Weekend Notebook: U.S. Elite Athletes Win Gold Medals around the World

By Nick Hehemann, USA Triathlon | Oct. 21, 2019, 6:08 p.m. (ET)

Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup

American athletes represented well at the Tongyeong ITU World Triathlon World Cup on Saturday, as Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) broke the tape to lead the U.S. contingent. It’s the seventh time McElroy has medaled on the ITU world cup circuit, but his first time standing atop the podium. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) also turned in a great race to reach the podium in third, just two seconds behind Spain’s David Castro Fajardo. Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) took fifth.

On the women’s side, Sophie Chase was just 14 seconds off the podium in fourth place. France’s Sandra Dodet got the victory, while Japan’s Ai Ueda and Belgium’s Claire Michel rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively.

Distance: 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run

 

Elite Men’s Podium

1. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 51:25

2. David Castro Fajardo (ESP), 51:33

3. Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.), 51:35

 

Elite Women’s Podium

1. Sandra Dodet (FRA), 57:10

2. Ai Ueda (JPN), 57:13

3. Claire Michel (BEL), 57:18

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Interestingly enough having fun and actually enjoying racing didn’t always come naturally to me. As a younger athlete, I was always very serious and intense. I am sure my mom can recount numerous intense (and often anxiety-ridden) car rides to track/xc races up and down the East Coast. I was always super nervous before every race and probably not very fun to be around (sorry guys!) 😂 _ Although this intensity played a huge role in my achieving success in high school, and continues to be part of who I am today, learning how to control it has been a big part of my journey. In college, I realized that a certain amount of intensity/seriousness is obviously needed to compete at a high level. However, too much of it left me highly anxious. I held races with an inexplicable amount of weight in college, which manifested itself in a lot of negative stress, unnecessary pressure and a loss of joy in racing. _ Learning how to temper my intensity has not been about caring less. It has been about giving racing the proper weight in my life, not more and not less. Although racing is part of who I am it’s not all of who I am. If I have a bad race, it’s still just a race. If I have a good race, it’s still just a race. Applying this mentality has helped me tremendously. It has given me such joy and a “calmness” on race day, as I have never experienced before. Most importantly it makes racing and the entire experience surrounding it FUN!!! Praise God for this. _ Speaking of joy, this weekend in Tongyeong, South Korea was absolutely full of it. I didn’t go into my race with any outcome goals, only to execute what I have been doing in training and have fun and enjoy competing. Extremely grateful to come away with 4th, my highest World Cup finish to date. Great job to all the women who competed. Praise Jesus, my Lord and Savior, and big thanks to my coach @kenaxford, my fiancé @hunter_watts1, my family, @usatriathlon @usat_crp and everyone on this journey with me! _ PC: @worldtriathlon #triathlon #teamusa #usa #korea #racing #joy #happy #quintanarootri #infinitloop

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For complete results from the Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup, click here.

Super League Triathlon Malta

Defending series champion Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) is back at the top of the Super League Triathlon standings after winning in Malta this weekend. In Sunday’s Final — which began with an individual time trial bike ride, followed by a swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run race — Zaferes crossed the finish line 11 seconds ahead of Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands, who came in second. Japan’s Yuko Takahashi rounded out the podium with a bronze medal, while Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who is now third in the overall standings, was the next fastest female athlete in fourth place. Fellow American Summer Rappaport came in seventh.

France’s Vincent Luis continued his streak of excellence to earn the victory in the men’s race. Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt got the silver, while Hayden Wilde of New Zealand came in third. U.S. athlete Ben Kanute (Phoenix, Ariz.) took 12th.

Distance: 300-meter swim, 4k bike, 1.6k run (x2)

 

Elite Women’s Podium

1. Katie Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 35:33

2. Rachel Klamer (NED), 35:44

3. Yuko Takahashi (JPN), 35:55

 

Elite Men’s Podium

1. Vincent Luis (FRA), 32:14

2. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), 32:18

3. Hayden Wilde (NZL), 32:28

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Off season here I come!! Can’t think of a better way to end the season than by winning @superleaguetriathlon Malta. My goal was to finish the season with nothing left and there were moments of weakness throughout the race where I just kept coming back to that goal! It was cool to see the benefits attained yesterday pay off today. Going 3rd and behind @yuko_takahashi8 in the bike time trial was awesome, as she was so strong and therefore I got the most out of myself in trying (and failing) to decrease the time to her. It was a relief to have the short chute with such a condensed race, but even after taking it I was running scared of @rachelklamer to the finish! This weekend was so challenging, so painful and so much fun. It was amazing having the support in Malta to get me up the final hill and to attain my goal of emptying the tank. Next up for me: Maryland to see family and friends and eat all things crab with limited physical activity! #IAMSUPERLEAGUE #IAMKATIEZAFERES 📸:@tomshawphoto & @tzaferes

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For complete results from Super League Triathlon Malta, click here.

