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Laura Bennett Official Photo 2012 USA Triathlon Olympic Team
Official Photo

2011 ITU Rank: 8
2011 USAT Rank: 2
First Year Elite: 1999

Twitter: @LauraRBennett
Website: Bennett Endurance

Hometown: North Palm Beach, Fla.
Resides: Boulder, Colo.
College: Southern Methodist University
Height: 5-9
Weight: 130
Birthdate: 4/25/1975 (37)
Birthplace: North Palm Beach, Fla.






Career Highlights

USA Triathlon National Team Member 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifier 2011 USAT Elite National Champion 2010 USAT Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year 2010 USAT Elite National Champion 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifier 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

2012 Highlights: Member of the USA Triathlon National Team • 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 with a pack of eight leaders throughout the bike and following with a strong run to claim her spot on the London start line • Stands 13th in the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings and sits as the top American following a 15th-place finish April 14 in Sydney and her third-place effort in San Diego • Opened her season with a seventh-place showing at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup on March 24.

Elite Triathlon Career: 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 • 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 • 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 brother.