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2011 Junior World Champion Lukas Verzbicas earned his first professional victory Saturday (CIMAGES).

Bennett, Verzbicas Earn Wins at Dallas ITU Pan American Cup

Nearly 40 U.S. athletes battle heat in draft-legal event


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DALLAS, Texas — 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team qualifier Laura Bennett was victorious in a tune-up for London, and Lukas Verzbicas claimed his first professional win to highlight Saturday’s Dallas ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup.

Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) covered the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds to record her second ITU podium finish of the season. She also placed third at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego on May 11 to lock up a spot on her second consecutive U.S. Olympic Team. Canada’s Joanna Brown was second in 2:10:50, and Manon Letourneau took third to round out the women’s podium in 2:13:00.

Competing for the first time since withdrawing from January’s PATCO Pan American Championships with a shin injury, Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran away from the field to lift the tape in 1:57:56 to record his first career Pan American Cup victory. U.S. Olympic qualifier Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) was second in 1:58:59 in his first race since qualifying for London on May 12 in San Diego. USA Triathlon Project 2016 program member Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) finished third in 1:59:10 to give the U.S. men a sweep of the podium.

The U.S. men and women combined for 12 top-10 finishes in Dallas, including a fifth-place effort from Kevin McDowell (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who competed in his first ITU event since March 2011 after overcoming Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In addition to the ITU Pan American Cup, Dallas also hosted USA Triathlon Youth F1 (ages 12-16) and Elite Development Races (ages 16-23) Saturday morning. These events are designed to provide top up-and-coming triathletes with draft-legal racing experience.

The sprint-distance Elite Development Race wins went to Canada’s Gabrielle Edwards in 1:04:29 and USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program athlete Justin Roeder (Fishers, Ind.) in 59:28. Stephanie Jenks (Aurora, Iowa) won the super-sprint-distance girls’ Youth F1 race in 35:03, while Stone Dyson (Richmond, Va.) and Mexico’s Ivan Rodriguez went 1-2 in the boys’ race with matching times of 34:01.

Dallas ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup – Complete Results
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Women’s Top-10 Finishers
1. Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.), 2:10:22

2. Joanna Brown (CAN), 2:10:50
3. Manon Letourneau (CAN), 2:13:00
4. Alexandra Coates (CAN), 2:14:40
5. Mireille Rodrigue (CAN), 2:16:19
6. Amanda Hahn (Boulder, Colo.), 2:18:15
7. D'Ann Arthur (Dallas, Texas), 2:18:26
8. Erika Erickson (Berkeley, Calif.), 2:19:03
9. Anna Battiata (Mechanicsville, Va.), 2:19:54
10. Brianna Blanchard (Boston, Mass.), 2:23:33

Men’s Top-10 Finishers
1. Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:57:56
2. Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.), 1:58:59
3. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 1:59:10

4. Alexander Hinton (CAN), 1:59:37
5. Kevin McDowell (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:00:11
6. Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.), 2:00:21

7. Andrew Russell (CAN), 2:00:46
8. Gerardo Vergara (GUA), 2:00:48
9. William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), 2:00:59
10. Hernan Rubiano (COL), 2:01:04

USA Triathlon Elite Development Race – Complete Results
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)

1. Gabrielle Edwards (CAN), 1:04:29
2. Jenny Shaughnessy (Durham, N.C.), 1:04:32
3. Johanna Gartman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:05:35

1. Justin Roeder (Fishers, Ind.), 59:28
2. Thomas Barton (Miami, Fla.), 59:54
3. Alex Libin (Iowa City, Iowa), 59:58

USA Triathlon Youth F1 – Complete Results
(375m swim, 10k bike, 2.5k run)

1. Stephanie Jenks (Aurora, Iowa), 35:03
2. Jennifer Jenks (Aurora, Iowa), 36:24
3. Malia Ellington (Cornelius, N.C.), 37:01

1. Stone Dyson (Richmond, Va.), 34:01
2. Ivan Rodriguez (MEX), 34:01
3. Austin Hindman (Chesterfield, Mo.), 34:21

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 4,000 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.