USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Champions Crowned in Oklahoma City

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 17, 2017, 7:11 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Seth Cooke and Deborah Battaglia were crowned overall champions on Saturday at the USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships in Oklahoma City. 

Seventeen athletes earned age-group national titles, battling windy and challenging conditions for a 1.5-mile swim (shortened from 2.4 mi due to weather), 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run. The event was held in conjunction with the popular Redman Triathlon at Lake Hefner, home of the 2016 ITU Long Distance World Championships.

Cooke (Tyler, Texas) took the overall men’s title, crossing the line in 8 hours, 49 minutes, 10 seconds.

“It was tough. Very windy, but a good course,” Cooke said. “The bike was a good surface, well-marked. The run was windy, but that keeps you cool. Just getting on the run today, that wind was beating people up. But the volunteers were great, so overall this was a top-of-the-line event.”

Adam Stoermer (M35-39, Tulsa, Okla.) was the second overall male in 10:25:03. Scott Foster (M40-44, Oklahoma City, Okla.) completed the overall podium in 10:28:36 and was also crowned the men’s 40-44 national champion.

Deborah Battaglia (Centre Hall, Pa.) was the first female across the line, finishing in 11:27:16. 

Battaglia, who turns 50 this year, is planning to complete the ultra distance 50 times this year in a combination of organized races and solo efforts. The Ultra-Distance National Championships marked her 36th.

“It was very, very challenging. The wind was absolutely exhausting on the bike and the run,” Battaglia said. “I’m a swimmer, so I liked the choppy, crazy swim — but biking is my weakness, so I just put my head down, attempted to go to my happy place and tried to focus on the positive, not the negative.”

Jocelyn Chong (F35-39, Honolulu, Hawaii) was the overall women’s silver medalist, finishing in 12:02:50 and earning the 35-39 age group crown in the process. Mary McDonald (F60-64, Frisco, Texas) was third overall and first in the women’s 60-64 age group in 12:11:38.

Steve Bussjaeger (M65-69, Mustang, Okla.), earned the men’s 65-69 national title in his first ultra-distance triathlon.

“I’ve been doing triathlon for about 15 years, and I said if I ever did a full, I’d be done. I figure this way I’ll go out a national champion,” Bussjaeger said. “The swim was really rough. The bike was fun going out, but it was a pain coming back 18 miles straight into a 35-mile-per-hour wind. We got some cloud cover on the run and the temperature dropped, so it was a pleasant run. Overall, one heck of an event.”

In total, 57 amateur triathletes crossed the finish line at Hefner Lake. Texas was the most-represented state with 15 competitors, while 13 Oklahomans competed in their home state. Missouri brought the third-largest contingent with five athletes.

The Ultra-Distance National Championships will return to Oklahoma City in 2018.

2017 USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships
National Champions — Complete Results

Male Overall: Seth Cooke (Tyler, Texas), 8:49:10
Female Overall: Deborah Battaglia (Centre Hall, Pa.), 11:27:16
M20-24: Stewart Gray (Cammack Village, Ark.), 12:04:25
M30-34: Brian Johnson (Clovis, N.M.), 11:19:48
F30-34: Roxanne Stiles (Wichita, Kan.), 12:42:24
M35-39: Seth Cooke (Tyler, Texas), 8:49:10
F35-39: Jocelyn Chong (Honolulu, Hawaii), 12:02:50
M40-44: Scott Foster (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 10:28:36
M45-49: Jason Glenn (Louisville, Colo.), 11:25:08
F45-49: Cissy Blanchard (Baton Rouge, La.), 13:13:10
M50-54: John Hunsaker (Burlington, Ind.), 11:56:03
F50-54: Deborah Battaglia (Centre Hall, Pa.), 11:27:16
M55-59: Jeff Dorrill (Dallas, Texas), 12:25:39
F55-59: Wendy Wyskiel (Longmont, Colo.), 14:18:25
M60-64: Roy Elfrink (Marshall, Mo.), 15:50:47
F60-64: Mary McDonald (Frisco, Texas), 12:11:38
M65-69: Steve Bussjaeger (Mustang, Okla.), 12:57:07

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).