By Paula Kim on 02/03/11 at 4:38 am
U.S. Olympians Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Jarrod Shoemaker (Maynard, Mass.) highlight the start list for the opening event of the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series, which is set for March 5 in Clermont, Florida. The race also serves as the first-ever USA Triathlon Elite Sprint National Championship.
More than 50 Americans are scheduled to compete in the sprint-distance event, which consists of a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. Also an International Triathlon Union Pan American Cup, the race will be held in conjunction with the Draft Legal Challenge at Clermont.
The elite women’s race will begin at 11:45 a.m., followed by the elite men at 1:30 p.m. at Lake Louisa State Park.
In addition to the duo of Olympians, the majority of America’s top draft-legal athletes will be in action. Nine of the 13 U.S. men that earned a spot in 2010’s final ITU World Championship Series rankings are slated to race, including top-ranked Americans Shoemaker, Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.), Chris Foster (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Kevin Collington (Orlando, Fla.). The strong international contenders include Leonardo Chacon of Costa Rica, Canadians Andre Paul Baillargeon Smith and Jordan Bryden, Rodrigo Gonzalez of Mexico and Great Britain’s Marc Jenkins. Click here for full men’s start list
Six ITU WCS-ranked U.S. women, including Haskins, Jillian Petersen (St. Louis, Mo.) and Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.), who captured the 2010 Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series title, are on the start list. The international field is highlighted by 2008 World Champion Helen Jenkins, fellow Brit Kerry Lang, Bermudan Olympian Flora Duffy, and Zsofia Toth, an alumnus of the Team ITU Elite Athlete Development programme. Click here for full women’s start list
A host of up-and-coming athletes also will compete, including 2010 USA Triathlon Rookies of the Year Sean Jefferson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.), as well as Women’s Under23 Athlete of the Year Lauren Goss (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and USA Triathlon Age Group Triathlete of the Year Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), who will transition to elite racing in 2011.
Youth Olympic Games medallists Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.) and Kelly Whitley (Geneva, Ill.), as well as junior standout William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), are slated to race in the Elite Race Series event. Many other top U.S. juniors will be in action in Clermont at the 2011 ITU Junior North American Championship. More than 40 U.S. juniors, including two-time defending USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Champion Tanelle Berard (Clive, Iowa), are expected to compete. Click here for the junior men’s start list and here for the junior women’s start list.
A draft-legal age group race and a non-drafting age group event also will be contested.
The USA Triathlon Elite Race Series is a domestic, six-event series that delivers an opportunity for the nation’s top Olympic-distance triathletes to compete for more than $300,000 in prize money and a series title - all while honing the draft-legal racing skills necessary to challenge for the podium at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The six events that comprise the series will be held in Clermont, Fla. (March 5), Miami, Fla. (May 22), Monroe, Wash. (June 25), San Francisco, Calif. (July 9), Buffalo, N.Y. (Sept. 24) and Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Oct. 8). Visit usatriathlon.org for more on the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series.
About USA Triathlon:
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon - one of the fastest growing sports in the world - as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions 3,500 races and connects with more than 135,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including ITU World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic Committee.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup