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photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

Heather Lendway, Steven Mantell Crowned USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Champions

Nearly 3,100 athletes finished at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World

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MILWAUKEE — Amateur triathletes Heather Lendway and Steven Mantell bested a field of nearly 3,100 athletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on Saturday at the 2014 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships.

The race was part of the two-day USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships weekend at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World, featuring a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. A record-breaking field of nearly 3,100 athletes crossed the finish line as part of the event.

Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.) successfully defended her title, posting a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes, 7 seconds to top the women’s field for the second straight year. With the overall win, Lendway also claimed the female 30-34 age group title.

“I was hoping to [defend the title]. I came in expecting to do well on the swim and the bike, and hoping to do a little better on the run,” Lendway said. “I think this is one of the most competitive races I’ll do all year.”

Female 25-29 competitor Dani Fischer (Wausau, Wis.) finished second overall to win her age group in a time of 2:05:35, improving on her ninth-place age group finish and 20th overall women’s finish from 2013. Jennifer Garrison (Naperville, Ill.) also improved on her finish position from last year, winning the female 35-39 age group in 2:06:38 after finishing second in 2013, and finishing third overall for the women.

Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.) posted the winning time overall for the men, clocking in at 1:50:59 to also claim victory in the male 20-24 age group. He finished second at this event last year and credited his performance to the time he spends training with Every Man Jack and the Colorado State University triathlon teams.

“It’s really flattering [to win],” Mantell said. “But it’s consistency and hard work throughout the year. I give big thanks to my teammates and coaches who really push me in all our workout sessions and don’t let me slack off. It’s a big milestone and I’m proud.”

Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.) was second overall, capturing the male 35-39 age group title in a time of 1:51:45. It was Harms’ sixth age group title at the event and an improvement over his fifth-place overall finish in 2013. Fellow 35-39 competitor James Burke (Middleton, Wis.) was third overall in 1:52:06, having aged up from the 30-34 age group that he won last year.

Susanne Davis (40-44, Carlsbad, Calif.) was a repeat winner of the Masters division in 2:08:36, joined by Christopher Thomas (40-44, Easton, Conn.), who finished in 1:56:06. Donna Smyers (55-59, Adamant, Vt.) and Gregory Taylor (60-64, Yankton, S.D.) finished in 2:17:59 and 2:09:06, respectively, to top the Grand Masters division.

The top 25 finishers in each age group earned their spot for USA Triathlon’s Team USA, an amateur team that represents the U.S. at various multisport world championship events around the globe. Athletes in the top 25 in Milwaukee will compete on home soil in the 2015 ITU World Championships in Chicago, as the traditional Olympic-distance and sprint triathlon world championships return to the U.S. for the first time since 2005.

The opportunity to earn a Team USA spot and a home advantage at the 2015 world championships event drew a highly competitive field to Milwaukee this weekend.

“The national championships are becoming more and more competitive every year,” Harms said. “This is my ninth year doing this and […] it keeps getting higher and higher caliber athletes every year. It easily is the most competitive Olympic-distance race in the country right now."

For some athletes, facing off against the best amateur triathletes in the country was solid preparation for this year’s ITU World Championships, set for Aug. 27-Sept. 1 in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I’m going to Edmonton in three weeks, so that will be another huge opportunity for me to race on the world stage and represent my country,” said Fischer, who has won three age group national titles in 2014 between USA Triathlon’s Age Group, Duathlon and Long Course Triathlon National Championships. “That’s really what I want to do, is represent the USA to the best of my ability.”

The 2014 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships resume Sunday with the Sprint National Championships. Nearly 500 athletes from Olympic-Distance Nationals are slated to return to the course again as part of a record registered field of 2,000. A live stream of the event and live blog coverage will begin at 7:15 a.m. at usatriathlon.org.

2014 USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance National Championships, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Olympic-Distance National Champions – Complete Results

Overall Female: Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:05:07
Overall Male: Steven Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.), 1:50:59
Masters Female: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 2:08:36
Masters Male: Christopher Thomas (Easton, Conn.), 1:56:06
Grand Masters Female: Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.), 2:17:59
Grand Masters Male: Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), 2:09:06
F17-19: Emma Langley (Cos Cob, Conn.), 2:15:36
M17-19: Connor Weaver (Parker, Colo.), 1:58:05
F20-24: Rachael Lenz (Littleton, Colo.), 2:07:14
M20-24: Steven Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.), 1:50:59
F25-29: Dani Fischer (Wausau, Wis.), 2:05:35
M25-29: Justin Galbreath (Coatesville, Pa.), 1:52:37
F30-34: Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.), 2:05:07
M30-34: Mark Tripp (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 1:54:24
F35-39: Jennifer Garrison (Naperville, Ill.), 2:06:38
M35-39: Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.), 1:51:45
F40-44: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 2:08:36
M40-44: Christopher Thomas (Easton, Conn.), 1:56:06
F45-49: Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo.), 2:10:58
M45-49: Doug Clark (Mendham, N.J.), 1:56:17
F50-54: Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.), 2:11:43
M50-54: Michael Smith (Brownsburg, Ind.), 2:02:10
F55-59: Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.), 2:17:59
M55-59: Anthony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), 2:05:07
F60-64: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 2:25:04
M60-64: Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), 2:09:06
F65-69: Nancy Avitabile (Bethesda, Md.), 2:44:25
M65-69: Freddie Ferraro (Austin, Texas), 2:16:58
F70-74: Elizabeth Brackett (Chicago, Ill.), 3:00:28
M70-74: David Roadhouse (Wilmette, Ill.), 2:27:15
F75-79: Graciela Val (Evanston, Ill.), 3:27:00
M75-79: Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.), 2:48:10
M80-84: Bob Scott (Naperville, Ill.), 3:05:33

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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