USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Podium Vibes for the Holiday Weekend

by USA Triathlon

Matt McElroy stands not the swim pontoon at the World Cup Valencia

Happy Week after Labor Day USA Triathlon!

While the majority of the country was out celebrating the long holiday weekend enjoying the last glimpses of summer, a handful of Team USA athletes were out and about in various parts of the globe laboring out on the multisport course. 

This week as we return back to work, start school or just switch our summer race schedule to fall routines, take a quick look at what was happening with USA Triathlon from over the weekend. 

2022 World Triathlon Cup Valencia
Valencia, Spain

Oh how sweet it is to return to the World Cup podium! 

The elite triathletes were in Spain over the weekend for the fifth World Triathlon Cup event of the season. Both men and women U.S. athletes were on the starting line taking on a hot, humid and speedy sprint course. 

The men's race was on {insert fire emoji here}! 

The swim, which had a nice and refreshing 82 degree F temp, didn't see much breakthrough, so if you can imagine a 50-person bike pack coming your way then you could imagine how the Valenica race ended up.

Most of the field rode together for the full 20-kilometers without any breakage. Which meant the run would determine the Champions. 

Luckily for the U.S., Matt McElroy was in the race. 

If you remember from last weekend in Bergen, McElroy had a 14:35 5K split - it was the fastest run split of the race. As if he could go any faster, in Valencia he shaved off another six seconds off of that split to do a 14:29 5K to bypass the field and fall into third place!

What made his run even more fun to watch was seeing him chase down Spaniard Mario Mola. Had the race been a 10K, it's a good chance McElroy would have taken him.

The bronze medal ended up being McElroy's first World Cup podium since 2019 and the first World Cup podium for Team USA of the year! 

In the women's race, the U.S. entered the event holding the number one and two on the start list!

Kirsten Kasper had the number one and Summer Rappaport with the number two, who had more than a month of racing rest since her last individual competition was in WTCS Hamburg in July. 

Rappaport was first out of the swim, yet similar to the men's race, the field bunched together on the bike and created a MASS pack. 

Rappaport ended her day in 6th with a time of 55:45.

Finishing 10th was Gina Sereno, who earned her first top-ten World Cup finish!

And Kasper landed in 14th in 56:06.

2022 World Triathlon Para Cup Alhandra
Alhandra, Portugal

Almost directly west across from Valencia, our para elites were competing in Portugal in the third Para Cup of the season. 

Portgual was good to the U.S. 

We earned four podiums on the day!

Zachary Stinson, Mark Barr, Kelly Worrell and Deborah Chucoski all claimed top-three accolades in their respective sport classifications among the seven U.S. elite paratriathletes competing on the sprint-distance course (780-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run) in Portugal.  

Stinson placed third in the men’s WTWC sport class, crossing the line in one hour, six minutes and 36 seconds. The bronze medal added to his Alhandra collection after he earned the gold at the same venue last year.

In the men’s PTS2 event, Barr also grabbed a third-place finish with a time of 1:20:30. Alhandra was the first event back for Barr since the Tokyo Paratriathlon World Cup in 2019. 

Worrell collected her first Para Cup medal of the year after finishing second in the women’s PTS4 category, clocking in at 1:47:49. While the final U.S. medal of the day wen to Chucoski, who in a time of 1:25:19 secured the silver medal in the women’s PTVI division, behind the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Gold Medalist Susana Rodriguez of Spain.

2022 World Triathlon Powerman Long Distance Duathlon Championships Zofingen
Zofingen, Switzerland

For over 30 years, Powerman Zofingen has been the biggest duathlon event, arguably in the whole world. If you are a fan of the run-bike-run format, chances are you know of this event. 

The goal is racing the long-distance course, made of a 10K run, 144K bike and ending with another 30K run. That is quite a beast on your legs!

A handful of U.S. athletes took on this beast to compete in the Long Distance Duathlon Championships. 

Five age-group athletes earned a Championship podium in their respective age group divisions for Team USA. 

Congrats to our run-bike-run medalists making us proud over the weekend:

3. Hang Kei Simon Wong (New York, N.Y.) 
2. Ron Wightman (Wellsville, N.Y.)
3. Karoline Muehlfellner (Dunedin, Fla.)
2. Kristen Hetzel (Malibu, Calif.)
3. Wu Shu (San Rafael, Calif.)

Super League London
London, UK

Super League is back! The start of the 2022 Championship season kicked off in London over the weekend starting with their Triple Mix format. 

Who says that triathlon has to be swim-bike-run? Well generally speaking everyone, but for Super League and the pros all rules are out the window in order to test who has the grit, skill and speed to become number one. 

Each athlete would perform a 300-meter swim, 4.6K bike and 1.6K run, just in changing order throughout 3 stages. 

Taylor Spivey earns second overall in the women's event, finishing just two seconds behind the winner Cassandre Beaugrand of France. A great first start the new season for Spivey! 

Chase McQueen raced for the U.S. on the men's side and as part of the Sharks team. He landed in 10th, not bad for his first Super League season! 


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