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USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook A Weekend of World Champions Crowned Across the Globe

by USA Triathlon

Owen Cravens and guide in Abu Dhabi

2021 World Triathlon Para Championships Abu Dhabi 
After an epic year of Paratriathlon competition that saw the return of in-person racing and podiums claimed at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the 2021 World Triathlon Para Championships Abu Dhabi officially closed out the 2021 season on Friday, Nov. 5. 

U.S. athletes collected three world titles as Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colo. - PTS2), Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas - PTS4) and Chris Hammer (Elkins, W.V. - PTS5) earned gold, while Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio – PTS5) landed a podium with a second-place finish and Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.) picked up the bronze in the PTVI sport class. 

For the full Paratriathlon results click here. Watch the full race replay on
2021 World Triathlon Para Championships Abu Dhabi  
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run 

U.S. Women's PTS5 Finishers 
2. Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio) 1:05:54 

U.S. Women's PTS2 Finishers 
1. Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1:17:21 

U.S. Women’s PTVI Finishers
5. Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) with guide Jillian Elliot (Gig Habor, Wash.), 1:12:28 
10. Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.) with guide Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:19:44 

U.S. Men's PTS5 Finishers 
1. Chris Hammer (Elkins, W.V.) 58:34 

U.S. Men’s PTS4 Finishers 
6. Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1:05:27 
14. Omar Bermejo (Casper, Wyo.) 1:16:29 

U.S. Men’s PTS2 Finishers 
6. Mohamed Lahna (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1:13:48 

U.S. Men’s PTWC Finishers  
7. Howie Sanborn (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1:05:04 

U.S. Men's PTVI Finishers 
3. Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with guide Zack Goodman (Salisbury, Md.), 1:01:19  
5. Owen Craves (Algonquin, Ill.) with guide Colin Riley (Cincinnati, Ohio), 1:02:01 

2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi  
Putting a close to the 2021 calendar year for the World Triathlon Championship Series, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates welcomed a talented roster of elite triathletes to compete in the 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi on Friday, Nov. 5.  

Tokyo 2020 Olympian and Mixed Relay silver medalist Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) led the U.S. contingent with a fifth place finish. Showcasing her signature style of strategic attacks on the bike, Knibb finished with a time of 56 minutes, 35 seconds on the fast, but hot climate, 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run sprint-distance course that toured around the Formula One and circuit track.  

The remaining U.S. women also put forth solid performances to all land within the top 20. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) placed 11th in a time of 57:51, Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) took 15th at 58:06 and Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) closed out the U.S. team in 17th with a time of 58:15.

The men's race kicked off the elite action on Friday, as Tokyo 2020 Mixed Relay silver medalist Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, N.J.) led the U.S. squad, with a 24th place finish in a time of 54:13.    
Both Pearson and U.S. teammate Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) had solid performances in the water, exiting the swim just 20 seconds back from Luis who led into T1. Out onto the bike, the 56-strong field split into three main packs. The leaders tallied 17 and Rider, one of the stronger U.S. cyclists, found himself among the front group. 

Pearson eventually caught Rider on the run, but neither could move into podium contention as Rider finished in 56:03 to take 41st.  
In his debut WTCS race, Clayton Hutchins (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) placed 46th with a time of 57:23. 

For complete results click here

2021 World Triathlon Series Championships Abu Dhabi  
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run

U.S. Women Finishers  
5. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) 56:35 
11. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) 57:51 
15. Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.) 58:06 
17. Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) 58:15 

U.S. Men Finishers  
24. Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, N.J.) 54:13 
41. Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.) 56:03 
46. Clayton Hutchins (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) 57:23 

2021 World Triathlon Junior Championship Quarteira 
The Portuguese beach town of Quarteira welcomed the future of triathlon over the weekend as young talent battled for the title of 2021 World Triathlon Junior Champion. 

Coming off his victory in St. George, Utah, at the 2021 Americas Triathlon Junior Championships last weekend, Nicholas Holmes (Glendale, Wis.) had the top finish for the U.S. men, placing in the top-20 in 19th overall. He crossed the line in 57 minutes and 13 seconds.  

The top woman for the U.S. was Faith Dasso (New Braunfels, Texas), who took 23rd with a time of 1:03:23. Dasso also claimed a podium in St. George the weekend before, finishing second in the junior field.   

For the full race results click here

2021 World Triathlon Junior Championship Quarteira
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
U.S. Junior Women Finishers
23. Faith Dasso (New Braunfels, Texas) 1:03:23 
43. Micah Poellet (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) 1:07:18 
44. Alexandra Poole (Farmington, Conn.) 1:07:28 
46. Camille Buchanan (Bartlett Ill.) 1:08:03 
U.S. Junior Men Finishers  
19. Nicholas Holmes (Glendale, Wis.) 57:13 
24. Keller Norland (Corvallis, Ore.) 57:48 
28. Andrew Shellenberger (Tempe, Ariz.) 58:03 

IRONMAN Florida 
After IRONMAN California was cancelled due to the bomb cyclone last month, athletes were invited compete in IRONMAN Florida, taking place on Saturday, November 6 in Panama Beach. Over 2300 triathletes participated in the event, with both the men’s and women’s pro field taking center stage. 

On the women’s side, Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.) took home the victory and secured her spot for Kona at the IRONMAN World Championships in 2022. She finished in eight hours, 53 minutes and three seconds. In second place was another American, Skye Moench (Salt Lake City, Utah) who crossed the line in 8:56:42. Third place then went to Germany’s Laura Zimmerman with an overall time of 9:08:07.

On the men’s pro side, the podium resulted in strong international talent. Gustav Iden of Norway took gold, finishing in an impressive 7:42:57, followed by Canada’s Lionel Sanders (7:48:50) in second and Sweden’s Robert Kallin (8:08:13) in third.

The top American in the men’s pro field was Pedro Gomes (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who finished in 8:32:09 to place sixth overall.  

2021 World Triathlon Duathlon Championship Aviles 
71 Team USA athletes traveled to Spain over the weekend to compete at the 2021 World Triathlon Duathlon Championship Aviles. World titles were given to the best run-bike-runners over both Olympic ( 1st run 5.1 km, bike 20 km, 2nd run and sprint (1st Run 5.1 km, Bike 21.2 km, 2nd Run 2.8 km) distances in elite and age group sport classes. 

The U.S. earned three age-group podiums in the Olympic-distance Duathlon events and two age-group podiums in the sprint distances. 

Congratulations to all participants! 

2021 World Triathlon Duathlon Championships Aviles – Olympic Distance 
2. Katherine Guo (Demarest, N.J. - F20-24) 
2. Kristen Hetzel (Malibu, Calif. - F40-44) 
2. Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colo. - F50-54) 

2021 World Triathlon Duathlon Championships Aviles – Sprint Distance 
2. Ruth King (Ambler, Pa. - F70-74)  
3. Daniel Kirk (Blaine, Minn. - M75-79) 

New York City Marathon 
The city of New York was shut down on Sunday to watch thousands of racers take on the New York City Marathon. Sporting bright orange among the crowd was Chris Nikic (Maitland, Fla.), who finished in 7 hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds. Nikic also raced in Boston last month, continuing his exposure for more inclusion in endurance sports. 

Nikic began the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full IRONMAN in 2020. Nikic ran in honor of his 1% Better campaign, which through the Chris Nikic Foundation promotes “getting better 1% at a time—which is something everyone can do in any area of their lives.” 

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