IRVING, Texas — The inaugural four-day 2022 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival Presented by Toyota came to a close on Sunday in Irving, Texas, as run-bike-run athletes raced for national titles in the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships and swim-bike athletes competed for national titles in the Aquabike National Championships
Over the course of four days, nearly 2,500 registrants competed at Levy Event Plaza in nine distinct multisport races and six National Championship events in the new festival showcasing the sport’s offering of multiple race formats. Irving will again host the USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival in 2023 as the 2023 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival is scheduled to take place May 4-7, 2023.
Todd Buckingham won the men’s overall national title in the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships, the 14th national title of his career, while Kirsten Sass won the women’s overall national title, her 27th.
Buckingham completed the 5-kilometer run, 20k bike, 3.3k run course along Las Colinas Boulevard and Lake Carolyn Parkway in a time of 57 minutes, 49 seconds. Among the fastest runners in the field, Buckingham ripped off a 15:11 5K in the first run leg, building a comfortable lead as he started the bike. He led for the majority of the bike, riding solo in front before the chase pack caught him with a few kilometers to go. Buckingham then sprinted the final 3.3k to secure the national title.
“I knew that there were some really strong cyclists out there, so I don’t think it’s really any secret that my strategy is to run really fast then hold on for the bike. On the bike I just tried pushing as hard as I could to keep them (the chase pack) away as long as I could,” Buckingham said. “The goal was to come away with the overall championship in today’s race because that had alluded me the rest of the weekend. So, mission accomplished. I’m really happy.”
Andrew Vos finished second overall with a time of 57:59, and Brave Mays, winner of Thursday’s Super Sprint Triathlon National Championships, placed third in 58:05.
Sass won her 28th national title, clocking a time of 1:10:01 to win by 37 seconds over Kimberly Wikel, who finished in 1:10:38 and worked together with Sass during the draft-legal bike.
“Draft-legal racing has come a long way, and I really wanted to find some girls to work with on the bike and that happened and it was great. It was so much fun,” said Sass, who raced in seven events during the four days of racing in Irving. “I am blown away by what a great job USA Triathlon did in hosting this event. All the logistics, an incredible venue here in Irving, such friendly, welcoming volunteers. I had an incredible time racing these four days.”
Karoline Muehlfellner, 39, (Dunedin, Fla.), rounded out the overall podium, finishing third in a time of 1:12:48.
Sass won the women’s Masters title, while Stephen Eles, 43, (Boulder, Colo.) won the men’s Masters title.
Lauren Jensen McGinnis, 55, (Muskego, Wis.) earned the women’s Grandmasters title and Tim Bradley, 61, (Merrick, N.Y.) won the men’s Grandmasters title.
For Jensen McGinnis, racing at Multisport National Championships Festival was a trip down memory lane. Twenty-two years ago, Jensen McGinnis raced in Irving at the same location for the first-ever U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team Trials, ahead of triathlon’s Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games.
“I was just honored to be a part of the race. I knew I wasn’t going to be someone going to the Olympics. I was really happy to be here. I just remember having so much pride. Even 22 years later when I hear the National Anthem, it has even more special meaning. It was really fun because friends of mine made the Olympics. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Jensen McGinnis said.
In the Clydesdale and Athena divisions, Ariel Rodriguez, 46, (Pacoima, Calif.) won the Clydesdale 40-54 title and Michael Demello, 61, (Vacaville, Calif.) earned the Clydesdale 60+ title.
Stephanie Dupree, 42, (Fort Worth, Texas) won the Athena 40-54 title. Billie Pate, 72, (Upland, Calif.) won the Athena 55+ title in the eighth race of the weekend, the maximum number of races an individual could race over the four-day span.
Pate was among the 86 athletes who completed five or more races at Multisport National Championships Festival, earning them the title of “Multisport Master.” Each athlete received a commemorative belt buckle, awarded at Sunday evening’s Award Ceremony.
The Aquabike National Championships kicked off Sunday’s racing action, as swim-bike athletes swam 1,500 meters in Lake Carolyn and biked 40k along Las Colinas Boulevard and Lake Carolyn Parkway.
Jenna Haufler, 29, (Mill Valley, Calif.) won the women’s overall national title in a time of 1:24:29. A former Division-III collegiate swimmer, Haufler recorded the fastest swim split of the day, swimming the 1500m in 20:24. She then averaged 23.84 miles per hour on the bike to capture the win and her first national title.
