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Matt Chrabot looks to build on his recent success in Mexico. (ITU/Rich Cruse)
photo: ©2011 Rich Cruse/ITU

USA Triathlon Aims to Continue Pan American Games Success

Americans swept gold in 2007 in Rio de Janeiro

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Winners of six of a possible 12 triathlon medals over the past two Pan American Games, the United States will look to continue that success Sunday at the 2011 Pan American Games triathlon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Six Americans are scheduled to be in action: Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.) on the women’s side; and Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Mark Fretta (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) in the men’s event.

Huerta was named to the squad last week after three-time Olympian Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was forced to withdraw from the event after breaking his elbow in a bicycle crash at the Oct. 9 finale of the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The women’s race is set for 8 a.m. CT, followed by the men at 11 a.m. All athletes will complete a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. Click here to view men’s and women’s start lists.

Haskins, a Beijing Olympian and 2007 Pan Am Games silver medalist, will compete in her second straight Pan Am Games, as will McLarty, who finished 10th in Rio de Janeiro four years ago. Haskins is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Oct. 9 Huatulco ITU World Cup and earned her first career World Cup win in Monterrey, Mexico, earlier this season.

Last time out, Jorgensen wrapped up the women’s 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series title with a victory in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Oct. 9. She qualified for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team at the 2011 London ITU World Championship Series event in August. Jorgensen has experienced success in Puerto Vallarta, placing second at the at the 2010 PATCO Pan American Championship on the same course.

All three men’s athletes will make their Pan American Games debuts this weekend. Chrabot has experienced a great deal of success in Mexico, winning the Huatulco ITU World Cup twice in the last three years, including the most recent edition of the event Oct. 9. He also owns a pair of PATCO Pan American Championship titles in his career and captured gold on the same course in Puerto Vallarta a year ago.

Huerta is fresh off a sixth-place finish at the Huatulco ITU World Cup and wrapped up the 2011 ITU World Championship Series as the No. 3-ranked American. Fretta owns a pair of top-10 Pan American Cup finishes this season.

The U.S. has captured eight all-time Pan American Games medals, including four gold, since triathlon made its debut in 1995. Americans swept the top spots in 2007 with Julie Ertel and Andy Potts winning gold in Rio de Janeiro. Only Canada’s nine all-time medals top the U.S. in Pan American Games triathlon history.

Held every four years in the year before the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The history of the Pan American Games dates back to 1951 when the Games were first hosted by Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 2011 Pan American Games mark the 16th celebration of the Pan American Sports Organization event. The U.S. has hosted the event twice, in Indianapolis in 1987 and Chicago in 1959.

USA Triathlon Pan American Games Roster (Oct. 23, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)  
Women
Name (Current Residence/Hometown
)
Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo./St. Louis, Mo.)
Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis./Milwaukee, Wis.)
Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla./DeLand, Fla.)

Men
Name (Current Residence/Hometown)
Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo./Virginia Beach, Va.)
Mark Fretta (Colorado Springs, Colo./Portland, Ore.)
Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla./Miami, Fla.)

Pan American Games 2011 Athlete Highlights
Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo./Virginia Beach, Va.):
Member of the USA Triathlon National Team • Wrapped up the 2011 ITU World Championship Series as the top-ranked American (42nd overall) for the second straight year • Winner of the Oct. 9 Huatulco ITU World Cup for his second career World Cup victory an third straight podium finish in Huatulco • Earned third career WCS top-10 showing by finishing fifth at the Yokohama WCS event Sept. 19, which will count toward the 2012 WCS standings • Led the U.S. with a 25th-place finish at the WCS Grand Final in Beijing on Sept. 10 • Winner of the Aug. 26 Chicago Triathlon • Placed third at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on June 5 • Finished eighth at the Monterrey ITU World Cup on May 8 • Was a repeat winner at the Miami International Triathlon on March 20.  

Mark Fretta (Colorado Springs, Colo./Portland, Ore.): Selected to represent the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games on Oct. 23 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico • Wrapped up the 2011 ITU World Championship Series as the No. 5 American and 84th overall • Placed 14th at the Ishigaki ITU World Cup on April 17 • Member of the U.S. team who took fifth at the ITU Team Triathlon World Championships on Aug. 21 • Posted a 16:26 split in the final leg of the team relay for the 10th fastest overall split • Earned top-10 finishes at the Lima (fourth) and Salinas (eighth) ITU Pan American Cups.

Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo./St. Louis, Mo.): Member of the USA Triathlon National Team • Finished seventh at the Oct. 9 Huatulco ITU World Cup • Winner of the 2011 Race to the Toyota Cup series title • Runner-up at the Oct. 2 Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Rockwell, Texas • Placed third at the Hy-Vee Triathlon Elite Cup on Sept. 4 • Winner of the Life Time Fitness Chicago Triathlon on Aug. 28 • Won the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis on July 9 for the third straight year • Finished 15th in her 2011 ITU World Championship Series debut June 19 in Kitzbühel • Named the USOC’s female Athlete of the Month for May after earning three victories in three starts • Winner of the May 30 Capitol of Texas Triathlon • Earned her first career ITU World Cup victory in Monterrey, Mexico, on May 8 • Pulled away midway through the bike and held on for the victory • Won the Miami International Triathlon on March 20 and the St. Anthony’s Triathlon on May 1 • Won the inaugural USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship and took second overall at the opening event of the USA Triathlon Elite Race Series on March 5 in Clermont, Fla.

Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla./Miami, Fla.): Member of USA Triathlon’s Project 2012 program • Wrapped up the 2011 ITU World Championship Series ranked as the No. 3 American and 57th overall • Placed sixth at the Oct. 9 Huatulco ITU World Cup • Finished as the top American and was 25th overall at the London WCS event on the 2012 Olympic Games course Aug. 7 • Placed fourth at the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, an ITU Pan American Cup, on July 9 • Finished 24th and was the top U.S. finisher at the Kitzbühel WCS event June 18 • Was the runner-up at the Ixtapa ITU Pan American Cup on May 28 • Finished 15th at the Monterrey ITU World Cup on May 8 and was 16th at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup on March 27 • Finished second at the Olympic-distance Rev3 Costa Rica on Feb. 20.

Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis./Milwaukee, Wis.): Member of the USA Triathlon Project 2012 program • Winner of the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series women’s title • Locked up the series victory with a win in the Oct. 9 series finale in Myrtle Beach, S.C. • Overcame a crash on the bike to run her way to a runner-up finish at the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sept. 24 • Ranked 11th overall and as the No. 3 American in the final 2011 ITU World Championship Series Rankings • Placed ninth and recorded the fastest run split at the Sept. 4 Hy-Vee Triathlon Elite Cup • Finished sixth at the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon Championship on Aug. 20 • Part of the U.S. Team that took fifth at the ITU Team Triathlon World Championships on Aug. 21 • Posted her first ITU World Cup win in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, on Aug. 14 with the day’s fastest run split at 33:49 which was 42 second faster than any other competitor • Less than two years after completing her first competitive triathlon, placed second to post the best finish by an American woman in the history of the ITU World Championship Series and claim a spot on the 2012 United States Olympic Triathlon Team on Aug. 6 in London • Closed the race with a 33:43 10k run split • Posted the fifth-fastest run split at the July 17 Hamburg WCS event • Made her ITU World Championship Series debut in Madrid on June 5 • Placed fifth at the May 8 Monterrey ITU World Cup • Finished 16th at the March 27 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup • Also was fifth at the Mazatlan ITU Pan American Cup on April 9 • Finished third overall at the opening event of the USA Triathlon Elite Race Series on March 5 in Clermont, Fla., but was the No. 2 American to earn runner-up honors in the first-ever USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship.

Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla./DeLand, Fla.): Selected to represent the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games on Oct. 23 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico • Finished fifth in the final standings in the 2011 Race to the Toyota Cup series • Placed in the top eight in all seven series events with a top finish of fourth at the Sept. 25 Los Angeles Triathlon • Earned top-10 finishes at ITU Pan American Cups in Clermont (ninth) and Roatan (sixth).

All-Time United States Pan American Games Triathlon Results
2007 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Women

1. Julie Ertel, 1:57:23
2. Sarah Haskins, 1:57:45
10. Sara McLarty, 2:02:07
Men
1. Andy Potts, 1:52:31
6. Jarrod Shoemaker, 1:53:32
8. Brian Fleischmann, 1:53:37

2003 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Women

2. Sheila Taormina, 2:00:12
3. Becky Lavelle, 2:00:36
8. Julie Swail (Ertel), 2:04:19
Men
1. Hunter Kemper, 1:52:00
4. Doug Friman, 1:53:11
15. Victor Plata, 1:57:24

1999 (Winnipeg, Canada)
Women

4. Jennifer Gutierrez, 2:01:24
5. Jill Newman, 2:01:24
7. Karen Smyers, 2:02:45
Men
2. Hunter Kemper, 1:48:49
5. Tim DeBoom, 1:49:50
10. Tony DeBoom, 1:50:31

1995 (Mar del Plata, Argentina)
Women

1. Karen Smyers, 2:04:52
4. Gail Laurence, 2:08:51
10. Kelly Kwiatrowski, 2:12:53
Men
5. Andrew Carlson, 1:53:33
12. Nathaniel Llerandi, 1:58:05
DNF Tim DeBoom

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 150,000 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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