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Triathlon

Age Group National Champions Crowned in Oregon

    More than 1,000 triathletes competed in the pinnacle event of the season — the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship on Saturday at Hagg Lake.

    The age groupers shared the spotlight with the elites, who competed in the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship later Saturday.

    The first of 17 waves jumped into Hagg Lake at 7:15 a.m. and the action didn’t stop all day. The weather was ideal for endurance sports with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low 60s with cloudy skies and little to no wind. Jason Schott, 37, of Dahlonega, Ga., was the overall male winner with a time of 1:54:08.
     
    Brooke Davison, 37, of Boulder, Colo., finished in 2:05:52 to win the women’s overall championship.
    The athletes soaked up the atmosphere in the post-race zone and later in the expo tent for vendor presentations and contests, the awards ceremony and the post-race dinner.

    The event, USA Triathlon’s version of the “Super Bowl,” attracted athletes from 45 states ranging in age from 18 to 78. Many of these athletes have trained all season in preparation for the event, some hoping to earn a spot on Team USA by finishing in the top 16 in their age group.

    With the top talent present at Hagg Lake, prestigious age group and overall honors were on the athletes’ minds.

    “This is the best of the best – that’s why it’s nationals, said Adam Webber, who finished second overall. “I put a lot of focus into preparing for this race, and the goal was to be the national champion overall.”

    Steven Smith of Granger, Ind., defended his grandmasters title with a win in the 60-64 age group. Though he had a substantial gap on second place, Smith said there was nothing easy about the race.

    “This is the most challenging Olympic distance course I’ve ever done. There’s nothing flat on it – it’s just one hill right after another.”

    Despite winning another national title, Smith isn’t ready to rest – yet. He’ll compete at Kona and in Clearwater and says that the challenge is what keeps him going.

    “Seeing if you can beat the calendar is part of the challenge. Every October the calendar clicks over another year and I’m just trying to get my times back to what they were the year before.”

    Former elite marathoners Lauren Binder (F60-64) and Ellen Hart (F50-54) knew from experience what type of effort it would take to be successful. The two know a lot about being successful on the national stage. After all, they finished second and third to Joan Benoit-Samuelson when she set an American record in the marathon.

    Now, they’ve embraced a new sport.

    “To give us the opportunity to race competitively at this level at this time in our lives is the greatest gift,” Hart said. “Even though we’re so into the competitive part, there were times out there that I was just plain old having fun.”

    Hart also talked about the draw of triathlon.

    “I’m new to the sport and I just feel so lucky to have this second chance at trying to push my limits as an athlete and pushing my comfort zone – I don’t like being wet and I don’t like being cold,” Hart said. “Some aspects of the sport are not that comfortable, but it makes me try to be more brave.”

    Full results: http://www.pigmantri.com/jmsracing/results08/usatage08.html

    Men’s overall
    1. Jason Schott 1:54:08
    2. Adam Webber 1:54:58
    3. Nathan White 1:56:03

    Women’s overall
    1. Brooke Davison 2:05:52
    2. Cathy Yndestad 2:09:37
    3. Stacey Richardson 2:09:51

    Age Group Winners
    F19 Under: Kelsey Markham (Collierville, Tenn.)
    M19 Under: Eric Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.)
    F20-24: Chris Tommerdahl (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
    M20-24: Brian Duffy, Jr. (West Chester, Pa.)
    F25-29: Lindsey Whalen (Chicago, Ill.)
    M25-29: Adam Webber (Denver, Pa.)
    F30-34: Cathy Yndestad (St. Paul, Minn.)
    M30-34: Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.)
    F35-39: Brooke Davison (Boulder, Colo.)
    M35-39: Jason Schott (Dahlonega, Ga.)
    F40-44: Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo.)
    M40-44: Doug Clark (Morristown, N.J.)
    F45-49: Judyann Cummings (Denver, Colo.)
    M45-49: Pete Kain (Cupertino, Calif.)
    F50-54: Kelly Molaski (Bellingham, Wash.)
    M50-54: Steve Pyle (Boulder, Colo.)
    F55-59: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
    M55-59: Dean Harper (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
    F60-64: Lauren Binder (Portland, Ore.)
    M60-64: Steven Smith (Granger, Ind.)
    F65-69: Elizabeth Brackett (Chicago, Ill.)
    M65-69: Robert Plant (Woodside, Calif.)
    F70-74: Jan Miller (Green Valley, Ariz.)
    M70-74: Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.)
    F75-79: Madonna Buder (Spokane, Wash.)

    Masters
    Female: Steph Popelar
    Male: Doug Clark

    Grandmasters
    Female: Lauren Binder
    Male: Steven Smith

    CEO Challenge

    Aaron Wallen (Honolulu, Hawaii)


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