“I did not know what it was going to be like – I didn’t know how much it was going to hurt at the end. I’m so used to doing Olympic-distance triathlons where you have to modulate your effort because you know that if you go too hard on the bike then you’re going to struggle on the run. This was like, ‘We’re going all out-on the bike and then all you need to do is take 10 steps off the bike and you’re done,’” said Haufler, of running her first aquabike. “This event has been so much fun and given people so many opportunities (to race) and try new events and formats in an amazing, fun and supportive environment.”
Amber Smolik (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished second in 1:25:06 and Meghan Henry (Yelm, Wash.) took third overall in 1:27:00.
In the men’s race, Miguel Mattox, 27, (Mill Valley, Calif.) won his fourth overall national title at Multisport National Championships Festival, clocking a time of 1:14:15. The four days of racing in Irving were a coming out party for Mattox, a former DI collegiate swimmer. He also won the national titles in the Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon National Championships, Aquathlon National Championships and as a team member in the Age Group Mixed Relay National Championships.
“We came here for the mixed relay and then I was like, ‘I might as well do some other events,’” Mattox said. “This sport is fueled by competition, but I think even more so it’s inspired by an extremely kind and beautiful community. That was evident every day here.”
Kurt Holt, 47, (Santa Rosa, Calif.) finished second overall in 1:18:44 to win the men’s Masters title and Johnathan Dolan (Atascadero, Calif.) placed third overall in 1:18:52.
Sass earned the women’s Masters title, while Kelly Dippold, 60, (Irvine, Calif.) won the women’s Grand Masters title. Chip Grizzard, 60, (Lawrenceville, Ga.) earned the men’s Grand Masters championship.
Suzanne Mahler Brown, 55, (Cane Ridge, Tenn.) won the Athena 55+ title, while Ande Wegner (Bourbonnais, Ill.) earned the Athena 40-54 title and Rozanne Larsen (Washington, D.C.) won the Athena 39 and under title.
Lance Fargo (Ocean View, Del.) won the Clydesdale 40-59 title and Kevin Gaston (Atlanta, Ga.) earned the Clydesdale 39 and under title.
In addition to racing for age group national championships, Multisport National Championships Festival athletes also raced for the opportunity to qualify to represent age group Team USA at 2023 World Triathlon Age Group World Championships. For more information about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at World Triathlon Age Group World Championship events, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.
Sunday’s action also included a non-championship Olympic-distance triathlon. Jason Savill (Frisco, Texas) won the men’s race, completing the 500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run course in 2:10:04. Christine Warren (Tucson, Ariz.) won the women’s race, clocking a time of 2:14:17.
2022 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival
Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships
5k run, 20k bike, 3.3k run
Female Overall: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:10:02
Male Overall: Todd Buckingham (Wyoming, Mich.), 57:49
Female Masters: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:10:02
Male Masters: Stephen Eles (Boulder, Colo.), 1:02:15
Female Grandmasters: Lauren Jensen McGinnis (Muskego, Wis.), 1:17:42
Male Grandmasters: Tim Bradley (Merrick, N.Y.), 1:05:04
Athena 55+: Billie Pate (Upland, Calif.), 2:37:18
Clydesdale 60+: Michael Demello (Vacaville, Calif.), 1:41:15
Athena 40-54: Stephanie Dupree (Fort Worth, Texas), 1:34:03
Clydesdale 40-54: Ariel Rodriguez (Pacoima, Calif.), 1:12:51
PC Open: Christine Wodke (Miwaukee, Wis.), 1:49:53
F15-19: Annika Peacock (Jackson, Wyo), 1:15:50
M15-19: Brave Mays (Aubrey, Texas), 58:06
F20-24: Peyton Hall (Aledo, Texas), 1:13:15
M20-24: Matthew McGoey (Selinsgrove, Pa.), 1:01:48
F25-29: Brooke Beecher (Lakewood, Ohio), 1:29:50
M25-29: William Cottrell (Midlothian, Va.), 1:07:59
F30-34: Jennifer Peverelle (South Euclid, Ohio), 1:18:12
