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5,000 Triathletes To Compete In Age Group Nationals

USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee has been one of the largest triathlons in the country for the past two years.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will host approximately 5,000 registered athletes over two days of competition this weekend for the 2015 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, held at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World.

Read the preview from USA Triathlon below:

Races begin at 7:30 a.m. CT each day, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships on Saturday, Aug. 8 and the Sprint National Championships on Aug. 9. 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 14 to 91 will compete for titles in their respective age groups, and more than 400 athletes are registered in both events for back-to-back days of competition. A live video stream and live blog will be available both days at Usatriathlon.org.

USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee has been one of the largest triathlons in the country for the past two years.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 USAT Age Group Nationals

Highlighting this year’s expected field are 31 defending champions, including overall Sprint Nationals winner Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), who also won the Junior Elite National Championships this past weekend. In all, 15 Olympic-distance winners and 16 sprint champions will be back in Milwaukee this weekend in search of another age-group title:

Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions
2014 Age Group: Name (Hometown), 2014 Time
F35-39: Jennifer Garrison (Naperville, Ill.), 2:06:38
M35-39: Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.), 1:51:45
F40-44: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 2:08:36
F45-49: Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo.), 2:10:58
F50-54: Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.), 2:11:43
F55-59: Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.), 2:17:59
M55-59: Anthony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), 2:05:07
F60-64: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 2:25:04
M60-64: Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), 2:09:06
F65-69: Nancy Avitabile (Bethesda, Md.), 2:44:25
M65-69: Freddie Ferraro (The Colony, Texas), 2:16:58
M70-74: David Roadhouse (Wilmette, Ill.), 2:27:15
F75-79: Graciela Val (Evanston, Ill.), 3:27:00
M75-79: Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.), 2:48:10
M80-84: Bob Scott (Naperville, Ill.), 3:05:33

Returning Sprint National Champions
2014 Age Group: Name (Hometown), 2014 Time
F15-19: Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:02:53
F20-24: Laura Mathews (Memphis, Tenn.), 1:09:34
F30-34: Ericka Hachmeister (Corning, N.Y.), 1:07:36
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:05:58
M35-39: Matthew Payne (Columbia Heights, Minn.), 59:31
F40-44: Heather Westerman (Ligonier, Pa.), 1:09:07
M45-49: Brian Francis (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 1:02:17
M50-54: Bobby Gonzales (El Paso, Texas), 1:04:39
F55-59: Lorrie Beck (Williamstown, N.J.), 1:14:49
M55-59: Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), 1:04:58
F60-64: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 1:15:48
F65-69: Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), 1:23:52
M65-69: Mike McDowell (Swartz Creek, Mich.), 1:13:33
F70-74: Heysoon Lee (Morristown, N.J.), 1:38:31
F75-79: Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), 2:00:05
M75-79: Donald Ardell (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1:25:34

The field also includes 34 ITU World Championships medalists from last year’s event in Edmonton, Alberta. The 15 Olympic-distance age-group medalists includes world champions McKeachie, Jack Toland (18-19, Kirkland, Wash.) and Lockett Wood (75-79, Lyons, Colo.), while the 19 ITU Sprint Worlds medalists are led by reigning age-group and world champions Lee, Isaacs and Ardell along with gold medalists Toland, Matt Migonis (30-34, Brighton, Mass.), Cindi Bannink (35-39, Madison, Wis.), Chris Wickard (45-49, Crown Point, Ind.) and Leslie Knibb (50-54, Washington, D.C.).

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 Australia, Canada, France, Japan and Mexico. 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 2016 ITU World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico, which will be held Sept. 11-18, 2016. 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 for the first time.

Team USA is comprised of amateur athletes who represent the United States at each ITU World Championship event. The 2015 ITU World Championships, which age-groupers qualified for in Milwaukee last year, will take place Sept. 15-19 in Chicago’s Grant Park, with athletes finishing at the iconic Buckingham Fountain. For more on this year’s ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships, visit Chicago.triathlon.org.

For the second straight year, Milwaukee will also host elite and junior elite triathletes as part of the USA Triathlon Super Sprint Series. Athletes will complete two continuous circuits of the same course, including a 325m swim, 4k bike and 1.5k run. The women are slated to start at 1:45 p.m. CT, and the men will start at 2:55 p.m. CT and will also be live streamed. Visit Usatriathlon.org/ss15milwaukee for more information.