Hola, McDonald, Hickey, Mason, Former Age Group Champs, Compete in Cleveland This Weekend

Tim Hola pic with Ellen Hart

Coloradans, Tim Hola, Laura McDonald both former Olympic Distance age group champions, and Cassidy Hickey and Jonathan Mason, Sprint Distance champions are competing in the USAT Championships this weekend in Cleveland. Many other Coloradans are competing as well.

Here is the official information about this weekend’s event with links to track and follow along!

Nation’s most competitive age-groupers to race for national titles in sprint- and Olympic-distance events

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Approximately 4,500 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes will return to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park this Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, for the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. In addition, an open water swim competition will be held as part of Age Group Nationals weekend for the first time on Friday, Aug. 9.

First held in 1983, Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. Athletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., are set to compete. The youngest athlete on the start list is 15, and the oldest is 90.

Cleveland hosts the event for the second consecutive year, and also hosted in 1992. The main venue is at Edgewater Park. Athletes will swim in Lake Erie, bike and run along the lakeshore overlooking downtown Cleveland, and finish with a sprint down USA Triathlon’s iconic National Championships red carpet within the park.

Athletes must qualify to compete in Saturday’s Olympic-distance race by earning a competitive age-group finish at a previous USA Triathlon-sanctioned event. No qualification is required for Sunday’s sprint-distance race. Both races will be qualification-based starting in 2020, when Age Group Nationals returns to its 2013-2015 host city of Milwaukee. Athletes racing this weekend in Cleveland have access to special qualification opportunities for 2020; more details can be found here.

Racing action begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET with an open water swim competition, hosted by USA Triathlon in partnership with USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming. Athletes will cover a 750-meter course in Lake Erie. Also on Friday, at 6:30 p.m., Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts the Sunset Sprint 5K starting and ending at the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals finisher’s arch.

On tap for Saturday are the Olympic-Distance National Championships, featuring a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The first wave of athletes will go off at 6:50 a.m., the last wave starts at 9:06 a.m., and the course will close at 11:45 a.m.

On Sunday, racing continues with the Sprint National Championships, in which athletes will cover a 750m swim, 10k bike and 5k run. The first athletes will start at 6:50 a.m., the last wave goes off at 8:20 a.m., and the course closes at 11:45 a.m.

In both races, athletes will be chasing national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2020 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in their respective race distances.

At Olympic-Distance Nationals, the top 18 finishers in each age group (rolling down to 30th place) will earn a spot on Team USA. Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top eight in their age groups to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal format. Athletes may also qualify for the Sprint World Championships with a top finish at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Sprint National Championships in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 16. For more information on Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championship event, visit HERE

Eighteen national champions from 2018 will be back to defend their Olympic-distance titles, including defending Olympic- and sprint-distance men’s overall champion Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.) and defending Olympic-distance women’s overall champion Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.). The 2018 men’s Olympic-distance Masters champion, Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), will also be back, as will both the women’s and men’s defending Grand Masters champions, Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.) and Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.).

Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Abbie Sullivan (Canandaigua, N.Y.), F20-24
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.), F25-29
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Laura McDonald (Castle Rock, Colo.), F35-39
Michael Phinney (Yardley, Pa.), M35-39
Tracy Kellner (Mequon, Wis.), F45-49
Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), M45-49
Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), M50-54
Stephen Bosic (Walthum, Mass.), M50-54
Linda Robb (Juno Beach, Fla.), F55-59
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), M55-59
Carol Gephart (Hamilton, Mich.), F60-64
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M60-64
Sibyl Jacobson (New York, N.Y.), F75-79
Robert Plant (Woodside, Calif.), M75-79
Don Nelson (Tulsa, Okla.), M80-84

In addition,19 of last year’s sprint-distance national champions will return to the start line, including Lippert. Both the women’s and men’s defending Masters champions, Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.) and Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), are back to defend their titles, as are both of last year’s Grand Masters champions, Dippold and Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

Returning Sprint-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.), F15-19
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Desiree Terella (Fairview, Pa.), F30-34
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), F40-44
Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.), F40-44
Jonathan Mason (Fort Collins, Colo.), M40-44
Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), F45-49
Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), M45-49
Robert Skaggs (Solana Beach, Calif.), M50-54
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Clint Dowd (Goffstown, N.H.), M55-59
Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), M60-64
Kathy Calabretta (Ludington, Mich.), F70-74
Terry Habecker (Ithaca, N.Y.), M70-74
Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), F75-79
Sharon Roggenbuck (Hillsborough, N.C.), F80-84
Madonna Buder (Spokane, Wash.), F85-89
Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), M85-89

The Cleveland community is encouraged to come out to Edgewater Park, support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.