M30-34: Todd Buckingham (Wyoming, Mich.), 57:49
F35-39: Karoline Muehlfellner (Dunedin, Fla.), 1:12:49
M35-39: Andew Vos (Broomfield, Colo.), 57:59
F40-44: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:10:02
M40-44: Stephen Eles (Boulder, Colo.), 1:02:15
F45-49: Kimberly Wikel (Milan, Ohio), 1:10:38
M45-49: Benjamin Drezek (Denton, Texas), 1:02:31
F50-54: Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), 1:12:56
F50-54: Thomas Woods (Lincoln, Neb.), 1:05:01
F55-59: Lauren Jensen McGinnis (Muskego, Wis.), 1:17:42
M55-59: David Engstrom (Beaverton, Ore.), 1:03:10
F60-64: Sherry Rennard (Seal Beach, Calif.), 1:20:36
M60-64: Tim Bradley (Merrick, N.Y.), 1:05:04
F65-69: Patty Peoples-Resh (Redlands, Calif.), 1:21:43
M65-69: David Morrow (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), 1:15:45
F70-74: Sharon Gerl (Eugene, Ore.), 1:33:40
M70-74: Mike Morris (Terre Haute, Ind.), 1:26:41
F75-79: Ruth Hamilton (McLean, Va.), 1:53:12
M75-79: Wolf Hillesheim (El Sobrante, Calif.), 1:40:49
F80-84: June Black (Austin, Texas), 2:09:02
M80-84: Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.), 1:46:05
M85-89: Kenneth Fleischhacker (Littleton, Colo.), 1:22:25
Aquabike National Championships
1500m swim, 40k bike
Female Overall: Jenna Haufler (Mill Valley, Calif.), 1:24:29
Male Overall: Miguel Mattox (Mill Valley, Calif.), 1:14:15
Female Masters: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:29:20
Male Masters: Kurt Holt (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 1:18:45
Female Grand Masters: Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), 1:28:32
Male Grand Masters: Chip Grizzard (Lawrenceville, Ga.), 1:28:11
Athena 55+: Suzanne Mahler Brown (Cane Ridge, Tenn.), 1:58:03
Athena 40-54: Ande Wegner (Bourbonnais, Ill.), 1:39:41
Clydesdale 40-59: Lance Fargo (Ocean View, Del.), 1:32:00
Athena 39 and under: Rozanne Larsen (Washington, D.C.), 1:47:55
Clydesdale 39 and under: Kevin Gaston (Atlanta, Ga.), 1:49:11
F15-19: No participants
M15-19: Rowan Raffner (Scarsdale, N.Y.), 1:32:38
F20-24: Reilly Schindler (Norfolk, Va.), 1:30:53
M20-24: Johnathan Dolan (Atascadero, Calif.), 1:18:52
F25-29: Jenna Haufler (Mill Valley, Calif.), 1:24:29
M25-29: Miguel Mattox (Mill Valley, Calif.), 1:14:15
F30-34: Meghan Henry (Yelm, Wash.), 1:27:00
M30-34: Saxby Stradinger (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 1:34:49
F35-39: Amber Smolik (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 1:25:06
M35-39: Phillip Young (Memphis, Tenn.), 1:25:04
F40-44: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:29:20
M40-44: Maarten Bout (Bloomington, Ind.), 1:22:18
F45-49: Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.), 1:32:36
M45-49: Kurt Holt (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 1:18:45
F50-54: Gayle Galletta (Shrewsbury, Mass.), 1:34:50
M50-54: Marcel Rinzler (Wildomar, Calif.), 1:23:24
F55-59: Lauren Jensen McGinnis (Muskego, Wis.), 1:32:38
M55-59: Michael Shaffer (Ventura, Calif.), 1:20:11
F60-64: Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), 1:28:32
M60-64: Chip Grizzard (Lawrenceville, Ga.), 1:28:11
F65-69: Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (Colorado Springs, Colo,), 1:41:32
M65-69: Robert Smartt (Boulder, Colo.), 1:30:07
F70-74: Sue Dejesus (Henrico, Va.), 1:51:22
M70-74: Rick Kozlowski (San Diego, Calif.), 1:31:50
F75-79: Sarah Artese (Gates Mills, Ohio), 1:56:33
M75-79: David Niles (Olympia, Wash.), 1:49:07
F80-84: Luise Easton (Westlake, Ohio), 2:49:58
M80-84: David Robinettte (Littleton, Colo.), 2:00:32
Olympic-Distance Triathlon (non-championship)
1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Female Overall: Christine Warren (Tucson, Ariz.), 2:14:17
Male Overall: Jason Savill (Frisco, Texas), 2:10:04
Female 60+: Ingrid Gunilla Gard (Kerrville, Texas), 3:00:48
Male 60+: Peter Shafron (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 2:23:41
Female 40-59: Marcia Lima (Savannah, Texas), 2:28:22
Male 40-59: Jason Savill (Frisco, Texas), 2:10:04
Female 15-39: Christine Warren (Tucson, Ariz.), 2:14:17
Male 15-39: Lane Monroe (Lubbock, Texas), 2:10:11
Male PC: Trent Fielder (Burleson, Texas), 4:27:51