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Hunter Kemper is a seven-time USA Triathlon elite national champion.
photo: (c)2012 Rich Cruse/richcruse.com

Elite National Titles Up for Grabs at Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — For the nation’s top Olympic-distance triathletes, the 2013 USA Triathlon Elite National Championship titles will be on the line at this weekend’s Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego, slated for Friday and Saturday in Mission Beach, Calif.   

Featuring nearly half of the field from the last summer’s Olympic Games, the women’s elite race is set for 3:30 p.m. Pacific Friday, followed by the men at 4 p.m. Saturday. The races will be televised live on the Universal Sports Network and UniversalSports.com.

The first American male and female across the finish line in the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run will be crowned the 2013 elite national champions.

Seven U.S. women — headlined by London Olympians Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.) and Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) — will chase the elite national title Friday. Groff and Jorgensen are in search of their first elite crowns, while Beijing Olympian Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.) enters the event as a two-time champion (2007, 2008).

Anna Battiata (San Diego, Calif.), Brianna Blanchard (Boston, Mass.), Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.) and Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.) also seek their first titles. Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.

Saturday’s men’s race features a trio of former USA Triathlon elite national champions in Matt Chrabot (Virginia Beach, Va.), Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.). Kemper owns a U.S. men’s record seven elite national titles with his most recent victory coming in 2011. Shoemaker won the 2010 and 2012 titles, while Chrabot was victorious in 2009.  

Rounding out the U.S. men on the start list are John Dahlz (South San Francisco, Calif.), William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) and Tommy Zaferes (Santa Cruz, Calif.). Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.

The winners of the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego will claim a $20,000 prize purse, and the event’s top 20 men and top 20 women will earn prize money. In addition to the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego prize purse, the top U.S. finishers can claim their share of a $10,000 Elite Nationals purse with $5,000 split among the top three male and top three female finishers.

One of just eight International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series events around the globe in 2013, the second edition of the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego will feature an Olympic-caliber elite field competing on a historic course adjacent to the birthplace of the sport.

In addition to the elite and paratriathlon races, the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego features top-flight Olympic- and sprint-distance age-group races, as well as an Olympic-distance relay and an aquabike event, offering amateurs the chance to compete in the same epic venue as the world’s best athletes. The 2013 Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego also serves as the USA Triathlon Club National Championships.

As of early this week, more than 1,800 athletes are registered for the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego age-group races. They represent 41 U.S. states (and Washington, D.C.) and 15 countries, including the U.S. The competitors range in age from 13 to 81 years old. Visit sandiego.triathlon.org for complete event information.

Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego U.S. Participant Bios:

Anna Battiata (23, (San Diego, Calif.)
The 2012 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year, Anna Battiata owns two career ITU Pan American Cup podium finishes and was third at the 2012 USA Triathlon Elite National Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

Brianna Blanchard (24, Boston, Mass.)
A former collegiate swimmer at Pepperdine, Brianna Blanchard won a quartet of sprint-distance races in 2012 and has posted top-20 finishes at two ITU Pan American Cups in 2013.
              
Matt Chrabot (29, Virginia Beach, Va.)
USA Triathlon National Team member Matt Chrabot owns a trio of ITU World Triathlon Series top-10 finishes in his career and recently finished second at the 2013 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup in Australia.

John Dahlz (28, South San Francisco, Calif.)

John Dahlz owns five career ITU Pan American Cup top-10 finishes and won the 2009 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship title for California. He is making his ITU World Triathlon Series debut in San Diego.

Kaitlin Donner (23, Gainesville, Fla.)
Kaitlin Donner is a two-time USA Triathlon Under-23 national champion. She owns six career podium finishes in ITU events and placed fourth at the 2012 FISU World University Triathlon Championships.

Julie Ertel (40, Irvine, Calif.)
A member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, Julie Ertel returns to ITU competition for the first time since 2011 in San Francisco. She was 19th at the Beijing Games and was the gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games.

Sarah Groff (31, Hanover, N.H.)
Sarah Groff led the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games with a fourth-place finish in London. She was the top-ranked American in the 2011 and 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series rankings and owns two career WTS podium finishes.

William Huffman (19, College Station, Texas)
A sophomore at Texas A&M, William Huffman is making his ITU World Triathlon Series debut in San Diego. He earned his first career ITU podium finish at this year’s Roatan ITU Pan American Cup and was third at the 2012 USA Triathlon Under-23 National Championships.

Katie Hursey (23, Hampstead, Md.)

A member of the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program, first-year elite Katie Hursey placed seventh in ITU Pan American Cups in Clermont, Fla., and Sarasota, Fla., earlier this year.

Gwen Jorgensen (26, St. Paul, Minn.)
A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, Gwen Jorgensen owns two career ITU World Triathlon Series podium finishes, including a runner-up showing at the 2012 Grand Final in Auckland. She finished ninth overall in the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series rankings.

Hunter Kemper (36, Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Only one of three four-time Olympians in triathlon history and a seven-time USA Triathlon elite national champion, Hunter Kemper was the top U.S. men’s finisher in all four Olympic triathlons with a top showing of seventh in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Joe Maloy (27, Wildwood Crest, N.J.)
A collegiate swimmer at Boston College, Joe Maloy has posted four career ITU Pan American Cup podium finishes and placed third at 2012 USA Triathlon Elite Nationals in Buffalo, N.Y.

Jarrod Shoemaker (30, Clermont, Fla.)
A member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, Jarrod Shoemaker won his second career USA Triathlon elite national title a year ago in Buffalo, N.Y. He is the only American to win an ITU World Triathlon Series event (Hamburg, 2009).  

Tommy Zaferes (26, Santa Cruz, Calif.)
One of the top swimmers in the sport, Tommy Zaferes owns three career ITU Pan American Cup finishes, including a runner-up showing in Sarasota, Fla., earlier this year.

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