LIVESTREAM AND EVENTS APP: Spectators and media can access a free livestream of both races at usatriathlon.org. Live coverage will also be available on Twitter @USATLive. Race leaderboards and individual athlete tracking can be found by using the USA Triathlon Events App, free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Media, family and friends can also track athletes using a web-browser-based version of the app, available here.

Several Coloradans named Athletes of the Year by USA Triathlon

It is no surprise that a handful of Coloradans have landed on this list. Many triathletes and duathletes call the Centennial State their home, and we just want to recognize their accomplishments.

  • Men’s Junior Triathlete Honorable Mention: Graham Tuohy (Lakewood, CO)
  • Men’s Masters Triathlete Honorable Mention: Bob McRae (Arvada, CO)
  • Women’s Masters Triathlete Honorable Mention: Kelly Phuah (Littleton, CO) and Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, CO)
  • Women’s Off-Road Age-Group Triathlete of the Year: Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, CO)
  • Women’s Off-Road Age Group Triathlete Honorable Mention: Sharon McDowell-Larsen (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Men’s Overall Age-Group Duathlete Honorable Mention: Keith Jackson (Loveland, CO)
  • Women’s Overall Age-Group Duathlete Honorable Mention and Women’s Junior Duathlete of the Year: Cassidy Hickey (Parker, CO)
  • Men’s Masters Duathlete Honrable Mention: Kevin Konczak (Boulder, CO)
  • Women’s Grand Masters Duathlete Honorable Mention: Valerie Eipper (Longmont, CO)
  • Women’s Great Grand Masters Duathlete Honorable Mention: Phyllis Yester (Golden, CO)
  • Men’s Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year: Eli Hemming (Kiowa, CO)
  • Men’s Elite Rookie of the Year: Morgan Pearson (Boulder, CO)
  • Men’s Elite Off-Road Triathlete of the Year: Josiah Middaugh (Vail, CO)

From USA Triathlon

About Athlete of the Year
Each year, elite and age-group multisport athletes are honored for their performances over the past season. USA Triathlon’s Age-Group Athletes of the Year for triathlon and duathlon are selected by the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee and USA Triathlon Duathlon Committee, respectively. USA Triathlon’s Elite Triathletes of the Year, Elite Paratriathletes of the Year and U-23 and Junior Elite Athletes of the Year are selected by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.

Check out the full list here

Hickey, Flynn capture USAT Youth Nationals

Photo by Archi Trujillo

From Slowtwitch
By Timothy Carlson

Cassidy Hickey of Parker, Colorado outsprinted Faith Dasso of New Braunfels, Texas and Hope Frost of Suffolk, Virginia to take the USA Triathlon Youth Nationals by 1 and 2 seconds respectively. In a very different scenario Andrew Flynn of Wilmette, Illinois ran away from Graham Tuohy of Lakewood, Colorado and Lawson McLeod of Tampa, Florida to win the Elite Boys Youth Nationals by 18 seconds in the super sprint format event in West Chester, Ohio Saturday.

Girls

On the 375 meter swim, 10 kilometer bike and 2.5 kilometer run course which operates under draft-legal rules, Hickey stacked the odds against her with a 5:49 swim split that left her in 23rd place and just under 30 seconds arrears in the second chase pack on the bike. Meanwhile Dasso, who started with a 5:39 bike split, surged to a solo lead which gave her a 10 seconds advantage at T2, followed by a 5-girl front chase pack. Hickey worked hard to join Hope Frost and rest of the lead chasers.

