Defending Champions Knibb, Hindman Lead U.S. Junior and U23 Squad into 2017 World Championships

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 12, 2017, 6:41 p.m. (ET)

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Six junior elite and five U23 elite triathletes will represent the United States on Friday and Saturday at the 2017 ITU Junior and Under-23 Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, led by defending junior world champions Taylor Knibb and Austin Hindman.

The U23 athletes will compete on an Olympic-distance 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course, while the junior athletes will race a sprint-distance 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. Both races follow a draft-legal format. The junior women are set to race at 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local time) on Friday, Sept. 15, and the U23 men will follow later that day at 11 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local time). On Saturday, the junior men go off at 2 a.m. ET (8 a.m. local time) and the U23 women race at 4 a.m. ET (10 a.m. local time).

A free finish-line livestream will be available at triathlonlive.tv, and fans can also follow the action live on Twitter at @TriathlonLive. The junior and U23 races are part of the four-day ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, which also features world championships for elite men and women, paratriathletes and age-group triathletes. 

Headlining the junior women’s field is Knibb (Washington, D.C.), the defending world champion and 2015 world silver medalist. Although still racing as a junior, Knibb is also a rising star at the U23 and senior levels. After racing to her first senior World Cup medal last year, Knibb reached the World Triathlon Series podium this July with a silver in Edmonton. She took the win at July’s USA Triathlon U23 National Championships, which doubled as the West Des Moines CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup. Her 2017 resume also includes a bronze at the Sarasota CAMTRI, a fourth-place finish at the Cagliari ITU Triathlon World Cup and a seventh-place finish at ITU World Triathlon Montreal. 

Joining Knibb on the junior women’s start list are Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.) and Paige Horner (Grimes, Iowa). Spearing, a top-10 finisher at last year’s Junior Worlds, won the USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championships in August. She took sixth at the U23 National Championships and was fourth at the Magog CAMTRI Junior American Championships, both in July. Horner placed second to Spearing at Junior Elite Nationals and was sixth at the Magog CAMTRI Junior American Championships. 

Visit triathlon.org for the complete junior women’s start list.

In the junior men’s race, Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.) will aim to defend his 2016 world title. Hindman opened his season in March with an eighth-place finish in the elite men’s field at the Sarasota CAMTRI, and made his senior-level World Triathlon Series debut in Hamburg in July. 

Hindman will be joined by Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.). Smith started his season with a win at the Sarasota CAMTRI Junior North American Championships. He went on to place top-10 at the senior level at the Richmond CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in May. In July, he won gold at the Magog CAMTRI Junior American Championships, and in August, he won the Junior Elite national title.

McQueen placed second to Smith by less than 35 seconds at Junior Elite Nationals. His 2017 resume also includes a sixth-place finish at the Sarasota CAMTRI Junior North American Championships. 

Visit triathlon.org for the complete junior men’s start list.

Representing Team USA at the women’s U23 World Championships are Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) and Katie Gorczyca (Las Vegas, Nev.). Gorman has had a breakthrough year at the senior level, placing third at the Ottawa CAMTRI and fifth at the Yucatán World Cup. She was also the runner-up to Knibb at July’s U23 National Championships in West Des Moines. 

Ackerlund’s season to date is highlighted by a bronze-medal performance at U23 Nationals and a win at the Richmond CAMTRI in May. Gorczyca was the top U.S. finisher at the 2016 U23 World Championships, placing 15th. She took fourth at U23 Nationals this year, and also collected a top-10 finish at the Bridgetown CAMTRI in April. 

Visit triathlon.org for the complete U23 women’s start list.

Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) leads the U.S. men’s U23 squad. Hemming opened his season with two CAMTRI podiums, a silver in Sarasota and a gold in Hamilton. He recorded a seventh-place finish at the Cagliari World Cup in June, and went on to collect the U23 national title and place top-30 at ITU World Triathlon Edmonton in July.

Also racing at U23 Worlds is Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.). Smoragiewicz is the U23 National Championships silver medalist, and he placed top-10 at three consecutive CAMTRI races early in the season in Hamilton, Richmond and Ottawa. Smoragiewicz also recorded top-30 finishes at ITU World Triathlon Edmonton and the Yucatán World Cup.

Visit triathlon.org for the complete U23 men’s start list.

Complete event information, schedule and start lists for all races at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final are available at rotterdam.triathlon.org. For coverage of U.S. performances at all races, visit usatriathlon.org.

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).