within a few business days. Qualification emails will then go out automatically. Please wait at least fifteen (15) days before contacting USAT to see if results have been submitted for your event.
  2. Athletes in your age group may have been removed for an overall award. If an athlete in your age group won an overall award (I.E. overall male, overall masters, overall grand masters, etc.), they will be placed back in to their respective age group for qualification and rankings purposes. If you placed first in your age group at your race, but the overall winner is normally in your age group, they will be placed back into your age group and you will have officially finished in second place for qualification purposes.
  3. If you competed in an elite, open, Athena, or Clydesdale wave at an event, you cannot qualify. The only category you can compete in to qualify is an age group category.
  4. The only events that can qualify must be USA Triathlon Sanctioned. If the event you competed in was not sanctioned by USAT, you cannot qualify. If an event is sanctioned by USAT, you will know this because you should have either signed the USA Triathlon waiver for a one-day membership, entered your annual member number at registration, and/or showed your USAT annual membership card to pick-up your race packet.
  5. If none of the above options apply to you, please email the National Events department.

How Can I Check The Results USAT Currently Has On File?

To view all USA Triathlon sanctioned events that you have participated in, please click here. Then, either enter your full name or USAT annual member number. Please note: if results have not yet been submitted by the race director, they will not appear on this database yet.

Can I Defer My Qualification To Next Year?

No. Qualification cannot be deferred to the following year. Athletes must re-qualify each year. Additionally, USA Triathlon has a strict no transfer, deferment, or refund for any reason policy that you must agree to in order to register for the event. Please note: when registering for the event, you can purchase registration insurance in Active through Alliance Insurance.

Note on Athenas and Clydesdales

Since ITU does not support a division for Athenas and Clydesdales at its Sprint and Olympic-Distance World Championships, USA Triathlon will not be supporting an Athena and Clydesdale division at the Age Group National Championships. If the athlete’s intent is to qualify for either the Sprint or Olympic-Distance World Championships, they will need to compete in the wave corresponding with their age group at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. Again, since the Age Group National Championships will no longer support the Clydesdale and Athena division, all athletes will need to meet qualification in the athlete’s respective age group at a Sanctioned Event when qualifying.

Note on Event Changes Due to Unsafe Conditions

If a triathlon is changed to a duathlon more than 24 hours before the scheduled start of the event, it will be considered a duathlon and will not qualify for Age Group Nationals. If the triathlon is changed to a duathlon less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled race start, it will still be ranked as a triathlon and will qualify for Age Group Nationals.