“On the bike, I wasn’t catching the pack as fast as I wanted to,” Hickey told USA Triathlon media. “With Faith pulling that front pack before she jumped, it was making it hard for me to catch, because she’s a really strong biker. Then when she jumped, it caused the pack to slow down quickly, which allowed me to catch.”

“I think it was definitely a mental game and would come down to who had it at the end,” Hickey told Slowtwitch. “Faith obviously went out on the run with a 10 seconds lead on me and I had a 4 second lead on Hope.”

Hickey said she was charging on Dasso, spurred on by Frost as they approached the final quarter mile. “I came up on Faith as we passed the team tents with 200 meters to go,” she said. “I still had a little bit of a lead on Hope – probably 4-5 seconds when she started surging. That is why I started moving on Faith for the finish. In the final 100 meters, Faith and I were right next to each other.“

At the finish, it was Hickey in 33:18, Dasso in 33:19 and Frost in 33:20. “It felt like I had a pretty good body length on Faith, said Hickey. “I didn’t have time to hold up the finish tape, so I ran right through it.”

Hickey is 15 years old and will begin her sophomore year at Highlands Ranch High School this month where she will be super busy. Hickey will compete in cross country, track and field, swimming and mountain bike racing. Hickey was running 5th in this race last year but was bumped to 8th due to a penalty. Hickey won her age group at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals at ages 8, 10, 11 and 12.

While they live far apart, the girls on the podium consider themselves good friends thanks to years competing against one another on the USAT age group circuit. “Hope and I gave been racing together since we were 9 years old,” said Hickey. “I was happy she was able to snag the last spot on the podium. Faith also is a real close friend. We had a plan going into nationals and it worked out for the both of us.”

Read the full article

USA Triathlon Collegiate Club and High School National Championships

By Rich Soares
303Triathlon.com

USAT COLLEGIATE CLUB AND HIGH SCHOOL NATIONALS
TUSCALOOSA, AL
APRIL 27-28, 2018

Go to any high school or collegiate contest and you notice the unmistakable energy of youthful athletes and fans. School chants, fight songs and air horns fill the air, while flags, mascots and costumes create a visually vivid landscape. This weekend’s USA Triathlon Collegiate Club and High School Nationals delivered an experience that was exponentially more electric than your typical collegiate competition. A rolling sea of team tents covered 1100 athletes from 109 colleges. Schools from coast to coast brought their school spirit, competitiveness and the best demonstrations of sportsmanship at what is arguably the highest level of competition for High School and Collegiate triathletes.

While they competed fiercely for individual and team standings, athletes gave each other high-fives and hugs at the start and finish lines. They encouraged each other on the course and celebrated in the post-race ice bath pools. For all the competitive grit, sprint finishes, and gut-wrenching efforts, the culture of triathlon was evidenced in encouragement on the course and concern at the medical tent.

Due to heavy rainfall in Tuscaloosa the past two weeks, the Holt Dam spillway gates were opened by local officials to avoid flooding. Heightened volume in the Black Warrior River necessitated that the gates remain open through race weekend, resulting in overly strong currents that were deemed unsafe for swimming. USAT officials announced a course change mid-week. All races will be shifted from a triathlon (swim-bike-run) to a duathlon (run-bike-run) to ensure athlete safety.

Colorado teams had a great showing. At the Olympic distance, CU’s Men’s and Women’s teams came in second to the Naval Academy and UC Berkeley respectively. CSU Women placed 5th and Men 9th. USAFA Women came in 11th and Men’s 12th. Colorado School of Mines Women came in 47th and Men 55th. Combined scores put CU in 2nd, CSU in 7th, USAFA 9th and CSM in 49th.

CU Buffs Roy Madrid and Timothy Winslow finished 2nd and 3rd behind the University of California’s Sean Harrington, who took the Men’s race with a 1:33:58. The Women’s champion was Stephanie Murphy of US Naval Academy and CSU’s Katrina Lems was Colorado’s first Woman in 8th place. In the High School contest, Austin Podhajsky and Jack Deweerdt from Parker, Colorado took 2nd and 3rd respectively behind the Male winner Drew Shellenberger. Cassidy Hickey of Parker, Colorado took 2nd behind the Female winner Gillian Cridge.