USA Triathlon Announces 2023 U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced the 11 members of the 2023 U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team, the group of athletes who will represent the U.S. at the highest levels of elite triathlon competition during the 2023 season.
“Our 2023 U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team is incredibly talented, experienced and full of podium potential. With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games coming next year, the 2023 season will be an exciting and pivotal time and I encourage the entire multisport community to follow along the action and cheer for these U.S. elite athletes,” said Courtney Gardner, USA Triathlon Director of High-Performance Programs. “Success at the elite level is a team effort and a testament to our incredible athletes, support staff, coaches and the entire multisport community.”
The 2023 U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team roster includes Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games medalists Katie Zaferes (Cary, N.C.), Taylor Knibb (Boulder, Colo.), Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) and Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, N.J.).
Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) and Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) join Knibb and Zaferes as the experienced leaders on a strong women’s squad that in 2022 was one of only two countries in the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series to place at least two women in the top 10 of the overall series rankings, with Knibb placing third and Spivey fourth.
On the men’s side, Pearson made history at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi, earning a silver medal, which was the first for a U.S. man at a triathlon world championship event since 1991.
2023 U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team Roster
This year will be Ackerlund’s second on the U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team. She found triathlon during her freshman year of college at the University of Montana and quickly found success in the racing circuit, becoming the overall national champion at the NCAA Women's Varsity National Championship in 2016.
(Rapid City, S.D.)
Gorman grew up racing on the youth and junior elite triathlon circuit, representing USA Triathlon Z3 High Performance Triathlon Team, a junior squad based in Des Moines, Iowa. Gorman won the Junior individual world title (in 2013) and Under-23 world title (in 2017) and is one of just three women ever to capture world titles at both the Junior and U23 levels (Taylor Knibb is another).
(North Andover, Mass.)
Kasper is a veteran on the World Triathlon racing stage and placed 12th in the 2022 WTCS standings. A former runner for Georgetown University, Kasper was introduced to the sport and USA Triathlon’s high-performance pipeline through USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program, which identifies and recruits top-level NCAA runners and swimmers to elite triathlon.
Knibb finished third in the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series, her second year in a row on the Series podium. She earned an Olympic silver medal as a member of the U.S. Mixed Relay team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where, at 23 years old, she was the youngest woman ever on the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team. Knibb also races IRONMAN 70.3 events, and in 2022 won the IRONMAN 70.3 world championship. Knibb raced triathlon as a Junior, winning the 2016 and 2017 Junior World Championships and the 2018 Under-23 World Championships — joining Gorman as one of just three women ever to capture world titles at both the Junior and U23 levels.
A Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Rappaport is a six-time World Triathlon Championship Series medalist and 14-time World Triathlon World Cup medalist. Rappaport swam and ran at Villanova University.
(Redondo Beach, Calif.)
A consistent performer, Spivey placed fourth in the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series, third in the 2021 Series and fourth in 2019. Spivey was a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. Mixed Relay team with Rappaport, Kevin McDowell and Seth Rider at the 2022 World Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Montreal. Spivey also races on the Super League Championship Series circuit; in 2022 she podiumed at all five events to finish second in the overall rankings. Spivey is currently ranked No. 1 in the Olympic Qualification Rankings.
Zaferes won bronze in the individual women’s race at Tokyo 2020, becoming the third U.S. triathlete to win an Olympic medal, joining Gwen Jorgensen (gold, 2016 Rio) and Susan Williams (bronze, 2004 Athens). She also won Olympic silver as a member of the U.S. Mixed Relay team. After a standout steeplechase career at Syracuse University, Zaferes transitioned to elite triathlon through the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program. The world champion in 2019, Zaferes took off the 2022 season following the birth first of her first child, Kimble.
McDowell won Olympic silver at the Tokyo 2020 Games as a member of the U.S. Mixed Relay team and he placed sixth in the men’s individual race, the highest-ever finish for a U.S. man at the Olympic Games. McDowell grew up participating in USA Triathlon’s youth and junior elite triathlon circuit as part of the Chicago-based Multisport Madness Triathlon Team. He represented Team USA at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and at the 2011 Junior World Championships. That year, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and took six months off to complete chemotherapy. A year later, he returned to elite competition.
(Huntington Beach, Calif.)
McElroy is one of only three U.S. men — along with Morgan Pearson and Jarrod Shoemaker — to medal in a World Triathlon Championship Series race, with a silver in Leeds 2019. A nine-time World Triathlon Cup medalist, McElroy won his first World Cup gold at the 2019 World Triathlon Cup Tongyeong. A three-time All-American runner at Northern Arizona University, McElroy was recruited to become an elite triathlete through the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program. He and his wife had their first child, Mick, in December.
(New Vernon, N.J.)
A Tokyo 2020 Games Olympian, Pearson competed as the anchor leg for the U.S. Mixed Relay team that earned silver. Pearson earned his third career WTCS medal at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals Abu Dhabi. A seven-time All-American runner at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Pearson got his start in elite triathlon through the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program.
Rider was a member of the bronze medal winning U.S. Mixed Relay team with McDowell, Rappaport and Spivey at the 2022 World Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Montreal. In 2021, Rider notched the U.S. men’s highest-ever World Triathlon Championship Series standing in ninth place. Rider grew up racing through USA Triathlon’s youth and junior elite triathlon circuit.
2023 World Triathlon Championship Series
Elite triathletes will compete in World Triathlon races across the world this season, including the World Triathlon Championship Series. The WTCS, which began in 2009, 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 season also includes the 2023 World Triathlon Test Event Paris, the first Paris 2024 auto-qualification opportunity for U.S. elite triathletes. The races will take place in the same venue that will host the triathlon and paratriathlon competitions during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Key events include:
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi – March 3-4
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Yokohama – May 13-14
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Cagliari – May 27-28
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Montreal – June 24-25
• 2023 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships Hamburg – July 13-16
• 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland – July 29-30
• *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, 2023
* Denotes Paris 2024 Olympics auto-qualifying event
To view the complete World Triathlon season calendar, visit triathlon.org/events.