2023 Draft Legal Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon Champions Crowned in Texas
by USA Triathlon
IRVING, Texas — Age group multisport athletes raced for U.S. national titles on Friday in the Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon National Championships and Draft-Legal Duathlon National Championships in Irving, Texas, at the 2023 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival.
The draft-legal format is a style of multisport racing that involves athletes riding in packs and working together on the bike. The style is contested in elite triathlon on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit and Olympic Games. On Friday, the format belonged to the country’s best age group athletes.
Age group star, Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) won her second overall national title of this year’s Multisport National Championships Festival, earning the win in the Draft-Legal Duathlon National Championships. Sass, 44, completed the 5k run, 20k bike, 3.3k run race in a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes, 6 seconds.
“It’s always amazing to win a national title. I never take it for granted. It was just a super fun race today,” Sass said. “I’ve been racing for many years now and to see the advancement of draft-legal racing is great. We had so many girls out there working today in a good group. There was so much strategy, which made it interesting and super fun.”
Dominique Stasulli (Boulder, Colo.) placed second overall in 1:06:29, winning her age group 30-34 national title. Alice Perryman (Birmingham, Ala.) took third overall in 1:07:09, winning the 35-39 age group title.
The men’s Draft-Legal Duathlon National Championships belonged to Aaron Groff (Chicago, Ill.) who ran his way to the overall national title in 59:06. A former collegiate runner at the University of Pennsylvania, Groff started competing in multisport about a year ago and joined USA Triathlon Club, Working Triathlete.
“I was missing the thrill of competing, so I started triathlon and started working with (coach) Derek Stone at Working Triathlete and now I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had in sport,” Groff said.. “Having a group that works together really helps with motivation to get out the door for those double- and triple-training session days. There’s a great sense of cohesiveness and we all push each other to be better.”
Samuel Busa (Fort Worth, Texas) clocked a 59:35 to take second overall on the podium, winning his age 20-24 age group title. In third on the overall podium was Chris Hague (Simsbury, Conn.) who won the 30-34 national title in 59:50.
The afternoon featured the Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon National Championships, in which athletes completed a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.
Bella Chirafisi (Middleton, Wis.), a member of the Colorado State University collegiate club triathlon team, won the women’s overall national championship. She completed the race in a time of 1:06:08, running to the podium in the final 2 miles of the race.
“I came out fourth of transition two and tried to run down anyone I could,” said Chirafisi, who also competed in the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, April 14-16 in Lake Lanier, Georgia. “Racing draft-legal is awesome because you get to work with other people, you come together on the bike and it makes the rides go by so much faster. It’s my favorite form of racing.”
Seventeen-year-old Shantelle Tupaz (Pleasanton, Calif.) finished second overall in 1:06:24, winning the 15-19 national title. Rounding out the podium was Alexandra Leandri (Madison, Tenn.) clocking in at 1:07:09 to win the 30-34 national title. On Thursday, Leandri won the Super-Sprint Triathlon Time Trial national title.
In the men’s race, Garrett Mayeaux (Frisco, Texas) came from behind to run his way to the overall national championship, winning the title in a time of 57:40.
Blake Bullard (Southlake, Texas) placed second overall with a time of 57:59 and won the 15-19 age group title. Aaron Groff (Chicago, Ill.) landed on the overall podium for the second time on Friday, placing third overall in 58:09.
In addition to racing for age group national championships, athletes will also have the opportunity to qualify to represent age group Team USA at 2024 World Triathlon Age Group World Championships. For more information about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at World Triathlon Age Group World Championship events, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.
With the opportunity to race multiple events over the four-day span, more than 100 athletes are attempting to race five or more events for the chance to earn the title of “Multisport Master.” Athletes crowned as Multisport Master will receive a special belt buckle and be honored at the final Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening.
Photos and Video
Click here to view and download official media photos of Multisport National Championships Festival. Credit to Archi Trujillo.
View the Friday highlight video here.
