COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Triathlon Collegiate Club & High School National Championships are set for this Friday and Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with nearly 1,300 collegiate competitors from 120 collegiate clubs and more than 150 high schoolers registered to compete.
USA Triathlon today announced that the course for all races will be shifted from a triathlon (swim-bike-run) to a duathlon (run-bike-run) to ensure athlete safety. Heavy rainfall in Tuscaloosa the past two weeks led to the Holt Dam spillway gates being opened by local officials to avoid flooding. Heightened volume in the Black Warrior River necessitated that the gates remain open through race weekend, resulting in overly strong currents that were deemed unsafe for swimming.
“While being forced to cancel the swim is never an easy prospect, the safety of all competitors will always be our No. 1 concern,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon Director of Events and the race director for the Collegiate Club & High School National Championships. “We were informed of the extreme river conditions earlier this week and, after monitoring the situation closely with local officials, we were unfortunately left with no other option. We have communicated this change to our conference commissioners and coaches, who have been understanding and supportive. While we share in the athletes’ disappointment, we look forward to delivering a premier race experience this weekend and showcasing the top collegiate and high school talent from across the country.”
Racing starts Friday morning with the Draft-Legal Collegiate Club Championships, in which athletes will now cover a 2.5-kilometer run, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and another 2.5-kilometer run. The first women’s wave goes off at 8:15 a.m. CT, followed by the men at 10 a.m. CT. The draft-legal format, which allows athletes to work together and pace off each other on the bike, is similar to what is contested in elite International Triathlon Union (ITU) competitions and the Olympic Games.
In the afternoon, some of the nation’s up-and-coming multisport athletes will compete at the USA Triathlon High School National Championships. The course will cover a 2.5k run, non-drafting 21.45k bike and 2.5k run. High school boys, including two athletes competing in the Paratriathlon Open division, will race at 12 p.m. CT, followed by the girls at 1 p.m. CT.
The action continues Saturday morning with nearly the entire field of collegiate athletes competing in the Olympic-Distance Collegiate Club Championships. The course covers a 5.2k run, 40k bike and another 5.2k run. The race also includes a Paratriathlon Open division, which features a 5.2k run, 20k bike and 5.2k run. Women are set to go off at 7:30 a.m. CT, followed by all paratriathletes at 9:25 a.m. CT, and men at 10:10 a.m. CT.
The Mixed Team Relay event will cap off the weekend at 4:15 p.m. CT. Each team is comprised of two men and two women from the same school, with each athlete covering a 1.07k run (for athlete No. 1, that distance will be 0.87k), 5.9k bike and 1.2k run before handing off to the next teammate.
For all races, athletes will bike and run on Jack Warner Parkway, the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk and surrounding roads, and finish at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Updated run-bike-run course maps are now available at usatriathlon.org/ccnc2018.
Qualified collegiate athletes may compete in multiple races throughout the weekend. Individual and club (men’s, women’s and overall) champions will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony, set for 8 p.m. CT on Saturday at the Sellers Auditorium at the Bryant Conference Center. Results from both the draft-legal and Olympic-distance races will factor into men’s and women’s club scores, while the Mixed Team Relay will factor into overall (combined men’s and women’s) team scoring for the first time this year.
Participants, spectators and media can access live athlete tracking using the USA Triathlon Events App. The app, which also features a live leaderboard, up-to-date schedules and complete event information, is available for free download on iPhone and Android devices. Athlete tracking is also available in a web-browser-based version of the app, available by clicking here. Users of the 2017 app (“USA Triathlon National Events App”) with the blue icon should delete it from their phones and download the “USA Triathlon Events App” with an orange icon. For more information, visit usatriathlon.org/eventsapp.
Live coverage of all races will also be available on Twitter @USATLive.
The University of Colorado has earned the Collegiate Club Nationals title for the past eight consecutive years, and returns as the defending overall club champion. Colorado also earned the women’s club title in 2017, while the U.S. Naval Academy earned the men’s club title.
Top individual returners to the Collegiate Club National Championships include, on the men’s side: Sean Harrington (University of California, Santa Barbara), Timothy Winslow (University of Colorado) and Christopher Douglas (Georgia Institute of Technology). On the women’s side, top returners include Teresa Groton (U.S. Military Academy), Stephanie Murphy (U.S. Naval Academy) and Tereza Zimovjanova (Queens University of Charlotte).
Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club is the team to beat at the High School National Championships, having swept the girl’s, boy’s and overall club titles in 2017.
Top individual returners to High School Nationals include girl’s defending champion Audrey Ernst (Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club), Lauren Garriques (Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club) and Katelyn Elliott (unattached). On the boy’s side, top returners include defending champion Drew Shellenberger (unattached), Austin Podhajsky (Phenomena Triz) and 2016 champion Jake Baugher (Carolina Varsity Tri Club).
Tuscaloosa is a familiar city for USA Triathlon, as it hosted the Collegiate Club & High School National Championships in 2017, Collegiate Nationals in 2011 and 2012, and Age Group Nationals in 2009 and 2010.
Visit usatriathlon.org/ccnc2018 for complete event information, including updated course maps and start times for all races. To apply for media credentials, please fill out the 2018 USA Triathlon National Championships Media Credential Application.
USA Triathlon Collegiate Club & High School National Championships
Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Complete Schedule
Friday, April 27 (All times CT)
8:15 a.m.: Women’s Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships start (2.5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run)
10 a.m.: Men’s Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships start (2.5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run)
12 p.m.: Boy’s High School National Championships start (2.5k run, 21.45k bike, 2.5k run)
12 p.m.: Paratriathlon Open Boy’s High School National Championships start (2.5k run, 21.45k bike, 2.5k run)
1 p.m.: Girl’s High School National Championships Start (2.5k run, 21.45k bike, 2.5k run)
Saturday, April 28 (All times CT)
7:30 a.m.: Women’s Olympic-Distance Collegiate Championships start (5.2k run, 40k bike, 5.2k run)
9:25 a.m.: Paratriathlon Open Collegiate Championships start (5.2k run, 20k bike, 5.2k run)
10:10 a.m.: Men’s Olympic-Distance Collegiate Championships start (5.2k run, 40k bike, 5.2k run)
4:15 p.m. Collegiate Mixed Team Relay Championships start (4x: 1.07k run, 5.9k bike, 1.2k run)
8 p.m.: Awards Ceremony (Sellers Auditorium, Bryant Conference Center)