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U.S. Champs Russell, LaSelle Post Top-10 Showings at Duathlon Worlds

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GIJON, Spain — National champions Matt Russell and Nicole LaSelle recorded top-10 finishes Saturday to lead the U.S. elite contingent in run-bike-run action at the 2011 ITU Duathlon World Championships.

Additionally, Michael Johnston (TRI-5, San Diego, Calif.) and David Kyle (TRI-3, Athens, Ala.) claimed silver in their respective paraduathlon categories to cap day one at Duathlon Worlds.

In a tightly contested men’s elite race, Russell (Austin, Texas) finished sixth in 1 hour, 51 minutes, 36 seconds on the 10-kilometer run, 43.2-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. He crossed the finish line just seven seconds off the podium and 19 seconds off the pace of winner Sergio Silva of Portugal, who broke the tape in 1:51:17.

Russell, who recorded a career-best showing in his fourth appearance at Duathlon Worlds, posted the day’s quickest bike split by more than a minute, covering the 43.2k course in 1:01:54. Josh Merrick (Alamosa, Colo.) finished 13th in 1:52:39, as the U.S. was one of just four nations to place multiple men’s finishers in the top 13.

LaSelle (Dayton, Ohio) led a strong showing by the U.S. women, placing ninth in 2:05:31 in her first-ever world championship appearance. Her bike split of 1:09:35 was the second-fastest mark among all women’s competitors. Courtenay Brown (Boulder, Colo.) was 12th in 2:08:27, as the Americans placed four athletes in the top 18 finishers. Katie Hewison of Great Britain earned gold in 2:02:45.

In paraduathlon action, Johnston earned his first career world championship medal in 1:06:51 after posting the top run splits in the TRI-5 category. Kyle raced to his third straight TRI-3 podium finish in 1:08:47 on the 5k run, 21.6k bike, 2.5k run course. After winning bronze a year ago, Kyle claimed duathlon silver for the second time in his career (2009, 2011).

Holly Resh (Redlands, Calif.) placed 15th in the 5k run, 21.6k bike, 2.5k run junior women’s race in 1:11:31 to lead a trio of U.S. juniors in action Saturday.

Sunday, nearly 200 U.S. age-groupers will represent Team USA in both sprint- and standard-distance events. Visit duathlongijon.org for full event information.

2011 ITU Duathlon World Championships – Click here for complete results 

Elite Women
10k run, 43.2k bike, 5k run
1. Katie Hewison (GBR), 2:02:45
2. Jenny Schulz (GER), 2:02:47
3. Sandra Levenez (FRA), 2:02:54
9. Nicole LaSelle (Dayton, Ohio), 2:05:31
12. Courtenay Brown (Boulder, Colo.), 2:08:27
16. Angela Axmann (Phoenix, Ariz.), 2:15:13
18. Anne Curi-Preisig (Falmouth, Mass.), 2:16:50
Rachel Chambers (Sarasota, Fla.) DNF

Elite Men
10k run, 43.2k bike, 5k run
1. Sergio Silva (POR), 1:51:17
2. Roger Roca Dalmau (ESP), 1:51:22
3. Victor Manuel Del Corral Morales (ESP), 1:51:29
6. Matt Russell (Austin, Texas), 1:51:36
13. Josh Merrick (Alamosa, Colo.), 1:52:39
23. Ryan Guiliano (Schaumburg, Ill.), 1:57:15
29. Justin Hurd (Boulder, Colo.), 2:00:15
Gered Dunne (White River Junction, Vt.) DNF
Henry Hagenbuch (Los Angeles, Calif.) DNF

Junior Women
5k run, 21.6k bike, 2.5k run
1. Joselin Brea (VEN), 1:03:12
2. Elena Maria Petrini (ITA), 1:03:37
3. Melina Alonso (ESP), 1:03:51
15. Holly Resh (Redlands, Calif.), 1:11:31

Junior Men
5k run, 21.6k bike, 2.5k run
1. Matthias Steinwandter (ITA), 56:31
2. David Mendoza (MEX), 56:36
3. David Castro Fajardo (ESP), 56:36
26. Connor Torre (Northboro, Mass.), 1:03:37
27. Greg Palken (San Diego, Calif.), 1:03:52

Paraduathlon
5k run, 21.6k bike, 2.5k run

United States Medalists
Men’s TRI-3
2. David Kyle (Athens, Ala.), 1:08:47
Men’s TRI-5
2. Michael Johnston (San Diego, Calif.), 1:06:51

About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, 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, aquabike, winter triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions 3,500 races and connects with more than 140,000 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, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including ITU World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic Committee.

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