Saturday, April 22
7 a.m. Standard Duathlon: 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run
2:05 p.m. Standard Aquabike: 1500m swim, 40k bike
Sunday, April 23
7 a.m. Youth Triathlon: 100m swim, 5k bike, 1.2k run
8:30 a.m. Triathlon Mixed Relay: 250m swim, 5k bike, 1.2k run
8:32 a.m. Super Sprint Individual Medley Triathlon: 250m swim, 5k bike, 1.2k run four times each
12:30 p.m. Age Group Duathlon Mixed Relay: 1.2k run 1, 5k bike, 1.2k run
2023 USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival
Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Overall Female: Bella Chirafisi (Middleton, Wis.), 1:06:08
Overall Male: Garrett Mayeaux (Frisco, Texas), 57:40
Athena 55+: Suzanne Mahler Brown (Cane Ridge, Tenn.), 2:05:23
Clydesdale 60+: Greg Voudrie (Maryville, Ill.), 1:50:38
Athena 40-54: Katharine Posner (Ashburn, Va.), 1:31:20
Clydesdale 40-59: Eric Michel (Westmont, Ill.), 1:12:36
Athena 39 and under: Sharon Deane (Knoxville, Tenn.), 1:27:03
Clydesdale 39 and under: no competitors
M15-19: Blake Bullard (Southlake, Texas), 57:59
F15-19: Shantelle Tupaz (Pleasanton, Calif.), 1:06:24
M20-24: Jackson Harrell (Novi, Mich.), 58:57
F20-24: Bella Chirafisi (Middleton, Wis.), 1:06:08
M25-29: Garrett Meyeaux (Frisco, Texas), 57:40
F25-29: Sabrina Belisle (New Berlin, Wis.), 1:14:21
M30-34: William Huffman (New York, N.Y.), 59:35
F30-34: Alexandra Leandri (Madison, Tenn.), 1:07:09
M35-39: Patrick Jackson (Charlotte, N.C.), 1:01:42
F35-39: Stephanie Oechsner (St. Peters, Mo.), 1:09:04
M40-44: Todd Ricketts (Newark, Ohio), 1:01:21
F40-44: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:07:30
M45-49: Ken Axford (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:01:52
F45-49: Kimberly Wikel (Milan, Ohio), 1:09:37
M50-54: Greg Mueller (Granger, Ind.), 1:01:47
F50-54: Michellie Jones (Carslbad, Calif.), 1:07:39
M55-59: Peter Valentyik (Boulder, Colo.), 1:01:30
F55-59: Katie McCully (Eastham, Mass.), 1:12:57
M60-64: Tim Bradley (Merrick, N.Y.), 1:07:13
F60-64: Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), 1:10:22
M65-69: Kc Bailey (Geneso, N.Y.), 1:09:30
F65-69: Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer (Calif.), 1:18:11
M70-74: Rick Kozlowski (), 1:11:27
F70-74: Maggie Riley-Hagan (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:28:23
M75-79: Dennis West (Bloomfield, Mich.), 1:36:40
F75-79: Ruth Hamilton (McLean, Va.), 1:45:21
M80-84: Robert Plant (Woodside, Calif.), 1:29:26
F80-84: Marylanne Caruso (Fort Worth, Texas), 2:02:51
M85-89: Jim Farr (Willis, Texas), 2:12:17
F85-89: Luise Easton (Westlake, Ohio), 2:23:54
Draft-Legal Duathlon National Championships
5k run, 20k bike, 3.3k run
Overall Female: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:06:06
Overall Male: Aaron Groff (Chicago, Ill.), 59:06
Athena 55+: Elle Shelley (Cedar Park, Texas), 2:19:36
Clydesdale 60+: Mike Savage (Geneva, Ill.), 1:22:24
Athena 40-54: Leslie Battle (Warwick, R.I.), 1:32:34
Clydesdale 40-59: Lance Fargo (Ocean View, Del.), 1:16:15
Athena 39 and under: Sharon Deane (Knoxville, Tenn.), 1:20:22
Clydesdale 39 and under: Royston Connors (Orland Park, Ill.), 1:43:23
M15-19: Reuben Perlee (Theodosia, Mo.), 1:12:08
M20-24: Samuel Busa (Fort Worth, Texas), 59:35
M25-29: Aaron Groff (Chicago, Ill.), 59:06
F25-29: Santana Silver (Boston, Mass.), 1:13:52
M30-34: Chris Hague (Simsbury, Conn.), 59:50
F30-34: Dominique Stasulli (Boulder, Colo.), 1:06:29
M35-39: Jack Bourbonnais (St. Louis, Mo.), 1:04:44
F35-39: Alice Perryman (Birmingham, Ala.), 1:07:09
M40-44: Juan Cortes (Centennial, Colo.), 1:00:21
F40-44: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:06:06
M45-49: Benjamin Drezek (Denton, Texas), 1:01:07
F45-49: Kimberly Wikel (Milan, Ohio), 1:10:35
M50-54: Thomas Woods (Lincoln, Neb.), 1:03:30
F50-54: Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), 1:12:18
M55-59: David Engstrom (Beaverton, Ore.), 1:04:18
F55-59: Cindy Salazar (Austin, Texas), 1:15:02
M60-64: Tim Bradley (Merrick, N.Y.), 1:03:43
F60-64: Jodie Bolt (Lakewood, Wash.), 1:21:12
M65-69: Mark Drangsholt (Seattle, Wash.), 1:12:59
F65-69: Grace Plager (Naples, Fla.), 1:16:52
M70-74: Jay Campbell (South Haven, Mich.), 1:14:23
F70-74: Ruth King (Ambler, Pa.), 1:38:44
M75-79: Ron Wightman (Wellsville, N.Y.), 1:28:03
F75-79: Barbara Kostner (Lakewood, Colo.), 2:02:21
M80-84: Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.), 1:45:29
F80-84: June Black (Austin, Texas), 2:16:52
F85-89: Sharon Rogenbuck (Hillsborough, N.C.), 2:11:50
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).