With the largest field in event history, nearly 80 paratriathletes are slated to compete Monday at the 2013 USA Paratriathlon National Championships, held in conjunction with the Life Time Fitness Tri CapTex.
Athletes in seven paratriathlon categories will complete a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run, vying for national titles and Team USA spots for the 2013 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. To compete in Paratriathlon Nationals, athletes must have successfully completed any sprint-distance triathlon and finished within 40 percent of the winning time at the 2012 USA Paratriathlon National Championship in their category. Gold medalists in Austin will also have an opportunity to compete as part of the USA Paratriathlon National Team for 2013.
In addition to the national championship event, a number of athletes will participate in the Physically Challenged Open Wave, which has no qualification criteria and does not qualify athletes for national titles or world championship slots.
In order to qualify to represent Team USA at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in London, England, on Sept. 13, athletes must finish in the top three of their respective divisions. Athletes also may have qualified based on their finish position at the 2013 CAF World Paratriathlon San Diego, held in April. When team size is set for the world championship event, more athletes may be added to the team by discretionary selections. Visit usatriathlon.org for more information on the qualification process.
Eleven defending national champions will compete Monday:
• Erica Davis (Female TRI-1, Carlsbad, Calif.)
• Geoffrey Kennedy (Male TRI-1, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)
• Melissa Stockwell (Female TRI-2, Chicago, Ill.)
• Mark Barr (Male TRI-2, Houston, Texas)
• Beth Price (Female TRI-3, Spanish Fort, Ala.)
• Sean Vangerena (Male TRI-3, Orlando, Fla.)
• Robin Caruso (Female TRI-4, Ridgefield, Conn.)
• Patricia Collins (Female TRI-5, Alexandria, Texas)
• James Brown (Male TRI-5, Carlsbad, Calif.)
• Patricia Walsh (Female TRI-6, Austin, Texas)
• Jeremy Winters (Male TRI-6, Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Collins and Stockwell also won world titles in 2012 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
The sport of paratriathlon continues to grow following the decision to add the sport to the Paralympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee announced in December 2010 that paratriathlon will make its debut at the Paralympic Summer Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.