ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — U.S. athletes raced to 11 world titles and 33 medals overall at the ITU Age Group Standard and Sprint Triathlon World Championships on Sunday in Rotterdam, with the sun welcoming finishers after several rain-filled days in the city.
The Standard World Championships featured a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and non-drafting 10-kilometer run. U.S. athletes had a successful showing, as six world champions were crowned: Jacqueline Godbe (F25-29, Chicago, Ill.), Adrienne Leblanc (F45-49, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Lee Walther (M55-59, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Elizabeth Brackett (F75-79, Chicago, Ill.), Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga., M80-84) and Bill Ziering (M85-89, Carmel, Calif.).
“I didn’t expect to win it, I just wanted to finish today. But I felt great,” said Leblanc. “It was well done, very well marked. The bike was complicated, but they had a lot of officials out there and they did a great job. Representing Team USA is unbelievable — it’s something that I think everybody should try to experience if you can. There’s so much energy, and everyone is so supportive.”
Team USA competitors also earned eight silvers and six bronzes in the standard-distance race.
For men’s 30-34 bronze medalist Derek Jakoboski (M30-34, East Greenwich, R.I.), the world championships marked his final age-group competition before joining the elite ranks next season.
“It’s nice to push to the front end of amateur racing and put it into the spotlight a little bit,” Jakoboski said. “I think we need that middle ground between hobbyists and pros. I’ll be getting my pro card at the end of the year, so this has been a cool way to send off my amateur racing career.”
The technical bike course was full of sharp turns, but men’s 70-74 silver medalist Terry Habecker (Ithaca, N.Y.) enjoyed the challenge.
“I feared the bike course, with all the turns and ramps. There’s always something challenging, but it ended up being fun,” Habecker said. “I live in Ithaca, New York, and most of my training is on hills, so not a lot of technical stuff. But I just do the race as hard as I can do it. It was interesting, and it was enjoyable.”
“I had some nerves, but when I just focus on the moment I can do well,” said women’s 20-24 silver medalist Madeleine Pesch (St. Cloud, Minn.), who also raced at the Age Group World Championships in Edmonton in 2014 and Chicago in 2015. “I’m working with my first coach this season with Team Sirius Tri Club, and it’s great. I just feel a lot stronger in the field, and I feel like I’ve matured a lot as a person, so I’m able to get in my zone.”
More than 3,500 amateur triathletes raced at either the Standard or Sprint World Championships, including more than 500 from Team USA. For Pesch, the patriotic atmosphere provided an extra ounce of motivation.
“I think being here and having the camaraderie of the team, and seeing athletes from all over the world, you just realize what a greater community it is,” Pesch said. “When we’re in the U.S., we’re competing against each other on different teams and clubs. Being here, seeing someone from your own country and having solidarity in that way really builds the team spirit.”
Following the standard race, the afternoon’s Sprint World Championships featured a 750m swim, draft-legal 20k bike and 5k run.
Team USA collected 13 sprint-distance medals in total, including five golds, four silvers and four bronzes.
The sprint world champions for Team USA were Philip Friedman (M60-64, Erie, Pa.), Lois Leon (F75-79, Miami, Fla.), Sheila Isaacs (F80-84, Shoreham, N.Y.), Jack Welber (M80-84, Boulder, Colo.) and Winston Allen (M85-89, St. Augustine, Fla.).
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Schimbeck (F16-19, St. George, Utah) was competing at Worlds for the first time, and she collected a silver medal in the youngest age group featured at the World Championships.
“I’m proud of my bike because it was super technical and I was worried, but I did fine and was able to push it,” Schimbeck said. “I did a lot of breakaway training. Usually I come out in the second pack, but this time I came out in front, so it was kind of nice to have that lead and push the group. I was really nervous, but it turned out to be awesome.”
Sunday’s races concluded four days of competition at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam, which also featured world championships for elite men and women, paratriathletes, juniors and U23s. For recaps of U.S. performances at all races, visit usatriathlon.org.
The 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final will be held in Gold Coast, Australia, next September.
2017 ITU Standard Triathlon World Championships
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run — Complete Results
United States Medalists
2. Shea Mielke (Bellingham, Wash.), 2:05:50
3. Konor Sachs (El Cajon, Calif.), 2:07:07
2. Madeleine Pesch (St. Cloud, Minn.), 2:10:55
1. Jacqueline Godbe (Chicago, Ill.), 2:08:27
3. Derek Jakoboski (East Greenwich, R.I.), 1:57:45
2. Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:12:19
1. Adrienne Leblanc (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 2:13:27
3. Tracy Kellner (Mequon, Wis.), 2:16:33
3. Thomas Emerick (San Francisco, Calif.), 2:07:04
1. Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 2:05:46
2. Sharon Johnson (Andover, Mass.), 2:28:43
3. Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.), 2:32:26
2. Kathryn Wiberg (West Boylston, Mass.), 2:53:57
2. Terry Habecker (Ithaca, N.Y.), 2:37:56
1. Elizabeth Brackett (Chicago, Ill.), 3:15:51
2. Sibyl Jacobson (New York, N.Y.), 3:31:30
3. Marylynne Caruso (Fort Worth, Texas), 3:55:50
2. Vern Holthouse (Acampo, Calif.), 2:54:37
1. Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.), 3:14:16
1. Bill Ziering (Carmel, Calif.), 6:20:38
2017 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run — Complete Results
United States Medalists
2. Trinity Schimbeck (St. George, Utah), 1:11:24
3. Nicole Manning (McLean, Va.), 1:11:59
3. Juliet Hochman (Portland, Ore.), 1:14:51
1. Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.), 1:14:28
3. Rick Kozlowski (San Diego, Calif.), 1:20:58
3. Ruth Hamilton (McLean, Va.), 1:49:19
1. Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), 1:57:41
2. Diane Mohwinkel (Anchorage, Ak.), 2:09:42
2. Michael Wood (Ventura, Calif.), 1:32:52
1. Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), 2:17:38
1. Jack Welber (Boulder, Colo.), 1:54:10
1. Winston Allen (St. Augustine, Fla.), 2:45:51
2. Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), 3:20:51
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).