COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thirty-four top paratriathletes from across the country, including four defending national champions and one Paralympic bronze medalist, will compete on Sunday, June 24, at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The event will take place in conjunction with the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon at Prairie Springs Park for the second consecutive year. The course features a sprint-distance 750-meter swim in Lake Andrea, a 20-kilometer bike on flat and fast roads in the Village of Pleasant Prairie, and a 5-kilometer run on paved paths, finishing within Prairie Springs Park. The first wave of athletes is set to start at 6:30 a.m. CT.
Athletes will compete for national titles in six paratriathlon sport classes. Four defending champions are currently on the start list, including Allan Armstrong (Colorado Springs, Colo., PTS2), Brian Norberg (West Des Moines, Iowa, PTS3), Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo., PTWC) and Kendall Gretsch (Madison, Wis., PTWC).
After earning her paratriathlon national title last June, Gretsch took a break from the sport to train for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in cross-country skiing and biathlon. She had an impressive showing in PyeongChang, earning gold medals in the 6k biathlon and 12k cross-country events. This weekend will mark Gretsch’s first competitive triathlon since last year’s race in Pleasant Prairie.
Also on the start list is 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill., PTS2), who returned to elite competition last fall after giving birth to her second child, daughter Millie, in August. Stockwell earned a silver medal at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup last October and grabbed gold at the Eton Dorney ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in May.
Other notable athletes returning to Paratriathlon Nationals include 2018 ITU World Paratriathlon Yokohama bronze medalist Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill., PTWC), 2017 Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup silver medalist Ashley Eisenmenger (Tolono, Ill., PTVI), and 2017 Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup gold medalist Joel Rosinbum (Austin, Texas, PTS4).
Top-performing athletes at Paratriathlon Nationals who are not already members of the USA Paratriathlon National Team will be considered for the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program, designed to identify and develop athletic potential in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
To compete at Paratriathlon Nationals, athletes must be officially classified and have competed at a USA Triathlon or ITU Sanctioned Event that meets distance and time standards between May 1, 2017, and May 28, 2018. A national classification opportunity will be offered in Pleasant Prairie prior to the race. For more information, contact USA Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager Amanda Duke Boulet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday’s event will also feature a Physically Challenged Open Division, available to paratriathletes who are not classified or do not meet the qualifying time standards. This wave has no qualification criteria and does not qualify athletes for national titles.
In total, 55 paratriathletes are registered to compete in either the National Championship event or the Physically Challenged Open Division. Of the athletes on the start list, 25 are active-duty or retired members of the U.S. military. Both Sanborn and Stockwell are retired U.S. Army veterans, while Armstrong currently serves in the U.S. Army and is a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
Live coverage of Paratriathlon Nationals will be available @USATLive on Twitter. Media interested in covering the event onsite should contact Caryn Maconi, USA Triathlon Communications Manager, at email@example.com or 719-200-2384. Click here for a map of the race venue.
The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon will also serve as the Wisconsin High School Triathlon State Championships, and high school athletes will compete on the same 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run course. Wisconsin is one of 36 states offering high school state championships in 2018. To view the complete race calendar, visit usatriathlon.org/hsprogram.
Complete event details for the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon are available at pleasantprairietriathlon.com. For information specific to the USA Paratriathlon National Championships, visit usatriathlon.org.
2017 USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Champions
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Complete 2017 Results
Male PTVI: Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 1:04:31
Female PTVI: Liz Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), 1:19:11
Male PTHC: Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.), 1:19:45
Female PTHC: Kendall Gretsch (Madison, Wis.), 1:18:40
Male PTS2: Allan Armstrong (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:20:01
Female PTS2: Hailey Danz (Chicago, Ill.), 1:30:50
Male PTS3: Brian Norberg (Chicago, Ill.), 1:21:19
Male PTS4: Omar Bermejo (Casper, Wy.), 1:10:37
Female PTS4: Patty Collins (Alexandria, Va.), 1:31:02
Male PTS5: Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1:03:01
Female PTS5: Ruth Ann Reeves (Hattiesburg, Miss.), 1:26:51
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 events and connects with more than 400,000 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).