USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Huge Weekend in Tempe Crowns Multiple National Champions
by USA Triathlon
Women’s Triathlon Collegiate National Championship
For the fifth year in a row, the Arizona State University women's collegiate triathlon team is the NCAA Division I champion, as the Sun Devils won the team title at the Women’s Triathlon Collegiate National Championships, held at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday, Nov. 13. Queens University of Charlotte also continued its winning streak by claiming the DII national championship for the sixth straight year, while the DIII team title went to a new champion, as Trine University took home its first national title.
Kira Gupta-Baltazar of the University of San Francisco earned the overall DI win, crossing the line in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds. This was the second win of the season for Gupta-Baltazar, as she also won the St. George National qualifier in October. Arizona State University’s Hannah Henry finished second in 1:04:46 and Gupta-Baltazar's University of San Francisco teammate Gillian Cridge placed third in 1:05:23 to round out the individual DI women's podium.
The Arizona State trio of Amber Schlebusch, Kyla Roy and Alexandrine Coursol finished sixth-seventh-eighth to help propel the Sun Devils to the team title.
In the DII race, Wingate University’s Finja Schierl earned the top honor after a grueling battle on the course. Found among the pack in the swim and bike, Schierl stood out in the run, running the fastest 5k split of the day to earn the win with a 1:06:15 overall time. This is Schierl’s second win of the season after she claimed victory at Smith Mountain Lake in October.
Second-place came just 10 seconds later with Natalia Hidalgo Martinez (Davis & Elkins College) crossing the line at 1:06:25. Finishing the podium was Natalie Bush (Queens University of Charlotte), coming in third with a time of 1:07:52.
Bush's Queens University of Charlotte teammates, Katharina Krosta, Hannah Moloney, Sam McInness and Sarka Pustova placed fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
After a successful season, where she won two of the three qualifying races, Hailey Poe of North Central College earned the individual championship honor in the DIII race. She secured her title right out of the gate, after leading out of the swim and never faltering the lead until she crossed the finish line at 1:12:01 to claim the victory.
Amira Faulkner of Trine University finished in second place with a time of 1:12:56, followed by North Central's Annika Cotner in 1:13:42.
Trine's Alexandria Smith placed sixth and teammate Kyra Warren ninth as Trine won its first national title, capturing the reins from North Central, which had won the previous four DIII national titles.
2021 USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships
Nearly 300 triathletes raced in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday, Nov. 13 for the 2021 USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships, held as part of the Sun Devil Draft-Legal Classic at Tempe Town Lake. Zachary Hamner (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Camille Buchanan (Tempe, Ariz.) were crowned overall champions, while 25 age group national titles were awarded.
Hamner covered the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5k run course in 58 minutes and 32 seconds after putting up the fastest 5k run split of the day, to win the men’s overall title and national championship in his age group (M25-29). The overall victory is Hamner’s first, and his third consecutive 25-29 age group title at Draft-Legal Nationals, as he also took the age group crown in 2018 and 2019.
On the women’s side, Buchanan clocked a time of 1:07:15 to claim the women’s national title and F15-19 age group win. Buchanan is a freshman on the Arizona State University women's collegiate triathlon team. Earlier this month, she represented the U.S. in Portugal at the 2021 World Triathlon Junior Championships Quarteira.
The draft-legal format, which encourages athletes to ride in packs and work together on the bike course, is similar to the elite style of World Triathlon racing and is gaining popularity at the age-group level.
2021 Americas Triathlon Cup Santiago and 2021 Americas Triathlon Junior Cup and South Americas Championships Santiago
Team USA had great representation in Chile over the weekend for the 2021 Americas Triathlon Cup Santiago, where a lot of athletes raced under elite and junior levels.
In the men’s race, the U.S. walked away with the gold and silver with Darr Smith earning the victory with a 54 minutes and 13 second finish. Just nine seconds later, Andrew Shellenberger crossed the line in second place, finishing in 54:22.
With Shellenberger’s high result, he was able to earn the junior title, which is a great improvement for Shellenberger after he had a tough break in Portugal last weekend at the Junior World Championships. He was leading on the bike when he crashed out and ended up finishing 28th in Quarteira.
In the women’s race, Faith Dasso got the top result for the Americans at the elite level, finishing sixth with a time of 1:03:13. However, her time was enough to place on the podium at the junior level, earning the bronze medal.
Dasso also raced in Quarteira last weekend, where she finished 23rd.
Elite U.S. Men’s Finishers
1. Darr Smith, 54:13
2. Andrew Shellenberger, 54:22
15. John Reed, 55:43
21. Samuel Tullis, 56:57
28. Weston Hart, 1:00:42
Elite U.S. Women’s Finishers
6. Faith Dasso, 1:03:13
12. Alexandra Poole, 1:05:25
Junior U.S. Men’s Finishers
1. Andrew Shellenberger, 54:22
6. Samuel Tullis, 56:57
Junior U.S. Women’s Finishers
3.Faith Dasso , 1:03:13
4. Alexandra Poole, 1:05:25