Ruff, Stuhlmacher, Hergenreter and Kitson Earn Draft Legal National Titles
by USA Triathlon
MILWAUKEE — Day 1 of the 2023 USA Triathlon National Championships kicked off in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with some fast and furious Youth and Junior Development Draft Legal Triathlon National Championship races crowning the first four National Champions of the weekend.
With clear skies and temperatures around 80 degrees, the Junior Development Women (ages 16-19) plunged into Lake Michigan first to race the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5k run. Addison Knoblauch was the first out of the water heading into Transition 1 with an 18-second lead over the rest of the field. By the second kilometer of the bike, a lead group of eight riders formed with sisters Faith and Clare Ann Dasso, Britney Brown, Eliza Miller, Charlotte Joseph, Astrid Bergman, Naomi Ruff, and Clara James Heer pulling away from the pack heading into Transition 2 with a 1:22 gap over the rest of the field.
Ruff and James-Herr put a 16-second gap between themselves and Faith Dasso, Miller, Brown and Clare Ann Dasso. Ruff pulled away mid-way through the run, earning her third consecutive Junior Development national title, crossing the finish line in a time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 6 seconds — 29 seconds ahead of James-Herr. Faith Dasso broke away from the chase group during the second kilometer to cross the finish line for third place to round out the podium.
The Men’s Junior Development Race kicked off next with eventual winner Carter Stuhlmacher exiting the water 16 seconds ahead of the pack. Midway through the bike, the top 7 riders, Stuhlmacher, Sullivan Middaugh, Blake Harris, Cole Jamieson, Jeremy MacLean, Luke Anthony, and Eli McWard created a sizable gap to the rest of the racers and headed into Transition 2 with a 50-second gap to the rest of the field.
The trio of Project Podium athletes Anthony, Middaugh and Stuhlmacher quickly created a gap of nearly 1 minute heading into the final kilometers. Stuhlmacher pulled ahead in to earn the title of USA Triathlon Junior Men’s National Champion finishing with a time of 55:32, 7 seconds ahead of Anthony. Middaugh rounded out the podium finishing with a time of 55:49.
The Women’s Youth Development (ages 13-15) saw Abby Poe exit the water first with Eve Frost fast on her heels 6 seconds back in the 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run race. By the middle of the bike, Alexis Hergenreter, Manuella Lima, Frost and Amelia Avila formed a gap over the rest of the field. Avila and Frost were the first out of Transition 2 and onto the run, but the four leaders were back together by the end of the first kilometer.
In the end, Hergenreter pulled away to secure the win in a time of 32:50, 9 seconds ahead of Lima. Molly Garrison, who was in eighth place heading out of Transition 2, put in the fastest run time of the day, averaging 5:40 per mile to sprint ahead of Frost and secure the final spot on the podium.
The day concluded with the Men’s Youth Development races with Alexander Pletcher heading into Transition 1 with a 10-second gap over the rest of the field. Pletcher held his lead over the chase group of Brayden Barrett, Cain Banfield, Luke Kovak, Jonas Yiengst and Ethan Courson until the final kilometers heading into the run as a pack.
Cross country phenom turned triathlete, Caden Kitson, exited transition 2 in ninth place, 17 seconds behind the leaders, made his way to the front of the pack by the first kilometer. Kitsen, the first time National Championships participant, won the race over Corbin Deichman by 5 seconds in a time of 30:59. Canadian, Turk Dingwall, crossed the finish line third in a time of 31:11, but the final podium spot for the National Championships will go to 4th place finisher Brayden Barrett.
