TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Nick Noone of the University of Colorado and Cecilia Davis-Hayes of Columbia University won individual Olympic-distance national titles on Saturday at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The championship event featured nearly 1,300 collegiate athletes from 120 club teams. Athletes completed a 1,500-meter swim, non-drafting 40-kilometer bike, 9.8-kilometer run course.
In the men’s race, Noone and his Colorado teammate Dan Feeney exited the water together about a minute and a half behind the top swimmer, Eli Pugh of Stanford. By the end of the bike, Noone had moved up to second, trailing UCSB’s Gordon Williams by 32 seconds.
Feeney entered the second transition in sixth position, but posted a 32:36 run split to move up to the lead. He crossed the line first in 1:54:23, but was given an official finishing time of 1:56:23 due to a two-minute penalty incurred in the transition area. Noone ran a 33:28 split to finish in 1:55:11, earning the national champion title. Sean Harrington of UCSB took the runner-up spot in 1:55:42, while Ernest Mantell of Arizona State placed third in 1:55:56.
“Dan and I swam the whole thing together, rode the whole thing together, and ran together for about 1k,” Noone said. “It’s been my goal all year to be on the podium here, so I’m just excited.”
In the women’s race, UCLA’s Hannah Grubbs was first out of the water in 21:03. She was caught about four miles into the bike by Davis-Hayes, whose 1:04:02 40k bike split was nearly four minutes faster than any other competitor. Davis-Hayes had built a gap of approximately four minutes on Grubbs, who was still sitting in second, by the end of the bike.
Davis-Hayes continued to build momentum on the run, hitting the halfway point on the 10k run course with a lead of more than six minutes. She ultimately crossed the line in 2:09:19, but due to a penalty incurred before the race start, her official finishing time was 2:11:19.
Still, that adjusted finish time was more than seven minutes ahead of the rest of the field. Grubbs held onto her second-place position to finish in 2:18:26, while Darby Middlebrook of the University of Michigan placed third in 2:18:38.
“I had a breakthrough on the swim this year,” Davis-Hayes said. “Last year I was about seven minutes back on the swim, and I rode and ran my way up to sixth. This year I must have been in the top 25, so I looked at my Garmin and I was able to move into first within 3.74 miles on the bike.”
Men’s team, women’s team and overall team titles will be announced following the Collegiate Club National Championships Awards Ceremony, set for 8 p.m. CT. Team titles will be determined based on results from both Friday’s draft-legal races and Saturday’s Olympic-distance races.
USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Olympic-Distance National Championships
1500m swim, 40k bike, 9.8k run
1. Nick Noone (Colorado), 1:55:11
2. Sean Harrington (UCSB), 1:55:42
3. Ernest Mantell (Arizona State), 1:55:56
4. Christopher Douglas (Georgia Tech), 1:56:04
5. Dan Feeney (Colorado), 1:56:23
1. Cecilia Davis-Hayes (Columbia), 2:11:19
2. Hannah Grubbs (UCLA), 2:18:26
3. Darby Middlebrook (Michigan), 2:18:38
4. Marissa Platt (Colorado), 2:19:14
5. Ali Brauer (Colorado), 2:19:43
For more information about the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, visit usatriathlong.org/usatcn17.