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U.S. Junior and Under-23 Triathletes Primed for ITU World Championships

Titles to be awarded Friday through Monday for up-and-coming triathletes

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EDMONTON, Alberta — Led by U.S. junior triathlete and Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Stephanie Jenks, 12 up-and-coming triathlon stars take the stage in Hawrelak Park throughout the weekend for the Junior and Under-23 ITU Triathlon World Championships.

The races kick off on Friday, Aug. 29 at 3 p.m. MT with the junior women, followed by the junior men at 5:15 p.m. MT. Junior triathletes will compete on a draft-legal 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course for top honors in the 16-19 age group. The Under-23 (U23) event will cover a 1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run course, with the U23 men racing at 8:45 a.m. MT on Saturday, Aug. 30, and the U23 women set to race at 3:35 p.m. MT on Sunday, Aug. 31.

These world championship races are part of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships weekend, with events from Aug. 27-Sept. 1. More than 600 Americans will compete over the course of the week in an event that features elites, aquathlon, sprint and Olympic-distance age-group triathlon world championships, as well as paratriathlon. Visit usatriathlon.org for full coverage of each race.

Jenks (Aurora, Iowa) recently competed for the U.S. at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, winning the silver medal on a sprint-distance course against junior women from a total 32 national federations. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), recent overall winner at the 2014 USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships; Avery Evenson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), runner-up at the 2014 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championships; and Devon Dabney (Atlanta, Ga.), top-10 finisher at the 2014 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Nationals, are all set to compete for the junior women. Visit triathlon.org for a complete junior women’s start list.

On the junior men’s side, Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) and Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) will represent the U.S. Rider, Smith and Hemming finishing second, third and fourth, respectively, earlier this month at the 2014 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Nationals. Rider also recently finished 12th in the Youth Olympic Games, while Smith finished second at a USA Triathlon Super Sprint Series event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Visit triathlon.org for a complete junior men’s start list.

Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) and Hunter Lussi (Kensington, Md.) will toe the line for the U23 men. Kanute recently posted a personal-best 11th place finish on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit in Stockholm and finished fourth in the PATCO U23 Championships earlier this year. Lussi, a strong swimmer, has finished in the top-20 in two continental cup events in his first year as an elite. Visit triathlon.org for a complete U23 men’s start list.

In the U23 division, Johanna Gartman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.) and Kirsten Kasper (Marietta, Ga.) will race in the Red, White and Blue on Sunday. Gartman has finished in the top-four in two PATCO Continental Cups this season, while Jones has racked up four top-10 finishes in continental cup events in the Americas and Europe. Kasper recently earned her elite card. Visit triathlon.org for a complete U23 women’s start list.

Top finishers in Friday, Saturday and Sunday events may qualify to represent the U.S. in the first-ever ITU Junior and U23 Mixed Relay World Championships, set for Monday at 2 p.m. MT. The U.S. roster will be determined following the individual events over the weekend.

A free finish line camera, live commentary and live results will be available on triathlon.org.

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