COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The nation’s fastest paratriathletes are set to compete for national titles in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, at the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships on June 25. More than 50 athletes are currently registered for either the National Championship division or the Physically Challenged Open Division.
Athletes in six paratriathlon sport classes (revised for 2017) will complete a sprint-distance 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course.
The race, held as part of the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon, will start and finish at the picturesque setting of Prairie Springs Park. Lake Andrea, a 100-acre spring-fed lake, will serve as the swim venue. The bike course travels roads within the Village of Pleasant Prairie, as well as a frontage road with long straightaways, and the run course winds through Prairie Springs Park on paved and gravel paths.
Five members of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team are set to compete in Pleasant Prairie. In the women’s PTS2 division, Paralympic gold medalist Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.) and silver medalist Hailey Danz (Chicago, Ill.) will go head-to-head. Rio 2016 fourth-place finishers Chris Hammer (PTS5, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Elizabeth Baker (PTVI, Roswell, Ga.) will aim for national titles in their respective classes. Patricia Collins (Alexandria, Va.), who placed 10th in Rio, will lead the women’s PTS4 division.
Several athletes on the start list are coming off strong performances in World Paratriathlon Series races earlier this season. Seely and Hammer each recorded back-to-back wins at the first two WPS stops of the season in Gold Coast, Australia, and Yokohama, Japan. Baker, Collins, Danz and Mary Kate Callahan (PTHC, Chicago, Ill.) have also been on the WPS podium this year.
Also competing is five-time ITU Paratriathlon world champion Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), who will be the favorite in the men’s PTVI division.
Top-performing athletes at Paratriathlon Nationals who are not already members of the USA Paratriathlon National Team will be considered for the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program, designed to identify and develop athletic potential leading toward the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. More information on the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program is available in this PDF document.
“With the excitement garnered from the sport’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, we’ve seen steady growth in interest, participation and talent in paratriathlon,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager at USA Triathlon. “The Paratriathlon National Championships are a critical piece of our talent identification process, as we evaluate athletes who have the potential to be competitive at the Paralympic Games, world championships and other elite international races.”
To compete at Paratriathlon Nationals, athletes must be officially classified and have competed at a USA Triathlon or ITU Sanctioned Event that meets distance and time standards between May 1, 2016, and May 28, 2017. A National Classification opportunity will be offered in Pleasant Prairie prior to the event.
Athletes who are not classified or do not meet the qualifying time standards may participate in the Physically Challenged Open Wave, which has no qualification criteria and does not qualify athletes for national titles.
At the 2016 Paratriathlon National Championships, held in Santa Cruz, California, athletes were awarded national titles in five sport categories. In 2017, the ITU increased its sport classes to six, adjusting how athletes were grouped for competition to ensure a more level playing field.
For more information about the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships and to register for the race, visit usatriathlon.org/nationalchampionships.
2016 USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Champions
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Complete 2016 Results
Female PT1: Mary Kate Callahan (Tucson, Ariz.), 1:35:58
Male PT1: Geoffrey Kennedy (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico), 1:17:28
Male PT2: Brian Norberg (Chicago, Ill.), 1:16:33
Female PT3: Andrea Walton (Chicago, Ill.), 1:36:23
Male PT3: Omar Bermejo (Casper, Wy.), 1:11:14
Female PT4: Ruth Ann Reeves (Hattiesburg, Miss.), 1:17:10
Male PT4: Joel Rosinbum (Austin, Texas), 1:11:57
Female PT5: Ashley Eisenmenger (Tolono, Ill.), 1:30:56
Male PT5: Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 1:06:07
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).