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Ten of the United States’ top up-and-coming triathletes will compete against the world’s rising multisport stars later this month at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) 10th-annual World University Championships, set for Sunday, May 30 in Valencia, Spain.
The draft-legal, Olympic-distance race features a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.
“The World University Championships is a great opportunity for our emerging elites to test themselves on the international stage. We can expect first-rate competition from the Europeans, and Japan always sends a highly energized collegiate squad,” said Steve Kelley, USAT’s athlete development coordinator, who will accompany the team to Spain. “The local organizers have designed a technically challenging course around a beautiful coastal venue.”
Greg Billington (Spokane, Wash., Wake Forest University)
Member of the 2008 FISU team · Member of the USAT Project 2016 squad · Runs track and cross country at Wake Forest · Finished 13th at the 2009 ITU Under-23 World Championship.
Kyle Leto (Walnut Creek, Calif., University of California, Davis)
USAT’s Elite Rookie of the Year in 2009 · Posted top-12 finishes in 2010 at the Ironman 70.3 California, the St. Anthony’s Triathlon and the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon · Swam at UC Davis.
Matt Long (Columbus, Ohio, Vanderbilt University)
Finished fourth at the 2008 ITU World Championships in the 20-24 age group · Owns a pair of top-20 showings on the 2010 ITU Pan American Cup circuit · Former runner at Vanderbilt.
Dustin McLarty (DeLand, Fla., University of California, Irvine)
Member of USAT’s Project 2016 team · Finished seventh at the 2009 USAT Elite National Championship · Swam at the University of Florida as an undergraduate.
Chris Stehula (San Luis Obispo, Calif., Cal Poly)
Winner of the 2010 USAT Collegiate National Championship for Cal Poly · Named USAT’s Junior Elite Athlete of the Year in 2003.
Jessica Broderick (Middlebury, Conn., University of Colorado at Boulder)
Named USAT’s Elite Junior Athlete of the Year in 2009 · Winner of the 2009 USAT Collegiate National Championship · Placed second in 2010 and helped lead Colorado to the team title.
Lauren Goldstein-Kral (Shaker Heights, Ohio, Williams College)
Member of the 2008 FISU team · Member of the USAT Project 2016 squad · Finished seventh at the 2009 USAT Elite National Championship and was 12th at the ITU Under-23 World Championship last year.
Gwen Jorgenson (Milwaukee, Wis., University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Standout in track, cross country and swimming while at Wisconsin · Earned elite triathlon card in second ever race at the USAT Elite Development Race in March in Clermont, Fla.
Alex Weber (Dallas, Texas, Texas A&M University)
Finished 2009 ranked No. 1 in the United States in the 18-19 age group · Placed seventh at the 2010 USAT Collegiate National Championship for Texas A&M · Finished sixth in her age group at the ITU Sprint World Championships in 2009.
Lindsay Woodward (Gainesville, Fla., University of Florida)
Finished second at the 2009 USAT Age Group National Championship and was fourth at the 2010 Lima ITU Pan American Cup · Swam for Florida and qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.
“Team USA boasts a strong group of swimmers who can capitalize on the ocean swim,” said Kelley. “I expect that we’ll animate the early breaks on the bike and then work to protect our run threats for a hot and fast 10k.”
Both Billington and Goldstein-Kral are making their second FISU appearance. Billington finished 34th, while Goldstein-Kral was 27th in 2008 in Turkey. American Justine Whipple was the women’s winner two years ago, leading a group of three U.S. athletes in the top 10.
On the team side, the U.S men won the silver in 2008, while the women brought home the bronze.
Each country may enter a maximum of six athletes in each race, and the top three finishers will count towards a team score. In addition to men’s and women’s individual winners, there will be a team champion for each gender. In order to be eligible, athletes must be between the ages of 17-28 on Jan. 1, 2010. Additionally, athletes must be a current college student or have received a degree in 2009.
Race preview provided by USA Triathlon.