LONG BEACH, Calif. — Elite triathletes, including Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 qualifiers and future Olympic hopefuls raced Sunday at the Americas Triathlon Cup Long Beach, capping three days of triathlon racing as part of the Toyota Legacy Triathlon. The elite race was held at Alamitos Beach, the proposed site of the triathlon competitions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
Both the men’s and women’s races came down to exciting sprint finishes, as Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), led the way for the U.S. contingent, winning the women’s race, while Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk won the men’s race.
More than 100 triathletes competed, bringing together elite talent from North, Central and South America to race at Alamitos Beach, the proposed site of the triathlon competitions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028. The multi-loop course covered a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and a 5-kilometer run. The race was held in the exciting draft-legal format, in which athletes work together in tight packs on the bike.
In the women’s race, Tomlin was a part of a large lead pack of women on the bike that included Junior and Under-23 World Champion Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.). Tomlin and Gorman worked together on the run and Tomlin pulled away late to win with a time of 58 minutes, 8 seconds. Mexico’s Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal finished in 58:10 and Gorman took third in 58:12.
“Today was rewarding for me. It’s been a long road the last couple years battling back from injuries, so it feels great to feel like I’m returning to form,” Tomlin said. “It’s always fun to race here in the U.S. and this was a fun experience to race with the young girls. I’m one of the older racers out here now, so it’s fun to see the new girls coming up.”
Among the young, up-and-coming women in the field included Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.), a 2021 Sarasota-Bradenton Elite Cup winner, who placed sixth on Sunday. She got her start in triathlon through USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, which identifies and recruits top-level NCAA runners and swimmers to elite triathlon. Many of USA Triathlon’s most successful triathletes, both past and present, are CRP recruits — including 2016 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen, 2016 U.S. Olympian and 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team member Katie Zaferes and fellow 2020 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team members Summer Rappaport and Morgan Pearson.
“The CRP has been a super supportive group in the last three years. I have been so grateful to be a part of that program and it is cool to see the success of a lot of the older athletes that were in the program and are now on the National Team,” Sereno said.
The men’s race followed a similar script as the women’s race as a large lead group of men exited transition together to start the run, setting up a run duel between the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 bound Mislawchuk and Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) a U.S. National Team athlete and an alternate for Tokyo. Mislawchuk broke away in the final 1k to secure the win in a time of 52:49.
McElroy placed third in 52:57 to lead the U.S. men, just behind Aram Michell Penaflor Moysen of Mexico who took second in 52:53.
The contingent of U.S. racers who finished behind McElroy offered a glimpse into the future for the U.S. elite men. Five Americans finished in the top 10, including Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo., fourth), Brent Demarest (hometown, fifth),
Davis Bove (hometown, seventh), Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind., ninth) and Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga., 10th).
“It’s incredible to race with these guys. Tyler (Mislawchuk) won the Tokyo test (in 2019) and could be a top contender for a medal. Matt has done extremely well at Olympic level competitions. So to be here competing with these guys is so fun and it’s an honor to have my name up there with them,” said Hindman who thinks the future is bright for the U.S. elite men. “Morgan (Pearson, a 2020 USA Triathlon Olympic Team member) has done an unbelievable job and is doing incredible things, along with Matt also. They are leading the way right now and we are following their example. We’re putting in the work and training as hard as we can. Our goals and minds are set on getting medals in the next couple Olympic Games and that is what we plan to do.”
For more information about the Toyota Legacy Triathlon, which included the 2021 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships and 2021 USA Triathlon Aquathlon National Championships, visit thelegacytriathlon.com.
2021 Americas Triathlon Cup Long Beach
750m swim, 22k bike, 5k run
Elite Men — Complete Results
1. Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), 52:49
2. Aram Michell Penaflor Moysen (MEX) 52:53
3. Matthew McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) 52:57
Top 10 U.S. Finishers
4. Austin Hindman (Wildwood, Mo.) 52:59
5. Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.) 53:12
7. Davis Bove (Franklin, Tenn.) 53:23
9. Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) 53:34
10. Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) 53:34
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) 58:08
2. Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal (MEX) 58:10
3. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) 58:12
Top 10 U.S. Finishers
4. Erin Edminister (Lincoln, Neb.) 58:25
5. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) 58:32
6. Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.) 58:40
7. Grace Walther (Indianapolis, Ind.) 58:45
10. Madisen Lavin (Vermillion, S.D.) 59:03
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 4,000 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 World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).