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The Canadian team of Amelie Kretz, Andrew Yorke, Joanna Brown, Alexander Hinton earned the victory at the Sarasota PATCO Mixed Relay Pan American Championships with a time of 1:25:56. The American team of Kaitlin Donner, Jarrod Shoemaker, Sara McLarty and Eric Lagerstrom earned the silver spot, while another Canadian team Alex Coates, Gab Lagault, Alison Hooper and Xavier Grenia-Talavera) finished third. Elite runner Alan Webb made his triathlon debut and was a member of the American team that finished fifth.
Read the race recap from USA Triathlon below:
Each relay team member completed a 350-meter swim, 6.4-kilometer bike and 2-kilometer run before tagging the next athlete. Team USA 1 posted a total time of 1 hour, 26 minutes, 32 seconds to claim the silver medal. Team Canada 1, which included Amelie Kretz, Andrew Yorke, Joanna Brown and Alexander Hinton, claimed the win with a time of 1:25:56, and Team Mexico 1 took home the championship bronze, finishing fourth overall in 1:29:13. Team Canada 2 finished third overall in 1:28:47, but each country could only have one team represented on the PATCO Championship podium.
Donner (Satellite Beach, Fla.) led off for USA 1, coming out of the water with Kretz and working with her on the bike. Donner then broke away to give Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) a 12-second lead into the water. Shoemaker was unable to hold off Yorke, who won Saturday’s individual sprint competition and went on to post the fastest individual split of the relay event, giving Canada a slight edge at the halfway point. McLarty (Clermont, Fla.) and Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.) posted solid splits to keep the team in contention for the silver medal with a gap of more than two minutes over Canada 2.
“I think the team format is always fun, and it’s got to be incredibly fun for everyone to watch,” said Lagerstrom, who competed in the relay event for the first time and posted the fastest split for USA 1. “We know each other and we’re good friends, and any time you are united under the banner there’s an additional push there. I think everyone gets a lot out of it, working as a team.”
Alan Webb (Beaverton, Ore.), the current American record holder in the mile, made his triathlon debut as part of Team USA 2. His teammates included USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruit Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 2013 Junior World Champion Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), and Lukas Verzbicas (Chula Vista, Calif.), who has posted two top-10 finishes so far this season. USA 2 finished fifth overall with a time of 1:29:33. The U.S. entered 10 teams total in the event, including Elite and Junior Elite athletes.
Given the non-stop action, audience and television appeal and on-course gender equity, the ITU is striving to add the mixed relay format to the program for the Olympic Games. The ITU first held a mixed relay world championship event in 2009 at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, Iowa, and the format was included as part of the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore. USA Triathlon has held a mixed team relay event as part of its Collegiate National Championships since 2012.
PATCO is comprised of 38 National Federations, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Cuba and more. For more on the PATCO Federation, visit patco.triathlon.org.
Sarasota PATCO Mixed Relay Pan American Championships
4x(350m swim, 6.4k bike, 2k run)
Overall Top 5
1. Team Canada 1 (Amelie Kretz, Andrew Yorke, Joanna Brown, Alexander Hinton), 1:25:56
2. Team USA 1 (Kaitlin Donner, Jarrod Shoemaker, Sara McLarty, Eric Lagerstrom), 1:26:32
3. Team Canada 2 (Alex Coates, Gab Lagault, Alison Hooper, Xavier Grenia-Talavera), 1:28:47
4. Team Mexico 1 (Vanesa De La Torre, Eduardo Lamas, Paola Diaz, Edson Gomez), 1:29:13
5. Team USA 2 (Summer Cook, Alan Webb, Tamara Gorman, Lukas Verzbicas), 1:29:33