USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Sept. 19

By Caryn Maconi | Sept. 19, 2017, 7:14 p.m. (ET)

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final

Top triathletes from around the world came together in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, last week for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. The three days of racing featured world championships for elite men and women, paratriathletes, juniors, U23s and age-group triathletes.

The ITU Paratriathlon World Championships kick-started the action on Friday, as U.S. athletes collected seven medals. The American effort was led by Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio), who defended her gold medal in the women’s PTS5 division. Norman completed the sprint-distance 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 49 seconds, edging runner-up Lauren Steadman of Great Britain by just four seconds. Three U.S. paratriathletes earned silver medals, including Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz., PTS2), Mark Barr (Houston, Texas, PTS2) and Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash., PTVI). Bronze medalists included Patty Collins (Alexandria, Va., PTS4), Jamie Brown (Bend, Ore., PTS4), Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah, PTS5).

Friday’s racing continued with the women’s ITU Junior World Championships, in which Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) successfully defended her world title. Knibb made her move with a breakaway on the bike, and never looked back as she covered the sprint-distance course in 1:01:22. Great Britain’s Kate Waugh collected silver in 1:01:38, and Japan’s Fuka Sega took the bronze in 1:02:05. Also compering for the U.S. in the junior race was Paige Horner (Grimes, Iowa), who took 34th in 1:05:22, and Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), who was 57th in 1:09:30.

Friday’s racing continued with the women’s ITU Junior World Championships, in which Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) successfully defended her world title. Knibb made her move with a breakaway on the bike, and never looked back as she covered the sprint-distance course in 1:01:22. Great Britain’s Kate Waugh collected silver in 1:01:38, and Japan’s Fuka Sega took the bronze in 1:02:05. Also compering for the U.S. in the junior race was Paige Horner (Grimes, Iowa), who took 34th in 1:05:22, and Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.), who was 57th in 1:09:30.

The final race on Friday was the ITU U23 World Championships for men, and Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) and Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) were 13th and 14th respectively. France’s Raphael Montoya was the champion, covering the Olympic-distance 1,500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run in 1:51:28. Dorian Coninx of France was second in 1:51:32, and Luke Wilian of Australia rounded out the podium in 1:51:48. The two Americans were not far behind, as Smoragiewicz crossed the line in 1:53:44 and Hemming followed 11 seconds later.

The ITU Junior World Championships for men opened the day on Saturday, and Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) led the American effort. McQueen completed the sprint-distance course in 57:19 to take 12th place overall at his first Junior Worlds. He was less than a minute and a half back from race winner Matthew Hauser of Australia, who broke the tape in 55:54. Vasco Vilaça of Portugal was second in 56:22, and Ben Djikstra of Great Britain was third in 56:35. Also racing for the U.S. were Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), finishing 19th in 57:44, and Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.), taking 29th in 58:08.

At Saturday’s U23 World Championships for women, Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) ran away from the field to claim gold and the title of world champion. Gorman had a strong top-five swim and joined with the lead group of 13 women on the bike. She then recorded 35:18 10k run to pull away from the competition, breaking the tape with a total time of 2:05:21. Melanie Santos of Portugal was 16 seconds behind her in 2:05:37, and Sophie Coldwell of Great Britain was third in 2:05:51. Katie Gorczyca (Las Vegas, Nev.) also raced for the U.S., taking 38th in 2:18:07. Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) was also competing, but pulled out of the race due to mechanical issues on the bike.

Perseverance, patience & grit: That is what life takes!

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Saturday afternoon featured the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, and the elite men were up first. Both U.S. competitors, Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.) and Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) had strong swims and rode with a large lead pack for the entire 40k bike course. The medals would be decided on the run, and France’s Vincent Luis had what it took to pull away. Luis outsprinted Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt for the win in 1:51:26, with Blummenfelt just two seconds behind in 1:51:28. Spain’s Mario Mola was third in 1:51:38.

Lagerstrom ran well and held onto a top-20 finish, coming in 17th – a career best – in 1:54:12. Kanute was 42nd, crossing the line with a time of 1:57:10. Mola’s third-place performance was enough to secure him the overall World Triathlon Series title with 4,728 points. Spain’s Javier Gomez Noya, who placed fifth on Saturday, finishes the season ranked second with 4,311 points, and Blummenfelt is the season’s bronze medalist with 4,281.

Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.) executed the race she needed on Saturday in the women’s elite Grand Final, finishing second on the day and earning the overall World Triathlon Series bronze medal. It was a successful day overall for the American women, as Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) placed fourth and Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) took ninth. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) also raced well with a 16th-place finish, and Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) was 34th. Bermuda’s Flora Duffy ran away with the victory, successfully defending her Grand Final gold and overall WTS title, while Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth collected the bronze.

The U.S. athletes were in the mix from the beginning, as Spivey, Zaferes, Cook and Kasper were fourth through seventh out of the water respectively. Zaferes then executed her race strategy on the bike, joining a breakaway with Learmonth and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy. The three frontrunners, who had a gap of about a minute on the rest of the field by the end of the bike, spread out over the 10k run. Neither Zaferes nor Learmouth could match Duffy’s pace, as the Bermudan ran a 33:36 10k and finished with a total time of 1:58:39. Zaferes held firmly to her silver-medal position, crossing second in 1:59:34. Learmonth was third in 2:00:57. Duffy won the overall WTS season title with a commanding 5,200 points, followed by Ashleigh Gentle of Australia with 4,320. Zaferes, who entered the Grand Final ranked No. 4, moved up one spot to take the series bronze with 4,302 points.

The weekend concluded on Sunday with the ITU Standard and Sprint Age Group Triathlon World Championships. U.S. athletes raced to 11 world titles and 33 medals overall. Jacqueline Godbe (Chicago, Ill.) led the U.S. contingent, as she was the fastest overall female finisher at the Standard World Championships en route to earning the women’s 25-29 world title.

We all have our strengths and preferences. My ideal Triathlon has simple logistics, warm air, warm water, a non-wetsuit swim, wide open roads with some rollers set up in a loop for a bike course and a run on pavement. Today was the exact opposite: complicated logistics, freezing air, freezing water, a super technical parkour course for the bike and a run on bricks and cobblestones. I love the fact that this whole experience challenged me, taught me and took me out of my comfort zone. I grew today and had a blast doing it. . And #inconspicuousawesomeness is crossing the finish line with the 🇺🇸. . What was your inconspicuous awesomeness today? . . . . . . . . . #confidencecoach #lifecoach #performancecoach #bettysquad17 #teamusa #rotterdamtri #mindfulnesscoach #mindfulathlete #beyou #belove #chooselove #bejoy #befree #becurious #bebrave #bebold #findyourflow #findyourawesome

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@trinityschimbeck just took the silver medal at the ITU 16-19 age group world championships!! #rotterdamgf #bamfam #bambeasts

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For complete results from the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, visit triathlon.org.

USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships

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. 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. 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.

 

For complete results from the USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships, click here.