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photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

Gwen Jorgensen Runs to Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego Title

Olympian also picks up first career USA Triathlon Elite National Championships victory

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. — United States Olympian Gwen Jorgensen grabbed the lead in the final mile of the run to claim the first victory for an American woman in International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series history Friday at the Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego in Mission Beach.

Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) covered the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 59 seconds to earn her third career World Triathlon Series podium finish and first career USA Triathlon Elite National Championships title.

Great Britain’s Non Stanford edged Emma Moffatt of Australia in a sprint finish for second place with both athletes finishing in 2:03:03. U.S. Olympians Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), who took seventh overall, and Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.), who placed 23rd overall, rounded out the podium for the 2013 USA Triathlon Elite National Championships.  

“It’s a huge honor and I think it’s only going to increase our athletes in the U.S.,” said Jorgensen about becoming the first U.S. woman to claim a WTS victory. “It’s going to motivate and push other U.S. athletes as well. It’s really exciting because it was on U.S. soil …”

Prior to Friday, Jarrod Shoemaker’s 2009 victory in Hamburg was the lone win for the U.S. in the ITU World Triathlon Series, which is in its fifth year. Jorgensen placed second in London in 2011 and in Auckland in 2012.

Jorgensen got off to a strong start with a top-10 effort on the swim. She rode with the chase pack throughout the 40k bike and took to the run 70 seconds behind the leaders, which included Groff, who led a four-woman breakaway on the bike.

Groff charged out of T2 and opened up a sizeable lead on Moffatt on the first lap of the run. “I went for it and wasn’t afraid to blow up and I did,” Groff said. “So it’s a matter of building for a hard run, to run after a hard bike and swim.”

With Groff and Moffatt out front over the first two laps, Jorgensen steadily chipped away at the leaders on the run before catching and passing Moffatt on the last of the three laps. She surged in front with around 500 meters to go finished with a race-best 33:10 10k split. Jorgensen lifted the tape four seconds clear of Stanford and Moffatt.

“I’m really focusing on my swim and I still have some work to do,” Jorgensen said. “I wasn’t in that front group so after I got out of the water, I just tried to remain calm and stay in the front of the bike pack. On the run, I just did what I know how to do. I was focusing on the processes and not the outcome, and I think that’s really important.”

After more than 1,800 age-groupers and paratriathletes take to the course Saturday morning, the men’s elite race is set for 4 p.m. PDT. The event will be televised live by Universal Sports Network and on universalsports.com.

Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego – Complete Results 
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
1. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 1:59:59

2. Non Stanford (GBR),    2:00:03
3. Emma Moffatt (AUS), 2:00:03
4. Anne Haug (GER), 2:00:06
5. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 2:00:31
6. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 2:01:22
7. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 2:01:27
8. Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI), 2:01:41
9. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 2:01:46
10. Juri Ide (JPN), 2:01:56
23. Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.), 2:03:25
30. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), 2:05:11    
35. Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.), 2:11:58    
36. Brianna Blanchard (Boston, Mass.), 2:13:39    
DNF Anna Battiata (Mechanicsville, Va.)  
 

USA Triathlon Elite National Championships Podium Finishers
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)

1. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 1:59:59
2. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 2:01:27
3. Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.), 2:03:25

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