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Thousands Head To Omaha For Age Group Nationals

More than 4,000 registered athletes are set to compete over two days of competition.

The 2016 edition of the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, the organization’s largest and longest running National Championship event, will take place in Omaha, Neb., for the first time this weekend, with more than 4,000 registered athletes set to compete over two days of competition.

Read the race preview from USA Triathlon below:

Races begin at 7:30 a.m. CT each day, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships on Saturday, Aug. 13 and the Sprint National Championships on Aug. 14, with the main venue set at Levi Carter Park. The Olympic-distance event has been held annually since 1983 and features a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Sprint Nationals competitors will complete a 750m swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run. Athletes ages 15 to 86 will compete for titles in their respective age groups, and approximately 470 athletes are registered in both events for back-to-back days of competition.

A number of defending national champions highlight the start list, along with reigning world champions for both Olympic-distance and sprint events. In all, nine Olympic-Distance Nationals champions and 12 Sprint Nationals winners are on the start list and will compete for age-group titles in Omaha:
Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2016 Age Group
Abbie Sullivan (Canandaigua, N.Y.), F20-24
Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), F35-39
Adrienne Leblanc (Scottsdale, Ariz.), F45-49
Kelly Dippold (Olathe, Kan.), F50-54
Michael Smith (Brownsburg, Ind.), M55-59
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M55-59
Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), M60-64
Nancy Avitabile (Bethesda, Md.), F65-69
Freddie Ferraro (The Colony, Texas), M65-69
 
Returning Sprint National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2016 Age Group

Laura Mathews (Memphis, Tenn.), F20-24
Thomas Barton (Miami, Fla.), M25-29
Matthew Payne (Golden Valley, Minn.), M35-39
Shannon Kurek (Granville, Ohio.), M45-49
Adrian Mackay (New York, N.Y.), M50-54
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M55-59
Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), M60-64
Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), F65-69
Craig Cecil (Vestavia, Ala.), M65-69
Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), F75-79
Roger Little (Bedford, Mass.), M75-79
Winston Allen (St. Augustine, Fla.), M85-89

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented by the competitors in this weekend’s field. A number of countries are also represented, with athletes hailing from Brazil, Great Britain, Mexico and Peru. To be eligible for national titles and awards, athletes must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals.

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 2017 ITU World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which will be held Sept. 14-17, 2017. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each age group of the Olympic-Distance Nationals will automatically earn a spot for Team USA. In Sprint Nationals, athletes must finish in the top eight to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal bike leg.

 A live video stream will be available both days at Usatriathlon.org/agnccoverage.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2015 USAT Age Group National Championships