2023 Junior Development Women’s Draft-Legal Podium (Complete Results)
- Naomi Ruff (MMTT Elite Triathlon Team) 1:02:06
- Clara James-Heer (MMTT Elite Triathlon Team) 1:02:36
- Faith Dasso (Alpha Multisport) 1:03:21
2023 Junior Development Men’s Draft-Legal Podium (Complete Results)
- Carter Stuhlmacher (Project Podium) 55:32
- Luke Anthony (Project Podium) 55:40
- Sullivan Middaugh (Project Podium) 55:49
2023 Youth Development Women’s Draft-Legal Podium (Complete Results)
- Alexis Hergenreter (Team Z3 Triathlon) 32:50
- Manuella Lima (Team Z3 Triathlon) 32:59
- Molly Garrison 33:00 (MMTT Elite Triathlon Team)
2023 Youth Development Men’s Draft-Legal Podium (Complete Result)
- Caden Kitson (Caliber Endurance) 30:59
- Corbin Deichman (Team Z3 Triathlon) 31:05
- Turk Dingwall (CAN)* (Manitoba Triathlon Centre) 31:11
- Brayden Barrett (BOLT) 31:14
*Brayden Barret earned the bronze medal as the third U.S. finisher in the race
Naomi Ruff, Chicago, Ill.
Junior Elite National Champion
On winning the National Title: "It's a great feeling. I'm so excited. It's been a lot of hard work. My team is so supportive."
On Her Race: "I'm really proud of my swim. I've been working on that a lot. Since it was a new course and a new environment, I just wanted to do the best I could. The course and the atmosphere was fun."
Carter Stuhlmacher, Clermont Fla.
Junior Elite National Champion
On Winning the National Title: "It feels amazing. It was really tough out there, so to come across the line first is awesome."
On His Race: "My strategy was to come out of the water ahead and hold the gap as long as I could on the bike and just send it on the run."
About training with Project Podium: “It's so great to have a team supporting each other at the races. And it's great to train together. We all have different strengths, which helps us get better. I'm a swimmer, so I can help guys with the swim, we have two strong bikers to help me on the bike and strong runners who can push me on the run.”
Caden Kitson, San Antonio, Texas
Youth Elite National Champion
On his win: "I've never gotten better than third in a tri before today. It's hard, but it's fun!”
On training with U.S. Elite Paratriathlon National Team member and Tokyo Paralympian Kelly Elmlinger: “She's been helping me a lot. She's been my private coach and gave me gear and she's really nice."
Racing will continue tomorrow with the Olympic-Distance National Championships and the Youth and Junior Draft Legal Mixed Relay followed by the Professional Triathlon Organisation’s US Open Women’s Race.
ATHLETE & RACE GUIDE
For more information about USA Triathlon Nationals, including maps, detailed schedule, parking information and past results, view the digital Athlete Guide.
SCHEDULE & VENUE
The main venue for USA Triathlon Nationals and the PTO U.S. Open is adjacent to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Henry Maier Festival Park and Discovery World along the shore of Lake Michigan. Athletes will swim in Lake Michigan, which provides cool water temperatures and a breakwater in Milwaukee’s bay. The bike course traverses the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge and the Lake Freeway, which will be closed to traffic during the event. The run course travels out along Lake Michigan on paved trails through the scenic Veterans Park, returning on the shaded Lincoln Memorial Drive.
Friday, Aug. 4
8 a.m.: Open Water Swim Competition
9:45 a.m.: Female Junior Development Draft-Legal
11 a.m.: Male Junior Development Draft-Legal
12:25 p.m.: Female Youth Development Draft-Legal
1:10 p.m.: Male Youth Development Draft-Legal
4:15 p.m.: PTO Pro Men
Racing will begin on Friday, Aug. 4, with a 750-meter open water swim competition. The open water swim is open to anybody, and no qualification is required to compete.
Youth and junior athletes will then take center stage, with the Youth & Junior Draft-Legal races. Youth Draft-Legal athletes will cover a 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run, while Junior Draft-Legal athletes will take on a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. The draft-legal format is similar to the style of racing contested at the Olympic Games and other elite World Triathlon competitions.
