Erika Ackerlund Scores Top-15 Finish at Debut WTCS Sunderland
by USA Triathlon
SUNDERLAND, Great Britain – In the penultimate event of the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS), five U.S. elite triathletes competed at the debut race in Sunderland, England on Saturday, July 29. U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team Member Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.) secured the top result for Team USA, finishing 13th in the women’s race.
Ackerlund completed the sprint-distance course in 1 hour and 58 seconds. Crossing the line in 13th tied her best result of the season, after also taking 13th in Yokohama in May. She also jumped eight spots in the WTCS rankings and now sits at 27th overall, giving the U.S. six women in the top-30 rankings — the most of any nation.
In her third WTCS appearance this season, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen (Boulder, Colo.) ended the day in 24th, earning her best finish in the Series with a time of 1:02:21.
Gina Sereno rounded out the women’s race, crossing the line in 1:03:06 to finish 31st. Sunderland was Sereno’s first WTCS competition of the year and only the second of her career, after entering the WTCS circuit just last year.
In the men’s race, Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.) led the field out of the swim, which started with an in-water beach start. He finished 38th overall with a time of 57:32. Darr Smith followed shortly after with a time of 58:11 to end the day in 43rd.
The WTCS Sunderland race weekend continues as Team USA will compete in the Mixed Relay event on Sunday, July 30. The race will take place at 8:15 a.m. EST (1:15 p.m. local time). You can watch the race live on TriathlonLIVE.tv.
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series
The World Triathlon Championship Series is an annual series of triathlon events held in cities around the world where athletes compete head-to-head for points. The rankings are used to determine the best-performing triathletes of the season, and ultimately, the world champions.
The 2023 season also includes the 2023 World Triathlon Test Event Paris, the first Paris 2024 Olympic Games auto-qualification opportunity for U.S. elite triathletes. The races will take place on the same venue that will host the triathlon and paratriathlon competitions during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
• *2023 World Triathlon Test Event Paris – Aug. 17-18*
• 2023 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Paris – Aug. 20
• *2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals Pontevedra – Sept. 22-24*
*Denotes Paris 2024 Olympics auto-qualifying event
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland
750m swim, 21.3k bike, 5k run
Elite Men’s Podium – Complete Results
1. Pierre Le Corre (FRA), 54:06
2. Leo Bergere (FRA), 54:06
3. Hayden Wilde (NZL), 54:21
U.S. Men’s Finishers
38. Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.), 57:32
43. Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.), 58:11
Elite Women’s Podium – Complete Results
1. Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA), 59:53
2. Emma Lombardi (FRA), 1:00:11
3. Annika Koch (GER), 1:00:17
U.S. Women’s Finishers
13. Erika Ackerlund (Helena, Mont.), 1:00:58
24. Gwen Jorgensen (Boulder, Colo.), 1:02:21
31. Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.), 1:03:06