Current Residence: Boulder, Colo.
College: Southern Methodist University ’97, Finance
- 2012 Olympic Games, 17th
- 2008 Olympic Games, 4th
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Member
2011 USAT Elite National Champion
2010 USAT Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
2010 USAT Elite National Champion
2008 U.S. Olympic Team Member
2008 USAT Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
2007 USAT Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
2006 USAT Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
2004 Olympic Team Alternate
2003 USAT Elite National Champion
2003 USOC Triathlete of the Year
Elite Triathlon Career
2012: Member of the USA Triathlon National Team and a 2012 U.S. Olympian • Took seventh at the Sept. 2 Hy-Vee Triathlon • Finished as the No. 3 American and 30th overall in the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series rankings • Placed second at the Aug. 26 Chicago Triathlon • Finished 17th at the 2012 London Olympic Games on Aug. 4 in her second Olympic appearance • Won the Boulder Peak Triathlon on July 8 • Placed first at the June 2 Dallas ITU Pan American Cup • Winner of the May 20 Kansas City Triathlon, a 5i50 event • Qualified for her second consecutive U.S. Olympic Team with a third-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego on May 11 • Finished on the podium for the first time in a WTS event in San Diego after riding among a pack of eight leaders throughout the bike and following with a strong run to claim her spot on the London start line • Opened her season with a seventh-place showing at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup on March 24.
2011: Won her third career and second straight USA Triathlon Elite National Championship title in 2011 • Finished eighth in the 2011 ITU World Championship Series to rank as the No. 2 American • Earned a season-best fifth-place showing at the 2011 WCS Grand Final in Beijing • Finished fifth at the 2011 Hy-Vee Triathlon Elite Cup • Placed sixth in Kitzbühel for a seventh consecutive top-10 finish on the WCS circuit • Placed eighth in Madrid • Finished sixth at the opener of the 2011 ITU World Championship Series in Sydney • Led the Sydney race for much of the run
2010: Named the 2010 USA Triathlon Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year • Captured her second career USA Triathlon elite national title in 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. • The national championship was her first since 2003 • Finished the 2010 ITU World Championship Series as the No. 1-ranked American and 10th overall • Placed eighth at the 2010 Grand Final in Budapest for her fourth straight top-10 finish • Also topped the 2010 ITU Best Swimmer Rankings • Recorded top-10 finishes in the ITU World Championship Series stops in Kitzbuhel (eighth), Hamburg (seventh) and London (fifth) • Finished sixth and was the top American finisher at the 2010 Hy-Vee Triathlon on June 13 • Placed 14th at the 2010 ITU World Championship Series opener in Sydney • Placed third at the Los Angeles Triathlon and the Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Rockwall, Texas, in 2010
2009 and earlier: Ranked No. 43 overall (No. 4 American) in the 2009 ITU World Championship Series rankings • Top WCS finish in 2009 was 12th in Washington, D.C. • Narrowly missed a medal with a fourth-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games • Also took fourth at the 2008 Mooloolaba and Hy-Vee ITU World Cup events and the USAT Elite National Championships in Portland, Ore. • Finished 2008 at No. 28 in the final ITU World Cup rankings and was the No. 3 American • Qualified for 2008 Olympic Team with third place overall finish at 2007 ITU Beijing World Cup • Four-time medalist at ITU World Championships (2003-2005, 2007) • Won prestigious title at Hy-Vee Triathlon ITU Des Moines World Cup in 2007 • Qualified for 2007 Pan Am Games but gave her spot to teammate Sara McLarty • Attended the 2004 Olympic Games as the team alternate • Finished third at the 2004 world championships, which was a U.S. Olympic qualifying race, but didn’t get the slot because U.S. teammate Sheila Taormina won the world championship • Qualified for the 2004 world championship team as the second-ranked U.S. female triathlete • Was the top U.S. finisher, second overall, at the 2003 triathlon world championship • Won her first U.S. elite national title at the Treasure Island Triathlon in 2003 • Qualified for the 2003 world championship team by being ranked third in the world by the cutoff date • Finished 13th overall at the 2003 Bay to Breakers 12k running race in San Francisco • Placed fifth overall in the 2001 Kia Formula 1 Triathlon Series in Australia • Was second runner-up for 2000 Olympic team after finishing fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials • Was part of the halftime celebration at a 1999 football game of alma mater, SMU versus Hawaii • During the winter months of 1999, trained with two-time world champion Michellie Jones at her home in Australia and raced in the St. George Formula One Series.
Amateur Triathlon Career: Participated in the IronKids Bread Triathlon Series • In 1997, after graduating from college, was the second U.S. amateur at the World Championship in Perth, Australia • In 1994, was voted the USA Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine Junior of the Year • In 1993, was a member of the USA Triathlon Junior National Team • Was second in the junior division at the Age Group National Championship at Leon's QEM Triathlon in Hammond, Ind • Finished 22nd at the Junior World Championship in Manchester, England
Athletic Background: Was an eight-time All-American and member of the 1997 NCAA champion 400 medley relay while swimming at SMU • Was the co-captain of the team her senior season (1996-97) • While swimming for the Mustangs, was on the team with six 1996 Olympians from six countries, including 1997 NCAA Swimmer of the Year Martina Moravcova (Slovakia) • While at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., earned All-America honors in 1993 in swimming • Was also the 1991 (So.) and 1992 (Jr.) Florida high school track champion in the mile and 2-mile • Team won the 1990 (So.) and 1992 (Jr.) high school cross country championship • Began swimming competitively in sixth grade (age 12) • While growing up, enjoyed playing football with older brotherPersonal
Laura Marie (Reback) Bennett • Born April 25, 1975, in North Palm Beach, Fla. • Parents, Paul and Sharon, reside in North Palm Beach • Was introduced to the sport by her family • Paul is a top age group triathlete while Sharon has participated in a handful of half-marathons • Older brothers, David and John, also compete in triathlon • Laura married top Australian triathlete Greg Bennett in November 2004 • Husband, Greg, finished fourth in the 2004 Olympic Games triathlon • Laura earned a B.A. in finance from Southern Methodist University in 1997 • Was a member of the SMU 3.0 Club from 1994-97 and a member of the Southwest Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll from 1994-96 • Favorite food is stone crabs, but will eat almost anything • Spends winters training and competing in Australia.
Groff: Oh So Close
Peggy Shinn Aug. 04, 2012
Sarah Groff takes fourth in triathlon
'12 Things ... you might not know about triathlon
Paul D. Bowker May 30, 2012
In honor of "The Hunger Games," here are 12 things you may not know about archery
If at first you don't succeed, tri again
Doug Williams May 30, 2012
After a failed first Olympic attempt, triathlete Laura Bennett readies for London