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Jarrod Shoemaker finished ninth Sunday at the Hy-Vee Triathlon.
Jarrod Shoemaker finished ninth Sunday at the Hy-Vee Triathlon.
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Bennett, Shoemaker Lead Americans at Hy-Vee Triathlon

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – USA Triathlon National Team members Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Maynard, Mass.) grabbed top-10 finishes against a top-notch international field Sunday at the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup at Raccoon River Park.

Bennett, who was sixth in the women’s race, and Shoemaker, who took ninth in the subsequent men’s event, led the way for the Americans on an afternoon which produced six top-20 finishes in the Olympic-distance race for Team USA.

The winner of the inaugural Hy-Vee Triathlon in 2007, Bennett finished in 2 hours, 18 seconds for her third career top-10 showing in Des Moines. Australian Emma Snowsill clocked a blistering 34:05 run spit to claim her second Hy-Vee title in 1:59:35.

“I’m really happy with my performance, actually. This is my first race that I feel like I’m really fit and strong and into the season,” said Bennett. “I had couple of preseason races with St. Anthony’s and Sydney and Mooloolaba, and those were a bit average, but I didn’t expect a lot from them either. I think today I felt like I was in the game and amongst the mix, and I look forward to building on that for the rest of the year.”

Americans Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.) and Hayley Peirsol (Los Angeles, Calif.) took charge on the first lap of the swim and held nearly a one-minute advantage heading onto the bike. McClarty was first out of the water and claimed the $5,000 swim bonus. The duo held its lead for the entire 40k bike leg, losing minimal time to the chase pack, which included Bennett and nearly 20 others.

However, the lead was short-lived on the run, as Bennett was part of a group of six women to pull away early on the first of four laps. Snowsill caught the lead pack on the third lap of the run and pulled away on the final lap to claim the $200,000 prize purse.

A trio of Americans joined Bennett in the top 20 on the women’s side as Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.) and Jenna Shoemaker (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished 16th, 17th and 18th, respectively.

“I’m really happy with aspects of my performance because a few months ago I fractured my sacrum and had to try to race a few races with pain and lost a lot of fitness,” said Groff, who clocked a time of 2:03:10 Sunday. “It’s just nice to race without pain and be healthy. … I’m definitely not race fit, but it’s nice to know that just based on going back to some base training I can still put together a respectable performance.”

The men’s swim was tightly contested and that continued onto the bike, as nearly the entire men’s field rode together for most of the 40k bike leg. Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.) held a slight advantage on the second lap of the bike after a brief breakaway, and New Zealand's Ryan Sisson grabbed a lead for two laps of the bike before the pack closed the gap.

Great Britain’s Tim Don pulled away on the first lap of the run and held on for the win in 1:50:20. Shoemaker, who finished in 1:50:49, quickly made up some ground coming out of T2 with a quick first lap on the run, but he was forced to fight through a side cramp and a blister to earn his top-10 finish. “This is an Olympic-caliber field, and to come in top 10 it’s great. I had a solid swim, I felt really comfortable on the bike and ran hard, so it’s a good predictor,” said Shoemaker.

The fleet-footed Shoemaker has now posted consecutive top-10 finishes in Seoul, Madrid and at Hy-Vee.

“My goal was to do what Tim Don did, actually. I wanted to go as hard as I could and just go for it,” said Shoemaker, who now has three career top-10 finishes at Hy-Vee. “I felt great and then I got a cramp and blister. It slowed me down, and then it was just fight for everything I could and try and work my way back up and figure out exactly how to play around it. It’s disappointing. I feel like I could have run up there, but it was another good race, another top 10, so I can’t complain.”

Chris Foster (Redondo Beach, Calif.) was 19th, and Matt Reed (Boulder, Colo.) was 21st, as seven U.S. men finished in the top 30.

Multisport fans will be able to view NBC’s coverage of the race on July 4.

After storms dampened much of the weekend’s action, the elite races went off without issue. Sunday’s age group race was shortened to a sprint-distance event, and Saturday’s youth events were cancelled.

2010 Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup
Visit triathlon.org for full coverage
Women’s Results
1. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 1:59:35
2. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:59:51
3. Helen Jenkins (GBR) 1:59:51

United States Finishers
6. Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) 2:00:18      
16. Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 2:03:08     
17. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.) 2:03:10     
18. Jenna Shoemaker (Los Angeles, Calif.) 2:03:12     
21. Alicia Kaye (Maynard, Mass.) 2:04:27     
30. Jillian Petersen (St. Louis, Mo.) 2:05:39     
31. Hayley Peirsol (Los Angeles, Calif.) 2:05:46     
34. Mary Beth Ellis (Boulder, Colo.) 2:07:05     
36. Rebecca Witinok-Huber (Iowa City, Iowa) 2:07:43     
37. Margaret Shapiro (Herndon, Va.) 2:08:04     
39. Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.) 2:10:45     
42. Jennifer Spieldenner (Findlay, Ohio) 2:11:33     
51. Amanda Hahn (Boulder, Colo.) 2:20:07

Men’s Results
1. Tim Don (GBR) 1:50:20
2. Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 1:50:24
3. Kris Gemmell (NZL) 1:50:28

United States Finishers
9. Jarrod Shoemaker (Maynard, Mass.) 1:50:49
19. Chris Foster (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 1:51:52
21. Matt Reed (Boulder, Colo.) 1:52:11
24. Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) 1:52:21
25. Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.) 1:52:23
26. Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1:52:26
28. Mark Fretta (Portland, Ore.) 1:52:34
48. Kevin Collington (Orlando, Fla.) 1:54:44
60. TJ Tollakson (Des Moines, Iowa) 2:07:27    

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – one of the fastest growing sports in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 3,100 races and connects with more than 133,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games.

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