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photo: Â© Romeo T Guzman 2013
Groff, Shoemaker Sprint to Podium Finishes at Clermont ITU Pan American Cup
Strong early season field kicks off U.S. draft-legal racing slate
CLERMONT, Fla. — London Olympian Sarah Groff earned the women’s victory, and Jarrod Shoemaker raced to third on the men’s side to lead the United States at Saturday’s Clermont (Fla.) ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup at Lake Louisa State Park.
Groff (Hanover, N.H.) notched a time of 1 hour, 17 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course to earn her third career ITU Pan American Cup win. Olympian Helle Frederiksen of Denmark was second in 1:00:23, while Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.) rounded out the women’s podium in 1:00:31.
London Olympians Mario Mola of Spain and Richard Murray of South Africa went one-two on the men’s side in 53:56 and 54:12, respectively. Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) earned his third straight podium finish in his hometown race, taking third in 54:20.
Less than a week after finishing second at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, Groff again displayed strong early season form with her second podium finish in as many weeks. She was among a lead group of four, including American Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.), out of the water and rode with the leaders throughout the 20k bike. Groff posted the day’s fastest 5k split (17:43) en route to a six-second victory over Frederiksen.
Donner was third for her fourth career Pan American Cup finish, while Americans Alica Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), McLarty and Lauren Goss (Clermont, Fla.) added top-10 finishes. Hursey was seventh in her ITU debut.
In the subsequent men’s race, Tommy Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.) led the field out of the water by 17 seconds. At the midway point of the bike, a group of 11 — featuring Americans Shoemaker, Zaferes, Luke Farkas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Kyle Lee (Birmingham, Ala.) — formed the lead pack, and that group exited T2 within seven seconds of another.
On the run, Mola uncorked a 15:07 5k to post a 16-second win over Murray. Shoemaker’s 15:27 run was good for third, while Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.) finished eighth in 55:19. Farkas, Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) and Zaferes finished just outside the top 10 in 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively. Farkas was making his ITU Pan American Cup debut.
Saturday’s race marked the remarkable return to triathlon competition for Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) following a serious, season-ending bike accident last July. The reigning USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year recorded a solid swim and rode with a chase pack throughout the 20k bike before withdrawing from the race after the first lap of the run. He was uninjured.
The day opened with the USA Triathlon Under-25 Elite Development Races, offering up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to gain key experience in the draft-legal format. USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program athlete Kyla Chapman (Indianapolis, Ind.) won the women’s race in 1:05:15, while Dan Hedgecock (Minneapolis, Minn.) took the men’s win in 57:42.
The top three EDR finishers earned their professional cards — Chapman, Jessica Barton (Newton, Mass.) and Ashley Shiver (Satellite Beach, Fla.) on the women’s side; and Hedgecock, T.J. Gleason (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Jacob Rhyner (Clermont, Fla.) among the men.
Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup – Complete Results
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Women’s Top 10
1. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 1:00:17
2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN), 1:00:23
3. Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.), 1:00:31
4. Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), 1:00:44
5. Paula Findlay (CAN), 1:00:51
6. Carolina Routier (ESP), 1:01:07
7. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), 1:01:12
8. Radka Vodickova (CZE), 1:01:22
9. Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.), 1:02:40
10. Lauren Goss (Clermont, Fla.), 1:03:36
Men’s Top 10
1. Mario Mola (ESP), 53:56
2. Richard Murray (RSA), 54:12
3. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) 54:20
4. Joao Pereira (POR), 54:29
5. Kyle Jones (CAN), 54:33
6. Andrew Yorke (CAN), 54:40
7. Conor Murphy (IRL), 55:14
8. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), 55:19
9. Andrew McCartney (CAN), 55:22
10. Miguel Arraiolos (POR), 55:33
USA Triathlon Under-25 Development Races
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Women’s Podium Finishers
1. Kyla Chapman (Indianapolis, Ind.), 1:05:15
2. Jessica Barton (Newton, Mass.), 1:05:36
3. Ashley Shiver (Satellite Beach, Fla.), 1:05:38
Men’s Podium Finishers
1. Dan Hedgecock (Minneapolis, Minn.), 57:42
2. T.J. Gleason (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 57:57
3. Jacob Rhyner (Clermont, Fla.), 58:05
About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 510,000 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 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).