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photo: Janos M Schmidt/ITU

Sarah Groff Golden at ITU World Triathlon Stockholm

Three U.S. women finish in the top 7


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STOCKHOLM — U.S. National Team member and 2012 Olympian Sarah Groff raced her way to gold on Saturday at ITU World Triathlon Stockholm, earning her first career World Triathlon Series win and moving up to the second position in the world rankings.

The golden breakthrough for Groff (Hanover, N.H.) came in 1 hour, 3 minutes on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. Her run split was the second fastest of the day to keep her ahead of a New Zealand duo of Andrea Hewitt, who finished second in 1:03:04, and Nicky Samuels, who took third in 1:03:05. It was Groff’s second WTS podium of the season following a second-place finish at the London event on May 31.

“It was fun racing,” Groff said in a post-race interview with ITU. “I went off the front and just tried to hang on for the run, because I knew there were some speedy legs behind me.”

The U.S. had three women finish in the top seven, with Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) celebrating her birthday alongside a fifth-place effort for her best finish in a World Triathlon Series race. Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.) finished seventh for another personal best finish on the series circuit.

With the win, Groff moves up to the No. 2 position in the Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series Rankings. Groff currently has 3,037 points and is 55 points ahead of Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson (2,982 points). The U.S. heads into the Aug. 30 elite women ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final with the two top-ranked athletes in the world, as Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) sits in the No. 1 ranked position with 3,885 points.

In the men’s race, Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) just missed cracking the top 10, crossing the line in 11th place with a time of 59:05. Continuing the trend of the day, it was also Kanute’s highest finish position for a World Triathlon Series race. Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee claimed his first WTS win of the season in 57:31, followed by his brother Alistair Brownlee in second with a time of 57:37 and Germany’s Gregor Buchholz in third in 58:27.

The 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series concludes next weekend with the Grand Final in Edmonton, Alberta. The elite women will race at 2 p.m. ET on Aug. 30, and the elite men will follow at 2 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. The Grand Final and World Championships, held Aug. 27-Sept. 1, will also feature age-group sprint and Olympic-distance triathlon, juniors, Under-23, paratriathlon and aquathlon events.

ITU World Triathlon Stockholm
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run

Elite Women – Complete results
1. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 1:03:00

2. Andrea Hewitt (NZL), 1:03:04
3. Nicky Samuels (NZL), 1:03:05
5. Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), 1:03:23

7. Katie Hursey (Phoenix, Ariz.), 1:04:04
29. Renee Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 1:05:37

DNF Chelsea Burns (Phoenix, Ariz

Elite Men – Complete results
1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 57:31
2. Alistair Brownlee (GBR), 57:37
3. Gregor Buccholz (GER), 58:27
11. Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.), 59:05
18. Sean Jefferson (Palisades, Calif.), 59:27