TEMPE, Ariz. — Eighteen-year-old Kemper Reback (North Palm Beach, Fla.) and 24-year-old Jeff Gautreau (Tucson, Ariz.) won overall titles Saturday at the USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships, held as part of the Sun Devil Draft-Legal Classic at Tempe Town Lake.
More than 400 athletes competed in the second annual national championship event, which featured a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. The draft-legal format, which encourages athletes to ride in packs and work together on the bike course, is similar to the elite style of ITU racing and is gaining popularity at the age-group level.
Reback was seventh out of the water in 10 minutes, 22 seconds, joining a strong lead pack on the bike. She put herself comfortably in podium contention at transition two, as the second athlete to hit the run course.
Heidi Jurankova was ultimately the first woman across the line in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 24 seconds, but the Czech athlete is not eligible for a national title as she is not a U.S. citizen. Gabrielle Broschard (West Lafayette, Ind.) crossed the line second in 1:02:46, but is also ineligible for awards because she holds a USA Triathlon Elite card.
Reback was awarded the overall national championship title with a time of 1:03:18. The rising talent competes on USA Triathlon’s junior elite circuit and placed ninth earlier this year at the USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championships.
“The race (today) was fun,” Reback said. “It was definitely hairy during the technical bike, but I’ve been working hard since Junior Elite Nationals and I’m happy it paid off. My coach Jennifer Hutchinson has prepped me well, and I would not be able to do any of this without my parents, my family and my good friends’ support. They have been crucial in this result and my triathlon career journey, and I cannot thank them enough.”
Emily Tato (Cambridge, Mass., F25-29) was awarded second place with a time of 1:03:48, and Katie Patrick (Sioux Falls, S.D., F20-24) completed the Nationals podium in 1:04:15.
In the men’s race, Gautreau exited the water a few seconds down from the leaders. He joined a strong chase pack on the bike, and they worked to successfully reel in the leaders by the third and final lap. Heading onto the run course, the overall podium was anyone’s game.
Gautreau tried for a breakaway in the final 800 meters, but he ultimately ended the race in an all-out sprint with Benedikt Bettin, a German athlete who competes on the University of Colorado’s collegiate club triathlon team. Gautreau got the advantage in the photo finish, as both recorded identical times of 57:04.
The overall title went to Gautreau, and because Bettin is not a U.S. citizen, second place went to his Colorado Triathlon teammate Drew Kroeker (Colorado Springs, Colo., M15-19) in 57:05. Ryan Lund (Los Altos, Calif., M20-24) rounded out the overall podium in 57:07.
A former NCAA Division I track and cross country runner at the University of Arizona, Gautreau is now a graduate student who races on Arizona’s club triathlon team.
“I tried to kick it in at about a half-mile out, but I couldn’t drop the guys, so I knew I had to just get ready to sprint,” Gautreau said. “I didn’t even look back — I just went for it all out. I love running, so if I get in a good bike pack that sets me up well. I love that in draft-legal racing, it comes down to the run a little bit more, like I’m used to from track racing and cross racing.”
Twenty-seven athletes earned national titles in their respective age groups, including three who successfully defended their titles from 2018: Zachary Hamner (Chula Vista, Calif., M25-29), Adam Goulet (Portland, Ore., M35-39) and Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa, M60-64).
Top finishers in each age group earned the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2020 ITU Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships, set for Aug. 21 in Edmonton, Alberta. To learn more about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur triathletes who represent the United States at ITU World Championship events, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.
For complete event information for the USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships, click here.
The Sun Devil Draft-Legal Classic also included the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, in which Arizona State University, Queens University of Charlotte and North Central College earned the NCAA Division I, II and III team titles respectively. The events conclude USA Triathlon’s 2019 National Championships season. Visit usatriathlon.org/nationalchampionships for the complete 2020 schedule of events.
USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
National Champions — Complete Results
Overall Female: Kemper Reback (North Palm Beach, Fla.), 1:03:18
Overall Male: Jeff Gautreau (Tucson, Ariz.), 57:04
F15-19: Kemper Reback (North Palm Beach, Fla.), 1:03:18
M15-19: Drew Kroeker (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 57:05
F20-24: Katie Patrick (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 1:04:15
M20-24: Jeff Gautreau (Tucson, Ariz.), 57:04
F25-29: Emily Tato (Cambridge, Mass.), 1:03:48
M25-29: Zachary Hamner (Chula Vista, Calif.), 57:53
F30-34: Esther Willett (Cheyenne, Wyo.), 1:06:35
M30-34: Matthew Organista (Carpinteria, Calif.), 1:00:22
F35-39: Sarah Mercer (Denver, Colo.), 1:10:45
M35-39: Adam Goulet (Portland, Ore.), 1:00:34
F40-44: Cathy Yndestad (Mesa, Ariz.), 1:05:40
M40-44: Cameron Hamilton (Arlington, Va.), 1:01:39
F45-49: Rachel Chambers (Sarasota, Fla.), 1:12:44
M45-49: Greg Mueller (Granger, Ind.), 1:01:57
F50-54: Juliet Hochman (Portland, Ore.), 1:07:51
M50-54: Joe Umphenour (Aventura, Fla.), 59:45
F55-59: Debbie Richardson (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), 1:13:10
M55-59: Bobby Gonzales (El Paso, Texas), 1:04:04
F60-64: Loretta Nelson (Erie, Pa.), 1:21:24
M60-64: Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), 1:08:48
F65-69: Maggie Riley-Hagan (San Marcos, Calif.), 1:28:19
M65-69: Steve Van Wart (Danville, Calif.), 1:14:44
F70-74: Sonia Yevich (Shepherdsville, Ky.), 1:39:36
M70-74: Larry Krutka (Tucson, Ariz.), 1:19:21
F75-79: Sally Evans (Peoria, Ariz.), 1:56:51
M75-79: Joseph Gulaskey (Bend, Ore.), 1:28:08
M80+: Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.), 1:44:09
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).