Funchal ITU Paratriathlon World Cup

As many elite U.S. triathletes and paratriathletes gear up for the offseason, Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.) ended 2019 on a high note. The 2016 Rio Paralymic bronze medalist won the women’s PTS2 category at the Funchal ITU Paratriathlon World Cup Sunday in Portugal.

Stockwell’s gold was one of two on the day for the U.S., as Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas) won the women’s PTS4 division.

Eric Mcelvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had the best finish of the U.S. men, coming in fourth place in the PTS4 category.

Distance: 750-meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run

 

Elite Women’s PTS2 Podium

1. Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.), 1:25:43

2. Veronica Yoko Plebani (ITA), 1:28:15

3. Cécile Saboureau (FRA), 1:32:35

 

Elite Women’s PTS4 Podium

1. Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas), 1:17:16

2. Svetlana Karama (RUS), 1:37:25

For complete results from the Funchal ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, click here.

Women’s Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier

This weekend, student-athletes from around the country competed Sunday in the final regional qualifier before next month’s Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships in Tempe, Arizona.

Arizona State University claimed the team title in the East Regional Qualifier in Division I, while Davis & Elkins earned the Division II title and North Central College came out on top in Division III. Among Division I programs, East Tennessee State and the University of South Dakota rounded out the team podium in second and third place, respectively.

The top two athletes on the day belonged to Arizona State, with Hannah Henry and Liberty Ricca both finishing in under an hour on their way to gold and silver medals. East Tennessee State’s Lane McDonald got the bronze.

The Division II race was especially close, as Queens University finished just one point back of Davis & Elkins to take second place. Colorado Mesa rounded out the podium in third. All three schools were represented on the individual podium, as Natalia Hidalgo Martinez (Davis & Elkins) got the win, Natalie Bash (Queens University) came in second and Mazzy Jackson (Colorado Mesa) raced her way to bronze.

In Division III, Millikin University and Milwaukee School of Engineering rounded out the podium behind North Central College, coming in second and third, respectively. North Central College’s Madelyn Scopp took home the individual title, while Amira Faulkner represented Trine University in second place. Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Rachel Ruona got the individual bronze.

Distance: 750-meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run

 

Division I Team Podium

1. Arizona State University (7 points)

2. East Tennessee State University (18 points)

3. University of South Dakota (39 points)

 

Division I Individual Podium

1. Hannah Henry (Arizona State), 59:36

2. Liberty Ricca (Arizona State), 59:50

3. Lane McDonald (East Tennessee State), 1:02:16

 

Division II Team Podium

1. Davis & Elkins (14 points)

2. Queens University of Charlotte (15 points)

3. Colorado Mesa University (30 points)

 

Division II Individual Podium

1. Natalia Hidalgo Martinez (Davis & Elkins), 1:00:53

2. Natalie Bash (Queens), 1:01:46

3. Mazzy Jackson (Colorado Mesa), 1:02:24

 

Division III Team Podium

1. North Central College (11 points)

2. Millikin University (25 points)

3. Milwaukee School of Engineering (32 points)

 

Division III Individual Podium

1. Madelyn Scopp (North Central), 1:05:59

2. Amira Faulkner (Trine), 1:07:20

3. Rachel Ruona (Milwaukee School of Engineering), 1:07:56

For complete results from the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier, click here.

IRONMAN 70.3 Shanghai

A week after Kona, Americans are still having success on the IRONMAN 70.3 Circuit. Sunday in China, Kelsey Withrow (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) broke the tape at IRONMAN 70.3 Shanghai. Fellow American Rebeccah Wassner (New Platz, N.Y.) joined her on the podium in third, while Great Britain’s Frankie Sanjana got the silver.

In the men’s race, Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo claimed the victory, while New Zealand’s Cameron Brown and Australia’s Leigh Anderson-Voigt came in second and third, respectively.

