Weekend Notebook: McElroy Makes History, Olympians Take Escape from Alcatraz and More

By USA Triathlon | June 10, 2019, 7:18 p.m. (ET)

AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds

Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) made history Sunday in the fourth stop of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Leeds, England, winning the first WTS medal for a U.S. man since 2009.

McElroy won a silver medal against one of the deepest fields in WTS history, which featured the “Magnificent Seven”: two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and two-time Olympic medalist Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain; five-time world champion Javier Gomez Noya and three-time world champion Mario Mola of Spain; current WTS leader Vincent Luis of France; and WTS powerhouses Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray of South Africa.

The only other U.S. man to medal in a WTS race was Jarrod Shoemaker, who won gold in Hamburg, Germany, in 2009.

Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle got the win in the men’s race, while five-time world champion Javier Gomez Noya of Spain took the bronze.

In the women’s race, Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) celebrated her 30th birthday by earning silver — ending her three-race win streak on the 2019 WTS circuit, but extending her overall series lead. Zaferes was joined on the podium by two British athletes, race winner Georgia Taylor-Brown and bronze medalist Jessica Learmonth.

Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) also raced well, placing fourth, while Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) earned her second consecutive WTS top-10 finish.

Distance: 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run

Elite Men’s Podium
1. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS), 1:45:12
2. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 1:45:19
3. Javier Gomez Noya (ESP), 1:45:21

Elite Women’s Podium
1. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR),1:55:46
2. Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 1:55:57
3. Jessica Learmonth (GBR), 1:57:22

View this post on Instagram

First WTS podium and my facial expression says it all. Finished 🥈2nd behind @jakebirtwhistle and @jgomeznoya 4 years ago I was an NCAA runner watching these races on TriathlonLive.tv wondering if I could ever swim fast enough to make the front pack. I executed everything perfect on the swim putting me into a great position on the bike. After straining my hamstring last year my new coach @originperformancesq has slowly been increasing my run volume. Today I was able to throw down a 30:26 10k off a very hard bike. Three weeks ago I finished 30th and today I made history for @usatriathlon men, grabbing the 2nd ever WTS podium. This entire week I had a very good mindset, I normally hate rooming by myself at the hotel all week and tend to over think the outcome of races, but this week I was super positive and enjoyed some solo time. A mentor of mine @trimanny always says “People all over the world would give an arm and a leg to be in your position racing for an Olympic spot, enjoy it.” I am enjoying it YEEEEWW 🤙🏻ya boyz @river_boyzzz Thanks for the continued support from @usatriathlon @rokasports @ryandolanco @kttape @ventumracing @shawnfrack @nyactri @pioneercycleusa #whateverittakes Photo: @kevinwright30

A post shared by Matt Mcelroy (@mat_mac) on

View this post on Instagram

A great way to celebrate 30 years of life - Doing what I love and having the pleasure to call it my job. Sharing it with my husband, family, friends, teammates and the rest of this amazing community and team that surrounds me. Pushing my body and mind in the pursuit to be the best I can be. Sharing the podium with two lovely ladies, @georgiatb and @jllearmonth, who I respect and enjoy so much on and off the course. Holding on to the series lead! Watching a great men’s race with so many stellar performances but particularly seeing @jakebirtwhistle get his first win and @mat_mac with his first podium! Yesterday was full of so much reinforcement that I am blessed beyond measure and this whole day I felt so much love and support from the countless birthday wishes, singing and cheers. Thanks to all who made this birthday and race one that will be cherished in my memory! #WTSLeeds 📸: @tzaferes

A post shared by Katie Zaferes (@kzaferes6) on

For complete results from ITU World Triathlon Leeds, visit triathlon.org.

Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup

Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) raced to her eighth career ITU World Cup victory Sunday in Huatulco, Mexico, posting the fastest swim and run times of the field. Rappaport finished nine seconds ahead of the runner-up, Russia’s Alexandra Razarenova, while Austria’s Lisa Perterer rounded out the podium. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) returned to racing after taking the early season off due to injury, finishing seventh.

Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) earned a silver medal in the men’s race, his first career ITU World Cup podium. Pearson was just seven seconds back from race winner Tyler Mislawchuk of Canada, and eight seconds ahead of bronze medalist Manoel Messias of Brazil. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) also had a strong race, placing 10th.

Distance: 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run

Elite Women’s Podium
1. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.), 1:00:56
2. Alexandra Razarenova (RUS), 1:01:05
3. Lisa Perterer (AUT), 1:01:18

Elite Men’s Podium
1. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), 55:04
2. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 55:11
3. Manoel Messias (BRA), 55:19

View this post on Instagram

Second for me today in Mexico World Cup. #ForTheSponsors

A post shared by Morgan Pearson (@morgan_cadwell_pearson) on

For complete results from the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup, visit triathlon.org.

Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Rio 2016 U.S. Olympians Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) went 1-2 in the men’s pro race at the 39th Annual Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco on Sunday. It was Kanute’s third consecutive victory in Alcatraz. The American duo shared the podium with Australia’s Josh Amberger, who took third.

Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle was victorious in the women’s race, while Lauren Goss (Boulder, Colo.) and Sarah Haskins (Eureka, Mo.) took second and third, respectively.

Distance: 1.5-mile swim, 18-mile bike, 8-mile run

Elite Men’s Podium
1. Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.), 1:59:22
2. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 2:00:17
3. Josh Amberger (AUS), 2:02:15

Elite Women’s Podium
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 2:13:29
2. Lauren Goss (Boulder, Colo.), 2:14:29
3. Sarah Haskins (Eureka, Mo.), 2:17:59

For complete results from Escape from Alcatraz, visit escapealcatraztri.com.

IRONMAN Boulder

Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa) was victorious at IRONMAN Boulder on Sunday, recording the only sub-8-hour time on the challenging course (7:57:03). Two local Boulder athletes — Kennett Peterson and Timothy O’Donnell — also earned podium spots on their hometown course, finishing second and third, respectively. Rounding out the men’s top-five were Tripp Hipple (Denver, Colo.) and yet another Boulder local, Sam Long.

The women’s race saw a dominant victory by Lauren Brandon (Fort Worth, Texas), who broke the tape with a gap of more than 17 minutes on runner-up Lesley Smith (Boulder, Colo.). Danielle Mack (Boulder, Colo.) took the third step on the podium, while two other Americans — Uli Bromme (Boulder, Colo.) and Erin Green (Boise, Idaho) — finished out the top-five.

Distance: 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Men’s Elite Podium
1. Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa), 7:57:03
2. Kennett Peterson (Boulder, Colo.), 8:01:35
3. Timothy O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.), 8:09:37

Women’s Elite Podium
1. Lauren Brandon (Fort Worth, Texas), 9:09:09
2. Lesley Smith (Boulder, Colo.), 9:26:12 3. Danielle Mack (Boulder, Colo.), 9:32:08

View this post on Instagram

My first Ironman win! I could not be happier with how the race went today and in front of what felt like a hometown crowd! Truly such an amazing feeling. I have such an incredible support crew and I need to especially give a few special shout outs to those who have made this lead up into Ironman Boulder the best... First off, thank you to @barrettbrandon_ for being such an amazing hubby and encouraging me to come out to Boulder 4 weeks early so that I could get a good training block in. You’re the best 💕 Huge thank you to @dibbo4 for being such a great coach, letting me be a part of @jd_crew_ and for being someone who I can look up to and learn from 🤗 Thank you to @jendavo95 and the amazing Moore family for letting me stay with them this past month. They have made my time here so easy and fun! Thank you to the @jd_crew_ for being the best training buddies and cheer squad! Can’t wait for more training camps! And thank you to all of my sponsors, family, friends, who encourage me and support me! I seriously have the best support crew! 🙌 And thank you everyone for all of your calls, texts, and messages... 💕 📷 @jordanbryden

A post shared by Lauren Brandon (@laurenbbrandon) on

For complete results from IRONMAN Boulder, visit IRONMAN.com.

IRONMAN 70.3 Japan

Kevin Collington (Boulder, Colo.) took the top step of the podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Japan on Sunday. New Zealand’s Jack Moody was the runner-up, and Australia’s Sam Betten was third across the line. The only other American in the top-10 was TJ Tollakson (Des Moines, Iowa) in eighth — less than eight minutes off the podium.

Brittany Higgins (Clearwater, Fla.) and Mary Robbins (San Francisco, Calif.) represented the U.S. in the women’s pro race, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. The podium included race winner Courtney Gilgillan of Australia, Mariella Sawyer of South Africa and Rebecca Clarke of New Zealand.

Distance: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men’s Elite Podium
1. Kevin Collington (Boulder, Colo.), 4:00:29
2. Jack Moody (NZL), 4:02:36
3. Sam Betten (AUS), 4:03:12

Women’s Elite Podium
1. Courtney Gilfillian (AUS), 4:30:53
2. Mariella Sawyer (ZAF), 4:39:01
3. Rebecca Clarke (NZL), 4:42:02

For complete results from IRONMAN 70.3 Japan, visit IRONMAN.com.