CLEMSON, S.C. — Taylor Knibb of MC Elite and Jake Baugher of Carolina Varsity Tri Club were victorious at the first USA Triathlon High School National Championships, held Friday afternoon at Campus Beach.
An at-capacity field of 125 high school athletes from around the country took to the 750-meter swim, 19.6-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course for the race, showcasing triathlon talent among rising triathletes ages 13-18 who represented both high school and club teams.
On the women’s side, Knibb was the top overall athlete, finishing 12 seconds ahead of Baugher for a final time of 58:41, adding a high school title to her race resume. Knibb has also claimed a number of triathlon national titles as a junior elite and age-group athlete, as well as a silver medal at ITU Junior World Championships last fall.
“I’m just happy we had a race,” Knibb said. “It’s kind of surreal right now. With such a well-run event, I’m so fortunate to be a part of it. It’s my last year in high school, so I wanted to at least try it. It’s a great atmosphere. I love USA Triathlon events.”
Audrey Ernst of Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club finished second with a time of 1:01:31 while Addison Smith of pwrCYCLE – Greater Knoxville Area Interscholastic won the bronze medal, crossing the line at 1:03:51.
In the women’s team competition, North Georgia High School Regional Team won the overall title. Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club came in second and MC Elite rounded out the podium, finishing third.
For the men, Baugher overtook the rest of the men’s field in the late stages of the race, running to victory in the first-ever men’s High School National Championships, coming in with a time of 58:53. Andrew Lopez-Aguirre won the silver in 59:00 while Lachlan Hovius finished third in 59:08.
“I’m pretty shocked actually,” Baugher said. “This is the first race I’ve actually ever won besides [duathlons] or little sprint ones. I didn’t even know what to expect. I saw it was pretty close to my house, so I thought I’d sign up.”
Carolina Varsity Tri Club took the men’s team High School Nationals title, followed by North Georgia High School Regional Team and Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club.
The combined (men and women) team competition saw Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club winning the first High School National team title. North Georgia High School Regional Team picked up the silver, while Carolina Valley Tri Club grabbed the last podium spot with third.
The USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships weekend will continue Saturday. Visit usatriathlon.org/usatcn16 for more information.
2016 USA Triathlon High School National Championships
750m swim, 19.6km bike, 5km runComplete results will be available here.
Women’s Top 3
1. Taylor Knibb 58:41
2. Audrey Ernst 1:01:31
3. Addison Smith 1:03:51
Men’s Top 3
1. Jake Baugher 58:53
2. Andres Lopez-Aguirre 59:00
3. Lachlan Hovius 59:08
Women’s Team Top 3
1. North Georgia Regional Team
2. Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club
3. MC Elite
Men’s Team Top 3
1. Carolina Varsity Tri Club
2. North Georgia High School Regional Team
3. Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club
Combined Team Top 3
1. Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club
2. North Georgia High School Regional Team3. Carolina Valley Tri Club