Get An Email Saying You’ve Qualified for USAT Nationals? Here’s Why

Confused how you qualified in a year with no racing? Here’s how you earned the spot (and how you can still qualify in 2021).

Photo: Rich Cruse/USA Triathlon

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Last week USA Triathlon sent out emails informing athletes that they’ve qualified for one of their national championship events. While there are several national championships across distances and formats, the USA Triathlon Age Group Sprint and Olympic-Distance National Championships, set for Aug. 7-8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the premier event.

With so much time passing since triathlons consistently took place, you’re likely scratching your head wondering how you qualified. Due to many canceled events in 2020, the qualification period for 2021 Age Group Nationals extends back to May 31, 2019 and will run until July 30, 2021. 

Within that timeframe you’d need to have finished within these guidelines at a USAT-certified event:
– Olympic-Distance: Athletes must either place in the top three (3) or in the top 25% of finishers in their age group.
– Sprint: Athletes must either place in the top five (5) or in the top 35% of finishers in their age group.

There are also special regional championships, special qualifiers, and state championships, and you can find those details here.

USA Triathlon is saying that they expect the event to sell out early, so register ASAP if you have the email and plan to go. The national championships are always popular, but Milwaukee has a history of a strong showing—its 5,789 registrants in 2014 remains an Age Group National Championships record. 

There are also “Time to Tri” waves for both the sprint- and Olympic-distance events, but those waves will not be eligible for age-group awards or Team USA World Championship spots. You can sign up for those waves here.

Athletes who had already registered for a 2020 national championship event have automatically been deferred to the 2021 equivalent event and should receive an email from USA Triathlon confirming their spot.  

USA Triathlon is saying that all events will be held with stringent COVID-19 safety measures in place according to their Safe Return to Multisport guidelines—including self-screening and temperature checks; face coverings at all times except when actively racing; contact reduction for athletes, staff, and volunteers; and increased cleaning and disinfecting practices onsite.

If you want to learn more about qualification, how to register, other national championship events, or feel like you should have gotten an email and didn’t, check out the detailed guidelines over on USA Triathlon’s website.

2021 USA Triathlon National Championships

Date Event Location
May 15 Off-Road National Championships Hewitt, N.J.
May 22-23 Duathlon National Championships Tuscaloosa, Ala.
June 6 Military and First Responders National Championships Hammond, Ind.
June 27 Clydesdale & Athena National Championships Chattanooga, Tenn.
July 16 Aquathlon National Championships Long Beach, Calif.
July 18 Toyota Paratriathlon National Championships Long Beach, Calif.
July 31 - Aug. 1 Youth and Junior Nationals West Chester, Ohio
Aug. 7-8 Toyota Age Group National Championships Milwaukee, Wisc.
Sept. 25-26 Long Course National Championships Stony Point, N.Y.
Oct. 23 Ultra-Distance National Championships Clermont, Fla.
Date TBD Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships Tempe, Ariz.
Date TBD Age Group Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships Tempe, Ariz.

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