The nation’s up-and-coming triathlon stars race in the junior-draft legal races. Several past and present members of the U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team — including Tokyo 2020 Olympians Kevin McDowell and Taylor Knibb; 2016 U.S. Olympians Ben Kanute and Greg Billington; and World Triathlon U23 and Junior Champion Tamara Gorman — all began their triathlon careers on the youth and junior racing circuits.
Saturday, Aug. 5
7 a.m.: Olympic-Distance National Championships
1:05 p.m.: Youth and Junior Draft-Legal Mixed Relay
4:15-8 p.m.: PTO Pro Women
On Saturday, adult athletes will toe the line for the qualification-based Olympic-Distance Nationals, which features a 1,500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run.
In both the Olympic-Distance and Sprint National Championship races, athletes will be chasing national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2024 World Triathlon Age Group Championships.
For more information about Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur triathletes who represent Team USA in World Championship competition, visit USA Triathlon's website here.
Also on Saturday is the Youth & Junior Mixed Relay. Relay teams are made up of four competitors (two boys, two girls), which each team member completing a 250m swim, draft-legal 5k bike and 1.2k run before tagging off to the next athlete. The Mixed Relay event made its Olympic debut at the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020, with the U.S. team winning the silver medal.
Sunday, Aug. 6
7 a.m.: Sprint National Championships
12:55 p.m.: Youth Age Group Ages 13-18
2 p.m.: Youth Age Group Ages 11-12
2:07-2:12 p.m.: Youth ATD1 (PC Open) and Youth ATD2 (Neurodiverse)
3:20 p.m.: Youth Age Group Ages 7-10
The racing action continues Sunday for adult triathletes with the qualification-based Sprint National Championships, held on a 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run course.
Following will be the youth age group races for athletes 13-18. Athletes will cover a 300m swim, non-drafting 10k bike and 2.5k run.
Qualification is not required to participate in the youth age group races, which are open to athletes ages 7-18 (previously limited to ages 7-15). Emphasizing participation and personal goal setting over competition for the younger age groups, “National Champion” titles will only be awarded to athletes ages 13-18, while athletes ages 7-12 will receive placement awards.
The youth age group races for athletes ages 7-12 will cap the weekend. Athletes ages 7-10 will complete a 100m swim, 5k bike and 1k run, while 11- to 12-year-olds will complete a 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run. Youth paratriathletes and athletes with intellectual impairments will also compete Sunday, taking on the same course as the 11-12 age group.
USA TRIATHLON EVENTS APP
Media, friends and family can track athletes as they compete with the USA Triathlon Events App. The app features athlete tracking, event schedules, live leaderboards and more, and is available for download on iPhone and Android devices.
LOCATION AND PARKING
The main venue for Age Group Nationals is 500 Harbor Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202. There is no parking onsite at the race venue.
Public parking options are available near race village (PDF). All lots and garages have a nominal fee.
Media picking up their press credential should contact Kelly Fox, USA Triathlon Director of Marketing & Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-506-2448. Credentials must be picked up at the USA Triathlon finish-line announcer’s tent on Thursday or Friday of race week or on race mornings before starting coverage. To request a credential, please fill out USA Triathlon's Media Credential Application.
HOW TO WATCH PTO U.S. OPEN
Both the women’s and men’s 100km races in Milwaukee will take place on a specially designed course, which is adjacent to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Henry Maier Festival Park and Discovery World along the shore of Lake Michigan. For further course details, please visit: https://protriathletes.org/events/pto-tour/us-open/pro/
The men’s race takes place on Friday, Aug. 4, starting at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT The women’s race takes place on Saturday starting at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.
Both races will be broadcast live around the world to 195+ territories, courtesy of the PTO Tour’s partnerships with Warner Bros. Discovery. It will live on Eurosport 1 from 2300 CET as well as featured on a range of other international, regional and local broadcasters including CNBC in the US, DAZN, beIN Sports and SPOTV across Asia.
The prize fund for the PTO Opens in 2023 is $600,000 USD per event – with $100,000 for the winner, $50,000 for second and $35,000 for third – making each event the most lucrative in the sport over this distance.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).