Distance: 1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run

 

Elite Women's Podium 

1. Kelsey Withrow (Pleasant Hill, Calif.), 4:16:52

2. Frankie Sanjana (GBR), 4:17:39

3. Rebeccah Wassner (New Platz, N.Y.), 4:20:53

 

Elite Men's Podium

1. Filipe Azevedo (PRT), 3:47:03

2. Camerown Brown (NZL), 3:47:36

3. Leigh Anderson-Voigt (AUS), 3:48:21

Click here for complete results from IRONMAN 70.3 Shangai.

IRONMAN 70.3 Coquimbo

On Saturday in Chile, American Sarah Piampiano (San Francisco, Calif.) represented the U.S. with a silver medal at IRONMAN 70.3 Coquimbo. Fellow U.S. athlete Amanda Wendorff (Naperville, Ill.) got the bronze, as the two finished only behind Australia’s Ellie Salthouse, who earned the gold medal.

On the men’s side, Brazil’s Santiago Ascenco broke the tape, while Chile’s Martin Ulloa and Felipe Van De Wyngard came in second and third in their home country.

Distance: 1.9k swim, 90k bike, 21k run

 

Elite Women's Podium 

1. Ellie Salthouse (AUS), 4:24:53

2. Sarah Piampiano (San Francisco, Calif.), 4:31:39

3. Amanda Wendorff (Naperville, Ill.), 4:41:09

 

Elite Men's Podium 

1. Santiago Ascenco (BRA), 3:59:54

2. Martin Ulloa (CHL), 4:02:00

3. Felipe Van De Wyngard (CHL), 4:06:51

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2nd for me yesterday at @ironman70.3coquimbo! I’m quite pleased with the result. From racing Kona just a week before (I was still sore from the race!) to using a borrowed bike - I had no idea how the race was going to go. I felt way better than I expected and just rolled with the punches as best I could! A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to so many people - @ironman70.3coquimbo @golfistachileno @rod_ballivian @lacatolicacl , @therealjayweber , Paula Newby-Fraser and @ironmantri for running around to make sure I was able to line up on race day. Everyone went above and beyond including sending a girl on a bus that arrived at 3:30 AM of racing morning to get me a bike in time!! This race was Awesome! I would recommend it so highly to anyone - a beautiful and hilly bike course and a flat run that runs right along the ocean with great crowd support. I loved it and hope to be back! Congrats @elliesalthouse1 for the win - I loved racing with you!! I get a little break now and then I’ll start prepping for another Ironman - still deciding which one! . . . #littleredracing #racing #triathlon #coquimbo #chile #trichile #southamerica #podium

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Coquimbo 70.3 - THIRD place and a Worlds Qualification (!!) and I couldn’t be happier with what was one of my best all-around races since jumping up to the PRO division in 2016. Absolutely honored to share the podium with these two legends (@elliesalthouse1 @spiampiano) and while they certainly dominated the swim/bike/run part, I’m happy to say I held my own in the cork-popping race during the awards ceremony. 🙌🏻🍾 • Quick summary: the sea was angry. A stray dog 🐕 ran into the water with us at the start. Minutes before the start, Ironman legend Paula Newby-Fraser (there supporting the race and pros) noted that the pro men were being pulled way left by the current and told me to “aim right.” When PNF tells you to go right, you go right, so I swam WAY right, directly towards the wrong buoy 🤦🏼‍♀️. I never have a GPS going in the swim but I wish I had because I’m certain my zig-zagging would have been comical to see. • Out onto the bike, missed a confusing turn early on and was lucky to see @romi_palacio_balena heading towards me and telling me to turn around as we’d missed it. Poor Romi rode an extra couple k’s but I only lost 30 seconds or so. Once out onto the highway I was truly in my happy place. A challenging (3500 feet of climbing) but not technical course, with probably the most fun descent I’ve ever ridden in a tri. A little rain 🌧 and some 💨 just added to the fun and I was thankful for all the climbing I’ve been doing in Boulder. I moved my way up to 2nd and held that until the end. • The run- I’ve lacked confidence in my run for quite some time. Things have been coming around in training but I was still unsure how or if that would translate to racing so I ran very controlled and steady and a little scared in 3rd place. The four loop, out-and-back run course gave lots of opportunities for checking position and I just tried to hold the gap to 4th steady without taking risks. It sill hurt at the end, it always does, but this was by far my best run since 2014 and I feel like there was more to give. On the right track! • Thanks to all for the support and love! Happy being a happy athlete again. Oh, and #thisis40 #bestdecadeyetsofar

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Click here for complete results from IRONMAN 70.3 Coquimbo.