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Thirty-four defending national champions and nine reigning world champions highlight the start list for this weekend’s 2012 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, presented by People’s United Bank, at Waterfront Park in Burlington, Vt.
Read the preview from USA Triathlon below:
Forming the largest USA Triathlon National Championship event in the sport’s history, more than 3,700 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes are slated to compete over the course of the two-day event. Action will begin Saturday with the Olympic-Distance National Championship, followed Sunday with the Sprint National Championship. Races will begin at 7:30 a.m. each day at Waterfront Park. A live video stream of both events will be available at Usatriathlon.org.
National titles will be up for grabs in 28 age groups. The Olympic-distance event consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course, while the sprint event is comprised of a 750m swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run.
Held each year since 1983, the Olympic-distance race at Age Group Nationals sold out in record time this summer and for just the third time ever. A USA Triathlon-owned National Championship event for just the third year, Sprint Nationals will experience a record-high field as well. A year ago, Burlington hosted nearly 2,500 competitors in both events in a single-day format.
Highlighting this year’s expected field are 34 defending champions – 14 Olympic-distance winners and 20 sprint champions – from last year’s memorable event in Burlington:
Returning Olympic-distance National Champions
2011 Age Group: Name (Hometown), 2011 Time
M18-19: Hunter Lussi (Lutherville, Md.), 2:02:48
M25-29: Jack McAfee (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 1:59:25
F35-39: Catherine Sterling (West Boylston, Mass.), 2:08:42
M35-39: Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.), 1:56:34
M40-44: Doug Clark (Morristown, N.J.), 1:54:48
M45-49: Brian Bich (Duluth, Minn.), 1:58:35
F50-54: Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.), 2:17:08
F55-59: Carol Gephart (Strafford, N.H.), 2:18:49
M55-59: Curt Eggers (Henrietta, N.Y.), 2:12:16
F60-64: Lauren Binder (Portland, Ore.), 2:31:10
F70-74: Peggy McDowell Cramer (Santa Monica, Calif.), 3:21:12
M70-74: William Marshall (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 2:42:18
M75-79: Roger Brockenbrough (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 3:03:37
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Evan Evans (Palm Coast, Fla.), 2:10:37
Returning Sprint National Champions
2011 Age Group: Name (Hometown), 2011 Time
F19&U: Keelin Treacy (Corpus Christi, Texas), 1:15:06
M30-34: Randall Wood (West Olive, Mich.), 1:12:50
F35-39: Heather Westerman (Ligonier, Pa.), 1:12:37
M35-39: James Smith (Washington, Pa.), 1:08:41
F45-49: Betty Janelle (Smyrna, Ga.), 1:16:40
M45-49: Jeremy Oury (Hamilton, Mont.), 1:10:43
F50-54: Tracy DiSabato-Aust (Sunbury, Ohio), 1:17:10
M50-54: Carlos Dolabella (Key Biscayne, Fla.), 1:07:42
F55-59: Betsy Henderson (Roanoke, Va.), 1:21:42
M55-59: Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.), 1:12:04
F60-64: Ruth King (Ambler, Pa.), 1:30:32
M60-64: Robert Stipp (Yorba Linda, Calif.), 1:22:09
F65-69: Donna Krutka (Tulsa, Okla.), 1:38:47
M65-69: Rob Holmes (Plainsboro, N.J.), 1:29:00
F70-74: Patricia Ryan (Medford, Mass.), 1:48:01
M70-74: Arby Kitzman (Morro Bay, Calif.), 1:30:00
F75-79: Lucy Duffy (Brewster, Mass.), 2:27:52
M75-79: Steven Jonas (East Setauket, N.Y.), 2:17:40
Athena 39 & Under: Louise Grausso (East Moric, N.Y.), 1:25:54
Clydesdale 40+: Nicholas Evans (Highland Valley, Texas), 1:22:13
Additionally, nine age group winners from the 2011 ITU World Championships will toe the line in Burlington. Defending Olympic-distance world champions set to compete include Mark Harms (35-39, Madison, Wis.), Kyle Welch (50-54, Sunnyvale, Calif.), Douglas Hill (55-59, Tacoma, Wash.), Elizabeth Brackett (70-74, Chicago, Ill.), Dave Robinette (70-74, Centennial, Colo.) and John Cook (75-59, Stamford, Conn.).
On the sprint side, Taylor Fogg (16-19, Colorado Springs, Colo.), Carlos Dolabella (50-54, Key Biscayne, Fla.) and Marshall Wakat (70-74, Charleston, S.C.) will compete after earning world titles in Beijing a year ago.
This weekend’s competitors will travel to Burlington from all 50 states and the District of Columbia after meeting qualification standards at USA Triathlon-sanctioned qualifying events throughout the 2012 season.
In addition to the bragging rights of claiming a national title, athletes will be competing for coveted spots to represent the U.S. at the 2013 ITU World Championships in London. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each age group in both the Olympic-distance and sprint events in Burlington will qualify for a Team USA slot.
Team USA is comprised of amateur athletes that represent the United States at each ITU world championship event. The 2012 ITU World Championships, which age-groupers qualified for in Burlington last year, will take place Oct. 22 in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Burlington-area community is encouraged to come out and support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.