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William Huffman
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PATCO Triathlon Championships Set for This Weekend in Dallas

U.S. draft-legal stars race for Pan American titles, Olympic qualifying points

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Continental championship titles are on the line for American elite triathletes, juniors and paratriathletes who will toe the line in Dallas, Texas, at this weekend’s PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships.

More than 50 U.S. athletes will face off against athletes from the 38 National Federations that comprise the Pan American Triathlon Confederation, including top athletes from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Cuba and more.

The weekend action begins on Saturday, May 31, with the junior women scheduled to race at 7 a.m. CT, followed by the junior men at 8:30 a.m. CT. Twenty up-and-coming triathletes from the U.S. are currently on the start list for the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run sprint, led by Stephanie Jenks (Aurora, Iowa) and Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.). The pair recently qualified to represent the U.S. at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, set for Aug. 16-28, 2014. Complete start lists for the junior women and junior men are available at triathlon.org.

Following the juniors, the elite women are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. CT and the elite men will start at 1 p.m. CT. The elite races will be contested on a traditional Olympic-distance 1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run course, and feature a prize purse of $20,000 to be split evenly between the men and the women.

The event is also one of the first qualification events for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, allowing athletes to earn valuable points on behalf of their National Federation that eventually help determine the number of Olympic spots allotted — a maximum of three men’s and three women’s spots in Rio for each nation.

Erin Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tops the start list for the U.S. women, having finished second in Dallas in 2013 and third at an early-season sprint Pan American Cup in Bridgetown, Barbados. Also on the start list for the U.S. is Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), who finished in the top 15 in all five ITU events she entered in 2013, and Jessica Broderick (Boulder, Colo.), who recently earned a silver medal at an ITU World Cup event in Chengdu, China. Start lists for elite women and Under-23 women are available at triathlon.org.

For the elite men, William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas) and Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) are on the start list after finishing second and third in Dallas one year ago. Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.) is also slated to compete, with a fifth-place finish last year at the PATCO Championships in Vila Velha, Brazil, to finish as the top American. Four-time Olympian Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) will also represent the U.S. Visit triathlon.org for complete start lists for elite men and Under-23 men.

Athletes who qualify for the Under-23 division, including Huffman and Kanute, have the opportunity to earn U23 titles as well as overall elite titles.

Paratriathletes will conclude the championship action on Sunday, June 1, with races set to begin at 10 a.m. Racing in five competition categories based on physical impairment, U.S. talent includes a number of past national champions and five 2013 ITU Paratriathlon World Championship medalists: Krige Schabort (PT1, Cedartown, Ga.), Mark Barr (PT2, Houston, Texas), Hailey Danisewicz (PT2, Chicago, Ill.), Melissa Stockwell (PT2, Chicago, Ill.) and Aaron Scheidies (PT5, Seattle, Wash.). The paratriathlon events will be contested in a non-drafting format on a sprint course.

Visit playtri.com for more on all of the weekend’s events, including Sunday’s age-group festival.

The PATCO Triathlon Championships were first held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in 1997. This will the first PATCO Championships hosted by the United States since 2009 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and this year’s event will also host PATCO Congress.

For more on the PATCO Federation, visit patco.triathlon.org

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 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 Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

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