USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships Return to West Chester, Ohio

By USA Triathlon | July 30, 2019, 6:08 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — This Saturday and Sunday, nearly 1,000 talented young triathletes ages 7-19 will return to Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, for the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships. The event is being held in West Chester for the eighth consecutive year and will return annually through 2021.

“USA Triathlon is pleased to return to Voice of America Park for another exciting race weekend at Youth & Junior Nationals,” said Brian D’Amico, Director of Events at USA Triathlon. “The safe, scenic and spectator-friendly course is ideal for showcasing our up-and-coming multisport stars, and the city is within driving distance for more than half of our youth and junior high-performance teams. The longstanding relationships we have built with Butler County, the City of West Chester and the local authorities have allowed us to put on first-class events year after year, all while forging connections with the local community.”

Four-time U.S. Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper will be onsite at Youth & Junior Nationals to support participants, sign autographs, announce the races and present awards. The most decorated U.S. male triathlete in history, Kemper is the only American and one of only two male triathletes to have represented his country at the first four Olympic triathlon competitions (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012). Kemper will sign autographs at Voice of America Park on Friday, Aug. 2, from 10-11:30 a.m., and will be available for media interviews throughout the weekend.

Racing begins Saturday, Aug. 3, with the draft-legal Youth Elite (ages 13-15) and Junior Elite (ages 16-19) National Championships. Athletes in these races earned spots on the start list through qualifying events, including last year’s national championships and the 2019 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior Elite Series. The draft-legal format is similar to what is contested at the Olympic Games and other elite International Triathlon Union (ITU) competitions. 

The junior elite race, beginning at 8 a.m. ET Saturday for girls and 9:40 a.m. ET for boys, will feature a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.

All three podium finishers from the girls’ junior elite race in 2018 return to the start line, including last year’s champion Gillian Cridge (Indianapolis, Ind.), runner-up Parker Albright (Roanoke, Va.) and third-place finisher Paige Horner (Johnston, Iowa). In the boy’s junior elite race, 2018 runner-up Luis Ortiz (Orlando, Fla.) and third-place finisher Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.) will be back to defend their podium spots.
 
The youth elite races begin Saturday at 11:05 a.m. ET for girls and 12:05 p.m. ET for boys, and will cover a 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run.

The girls’ youth elite race will see 2018 runner-up Faith Dasso (New Braunfels, Texas) as the top returner, while the boys’ youth elite field features defending champion Andrew Flynn (Wilmette, Ill.) and third-place finisher Lawson McLeod (Tampa, Fla.). 

Several past and present members of the USA Triathlon National Team — including 2016 U.S. Olympians Ben Kanute and Greg Billington, 2015 Pan American Games silver medalist Kevin McDowell, ITU Under-23 world champion and two-time ITU Junior world champion Taylor Knibb, and ITU U23 and Junior world champion Tamara Gorman — all began their triathlon careers on the youth and junior elite racing circuits.

On Sunday, Aug. 4, junior elite triathletes ages 13-19 will return to the start line for the Mixed Relay event at 7:30 a.m. The draft-legal mixed relay format, which will debut as a medal event at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, features four competitors (two boys, two girls) per team. Each team member will complete a 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run before tagging off to the next athlete. Approximately 60 relay teams are scheduled to compete. 

The weekend concludes with the Youth Age-Group National Championships, in which athletes ages 7-15 have the opportunity to earn national titles in their age groups. The race is non-draft-legal, and no qualification is required to participate. A youth paratriathlon division is also included as part of this race.

Athletes in the paratriathlon open wave go off first at 10:40 a.m. ET Sunday, followed by the first wave of age-group athletes at 10:55 a.m. ET. Course distances are age-based, with athletes ages 7-10 completing a 100m swim, 5k bike and 1k run, and ages 11-15 completing a 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run. Paratriathletes will contest the same course as the 11- to 15-year-olds.

WEBSITE: Visit usatriathlon.org/jr2019 or download the digital event program for more information on the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships. 

COVERAGE: Media, friends and family can follow the action at Youth & Junior Nationals with the USA Triathlon Events App. The app features athlete tracking, event schedules, live leaderboards and more, and is available for free download on iPhone and Android devices. For web-browser-based athlete tracking, click here. Live race coverage will also be available on Twitter @USATLive.

LOCATION, PARKING AND ROAD CLOSURES: All races and awards ceremonies will be held at Voice of America Park, located at 7850 VOA Park Dr., West Chester, OH, 45069. Parking will be available onsite at VOA Park. All cars will need to enter the park through the Butler-Warren Road entrance.

Vehicle access to the west entrance of VOA Park (portions of Cox Rd. and Liberty Way) will be closed to accommodate the race course on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 6:15 a.m.-2 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 4, from 5:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Click here for complete race course and venue maps. 

MEDIA CREDENTIALS: Media interested in covering the race should contact Caryn Maconi, USA Triathlon Communications Manager, at caryn.maconi@usatriathlon.org or 443-534-5954 to reserve a credential.

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 at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — 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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).