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Groff Finishes Fifth to Lead U.S. Women at WTS Opener

2012 Olympian continues consistent streak of top-10 performances

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — USA Triathlon National Team Member and 2012 Olympian Sarah Groff finished fifth Sunday in the season opener of the ITU World Triathlon Series on a challenging, hilly course. The Hanover, N.H., resident has finished in the top 10 in 10 of her past 12 WTS appearances, dating back to 2012.

Groff posted a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 20 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course, out-sprinting New Zealand's Andrea Hewitt in the finish chute to earn valuable WTS rankings points. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) placed first after a breakaway on the bike and a dominant solo run. Anne Haug (GER) finished second and Helen Jenkins (GBR) took the final spot on the podium in her return to ITU World Triathlon Series racing following an injury layoff in 2013. 

Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), who finished the 2013 season ranked fourth in the ITU World Triathlon Series, crashed on the bike leg but posted the day's top run split (34:16) as she raced through the field and into 12th place.

In the men's race, Spain's Javier Gomez broke away from Jonathan Brownlee with 2k to go on the run to earn his third straight win in Auckland. Australia's Aaron Royle rounded out the podium. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) was the top American finisher in 29th.

Beginning May 15, ITU World Triathlon Series points will count toward Olympic team selections. More information on the ITU 2016 Olympic Games qualification system is available here.

The series will continue on to its inaugural stop in Cape Town, South Africa, on April 26-27.

ITU World Triathlon Series Auckland
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run

Women -- Click here for complete results
1. Jodie Stimpson (GBR), 2:08:34
2. Anne Haug (GER), 2:08:59
3. Helen Jenkins (GBR), 2:09:10
5. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 2:09:20
12. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:10:39
DSQ Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.)
DNF Michelle Mehnert (Boulder, Colo.)

Men -- Click here for complete results
1. Javier Gomez (ESP), 1:54:13
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 1:54:33
3. Aaron Royle (AUS), 1:55:49
29. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.)., 1:59:07
43. William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), 2:03:04
DNF Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.)
DNF Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.)

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