OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Twelve age-group triathletes on USA Triathlon’s Team USA won world titles on Saturday at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, leading to 31 total medals earned by Americans at Lake Hefner.
More than 300 amateur triathletes from the U.S. competed on the on the 4-kilometer swim, 120-kilometer bike, 30-kilometer run course, as well as a number of elite triathletes. Gold medalists for Team USA were Victoria Kline (25-29, Miami, Okla.), Zachary Miller (25-29, The Woodlands, Texas), Claudia Smith (Kingwood, Texas), Ken-ichi Hino (30-34, Washington, D.C.), Kirsten Sass (35-39, McKenzie, Tenn.), Kevin Nickel (35-39, Newton, Kan.), Sarah Bell (40-44, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Tim Hola (40-44, Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Ellen Hart (55-59, Denver, Colo.), Lee Walther (55-59, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Lin Sanders (60-64, The Colony, Texas) and Michael Orendorff (65-69, Pueblo, Colo.).
“It’s a dream. I’ve only been world champ in my age group in my career twice, today being the second time ever, so I’m happy. At 41, I’ll take it,” said Hola, who posted the fastest amateur time of the day and is racing IRONMAN Florida later this season with his father. “This is the third time I’ve done this distance. I’m always racing the half [IRONMAN], because typically they’re more common. This puts things in a different perspective, because you have to go that extra loop on the bike.”
The Americans also won nine silver medals and 10 bronze medals in the age-group categories. Silver medalists for the U.S. were Reid Foster (30-34, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Gina Hendrickson (40-44, Edmond, Okla.), Ewoud Helsewe (40-44, Edmond, Okla.), Thomas Woods (45-49, Lincoln, Neb.), Shawn Bonsell (50-54, Dallas, Texas), Norman Kim (55-59, Westford, Mass.), Sheri Schrock (60-64, Cohasset, Minn.) and Larry Krutka (65-69, Tulsa, Okla.). Bronze medal winners were Katie Horan (25-29, Redding, Conn.), Karla Gregg (40-44, Wichita, Kan.), Kirk Framke (40-44, Denver, Colo.), Sue Aquila (45-49, Bloomington, Ind.), Doug Guertin (50-54, Monson, Mass.), Annelies Farmer (55-59, Chico, Calif.), Peter Moir (55-59, Dallas, Texas), Karen Weatherby (60-64, Broomfield, Colo.), Patrick Stephens (60-64, Longview, Texas) and Robert Rossbach (65-69, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.).
Some athletes raced in Sprint and Standard Triathlon World Championships last weekend in Cozumel, Mexico, including Sass, Framke and Hart, who won medals in all three events in less than two weeks.
“It was an absolutely fantastic race. I think it was one of my favorite races this year,” said Sass, who posted the fastest time among the amateur women in Oklahoma City. “It was just so epically challenging, between the chop on the swim and the wind on the bike, and the heat on the run. It was a true test of your limits, and a mental and physical challenge. I had a lot of fun today.”
In the elite races, Matt Chrabot (Virginia Beach, Va.) earned a spot on the podium, capturing bronze with a time of 6 hours, 6 minutes, 13 seconds to finish as the top American. Sylvain Sudrie from France won the gold in 5:59:46, while his countryman Cyril Viennot took silver in 6:02:11. Davide Giardini (Boulder, Colo.) also finished in the top 10 for the Americans, while Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) continued his shift to long-course racing in 14th.
“My ultimate goal was to come here and get a medal,” Chrabot said. “I really thought I could win it, but I had one of the worst swims I’ve had in a long time. It was choppy, and I just don’t know what happened in the swim. I was able to pull myself together on the bike and keep going on the run, and I just slowly started picking people off. I never lost confidence in my ability, to believe in myself and to reel guys in as best I could. I can’t ask for anything more. I’m very pleased with today.”
In the women's race, Emily Cocks (Napa, Calif.) was the top American in fifth, finishing in 6:59:43. Cocks led the U.S. women in earning four top-10 finishes, with Kelly Williamson (Austin, Texas), Lesley Smith (Coralville, Iowa) and Skye Moench (Salt Lake City, Utah) finishing just behind Cocks in sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively. Great Britain's Jodie Swallow won the title in 6:37:11, with Caroline Steffan of Switzerland in second in 6:44:40 and Canadian Rachel McBride in third with a time of 6:56:05.
“I actually did [this distance] as an age-grouper in 2006, in Canberra, Australia,” Cocks said. “It kind of felt like full circle to come back. I did it 10 years ago at the start of my career, and now I’m almost 40, so this is the latter part of my career. I’m really excited. This was a goal all year when I saw it on the calendar in January, so it’s a good way to end my season.”
The final ITU World Championships event for 2016 will be the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships from Nov. 18-20 in Snowy Mountains, Australia.
2016 Oklahoma City ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships
4k swim, 120k bike, 30k run
United States Age-Group Medalists
1. Victoria Kline (Miami, Okla.), 8:38:07
3. Katie Horan (Redding, Conn.), 8:54:54
1. Zachary Miller (The Woodlands, Texas), 7:28:29
1. Claudia Smith (Kingwood, Texas), 7:56:47
1. Ken-ichi Hino (Washington, D.C.), 7:01:49
2. Reid Foster (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 7:04:44
1. Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 7:24:09
1. Kevin Nickel (Newton, Kan.), 7:19:43
1. Sarah Bell (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 8:24:26
2. Gina Hendrickson (Edmond, Okla.), 8:44:24
3. Karla Gregg (Wichita, Kan.), 8:51:59
1. Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 6:46:18
2. Ewoud Hulsewe (Edmond, Okla.), 7:30:22
3. Kirk Framke (Denver, Colo.), 7:32:17
3. Sue Aquila (Bloomington, Ind.), 9:04:42
2. Thomas Woods (Lincoln, Neb.), 7:02:29
2. Shawn Bonsell (Dallas, Texas), 7:11:47
3. Doug Guertin (Monson, Mass.), 8:03:57
1. Ellen Hart (Denver, Colo.), 8:36:32
3. Annelies Farmer (Chico, Calif.), 9:32:44
1. Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 7:35:57
2. Norman Kim (Westford, Mass.), 8:26:46
3. Peter Moir (Dallas, Texas), 8:38:06
1. Lin Sanders (The Colony, Texas), 10:50:39
2. Sheri Schrock (Cohasset, Minn.), 11:14:08
3. Karen Weatherby (Broomfield, Colo.), 11:19:13
3. Patrick Stephens (Longview, Texas), 9:25:13
1. Michael Orendorff (Pueblo, Colo.), 8:52:16
2. Larry Krutka (Tulsa, Okla.), 9:36:05
3. Robert Rossbach (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.), 9:43:33
1. Sylvain Sudrie (FRA), 5:59:46
2. Cyril Viennot (FRA), 6:02:11
3. Matt Chrabot (Virginia Beach, Va.), 6:06:13
9. Davide Giardini (Boulder, Colo.), 6:22:28
14. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), 6:35:17
1. Jodie Swallow (GBR), 6:37:11
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI), 6:44:40
3. Rachel McBride (CAN), 6:56:05
5. Emily Cocks (Napa, Calif.), 6:59:43
6. Kelly Williamson (Austin, Texas), 7:05:06
7. Lesley Smith (Coralville, Iowa), 7:07:17
8. Skye Moench (Salt Lake City, Utah), 7:10:52
13. Lauren Capone (Baltimore, Md.), 7:54:23
15. Kathy Rakel (Litchfield Park, Ariz.), 8:04:40
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 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 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).