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photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image
Heather Lendway, Colin Riley Capture USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Titles
More than 2,700 athletes raced for national titles, Team USA spots in Milwaukee, Wis.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Heather Lendway and Colin Riley posted phenomenal performances en route to overall wins at the 2013 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships, held Saturday as part of the two-day USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, Wis.
A record field of more than 2,700 athletes competed for 28 age-group national titles on the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course in the Olympic-distance event, held near the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.) took an early lead when she posted one of the fastest swim splits of the day, thanks to her background as a swimmer and collegiate water polo player. The edge on the swim was just what Lendway needed to log a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 37 seconds and take the overall and 25-29 age-group titles.
“I qualified last year, and I thought it would be fun to come out,” said Lendway, who has been competing in triathlons for just over a year. “I had a goal range, and I thought I would have a good shot at the top 10. I didn’t know that I would be in the lead, I don’t even know if I’ve processed it yet. I’m pretty proud of having that accomplishment.”
Women’s 20-24 winner Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) was the overall runner-up with a time of 2:07:32 after finishing 18th overall last year. Erin Dolan (Lincoln, Neb.) finished third overall and second in the 20-24 age group in 2:07:52. Both Spivey and Dolan are part of the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program.
On the men’s side, Riley earned overall and 25-29 national titles when he posted the fastest time of the day of 1:52:54, just seconds ahead of his competitors. Riley last competed at Age Group Nationals in 2010 when the event was held in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he finished 10th in his age group and 38th overall.
“With this unique format, with everyone in their own age group, you’ve really just got to go all out and see what happens the rest of the day,” Riley said. “I felt good coming in and it was definitely one of my big races for the year. I just gave it my all and had a really great race.”
With just a few seconds separating the top three, Riley had only a slight advantage over Steve Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.), who finished in 1:53:02 for second overall and the men’s 20-24 age group title. Mantell finished fifth at 2013 USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals in April, where he represented Colorado State University. Conner Weaver (Parker, Colo.) was not far behind with a time of 1:53:08, taking third overall and first in the 17-19 age group.
Victories the Masters division went to Susanne Davis (40-44, Carlsbad, Calif.) in 2:09:32 and Doug Clark (45-49, Mendham, N.J.) in 1:55:04, while Grand Masters titles were awarded to Carol Gephart (55-59, Strafford, N.H.) in 2:19:49 and Jim Bruskewitz (60-64, Boulder, Colo.) in 2:13:17.
“This is a terrific course,” said Clark, who competed in his 10th national championship and celebrated his sixth consecutive age group win at the event. “There was no chop on the swim, I didn’t see any drafting out on the bike, and it was a very fast course, I really enjoyed it.”
Clark was among many of the day’s participants who received his finisher medal from four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, who attended the event to show her support.
With competitors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, athletes relished in the event atmosphere in Milwaukee, with a field featuring top amateur triathletes who met qualification standards at races throughout 2013 in order to participate.
“This was a real thrill,” said Pat Coyne (55-59, Madison, Wis.), who competed in her first Age Group Nationals. “I’ve never been in a race where there’s been more like 15 people in my age group. There are 100 women in my age group [here at nationals], and it’s so neat to have all these other older women who enjoy the sport.”With top finishes Saturday, athletes earned coveted spots to represent the U.S. at the 2014 ITU World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, set for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 2014. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each Olympic-distance age group in Milwaukee qualified for a Team USA slot. Team USA is comprised of amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championship event. The 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships resume Sunday with the Sprint National Championships. A live stream of the event and live blog coverage will begin at 7 a.m. at usatriathlon.org.
2013 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships, Milwaukee, Wis.
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Olympic-Distance National Champions – Complete Results
Overall Female: Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:05:37
Overall Male: Colin Riley (Aurora, Ill.), 1:52:54
Masters Female: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 2:09:32
Masters Male: Doug Clark (Mendham, N.J.), 1:55:04
Grand Masters Female: Carol Gephart (Strafford, N.H.), 2:19:49
Grand Masters Male: Jim Bruskewitz (Boulder, Colo.), 2:13:17
Athena 39 & Under: Katherine Coward (Minneapolis, Minn.), 2:34:02
Athena 40+: Leslie Battle (Warwick, R.I.), 2:43:30
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Jared McDaniel (Chicago, Ill.), 2:23:17
Clydesdale 40+: Lance Fargo (Ocean View, Del.), 2:21:40
F17-19: Taylor Fogg (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:13:23
M17-19: Connor Weaver (Parker, Colo.), 1:53:08
F20-24: Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 2:07:32
M20-24: Steve Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.), 1:53:02
F25-29: Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:05:37
M25-29: Colin Riley (Aurora, Ill.), 1:52:54
F30-34: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:10:35
M30-34: James Burke (Middleton, Wis.), 1:54:44
F35-39: Michelle Leblanc (Spring, Texas), 2:09:38
M35-39: Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.), 1;54:37
F40-44: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 2:09:32
M40-44: Shane Arters (Morristown, N.J.), 1:57:51
F45-49: Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo.), 2:11:44
M45-49: Doug Clark (Mendham, N.J.), 1:55:04
F50-54: Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.), 2:13:02
M50-54: Peter Kain (Cupertino, Calif.), 2:01:18
F55-59: Carol Gephart (Strafford, N.H.), 2:19:49
M55-59: Dave Irion (Naperville, Ill.), 2:02:48
F60-64: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 2:29:11
M60-64: Jim Bruskewitz (Boulder, Colo.), 2:13:17
F65-69: Sandy Meneley (Holmes Beach, Fla.), 2:51:26
M65-69: Richard Holloway (Bellingham, Wash.), 2:22:08
F70-74: Corrina Goodman (Oro Valley, Ariz.), 2:55:04
M70-74: David McNeely (Glen Arm, Md.), 2:34:00
F75-79: Sharon Roggenbuck (Hillsborough, N.C.), 4:08:36
M75-79: Roger Brockenbrough (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 3:20:39
F80-84: Madonna Buder (Spokane, Wash.), 4:06:14
M80-84: Bob Scott (Naperville, Fla.), 3:07:08
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 550,000 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).