Team USA adds 18 more medals to its 2013 championship hardware haul
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--Seven members of Team USA netted world titles on Friday at the ITU Sprint Age Group World Championships in Hyde Park. Despite rainy conditions throughout the day, age-group triathletes from the United States collected 18 total medals in the event, the second of three for amateur triathletes over five days of competition.
Gold medalists on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run include:
* Malia Ellington (16-19, Cornelius, N.C.)
* Matthew Organista (20-24, Carpinteria, Calif.)
* Jack McAfee (25-29, Kennesaw, Ga.)
* Carol Hassell (60-64, West Palm Beach, Fla.)
* Lynda Lubelczyk (65-69, Manchester, N.H.)
* Michael Wood (70-74, Ventura, Calif.)
* Chuck Frueler (85-89, Fresno, Calif.)
Lubelczyk is a repeat winner after winning her age group last year in Auckland, and Patricia Ryan (Medford, Mass.) is a repeat medalist, having finished third in the 70-74 age group following a win last year in this event.
Silver medalists in London were Ellen Hart (55-59, Denver, Colo.), Donald Ardell (75-79, St. Petersburg, Fla.), and Wayne Fong (80-84, Chatsworth, Calif.), who all earned medals in the Aquathlon World Championships on Wednesday. Earning bronze for Team USA were Dillon Nobbs (16-19, La Verne, Calif.), Suzanne Hueslter (35-39, Riverton, N.J.), Michael Collins (45-49, Irvine, Calif.), Michele Tuttle (50-54, Columbia, Md.), Paul Brinkmann (50-54, Flagstaff, Ariz.), Philip Friedman (60-64, Erie, Pa.) and Sheila Isaacs (75-79, Shoreham, N.Y.).
"It was really cool to experience what a real Olympic triathlon would be like," said Dillon Nobbs (La Verne, Calif.), who won his bronze medal in his first Team USA experience and enjoyed the London 2012 Olympic venue. "It feels amazing. It's a great accomplishment and I never believed I could do this."
Following a seeming tradition of past world championship events, the day was plagued with rain, making the course tough to navigate at times. "The rain made the bike course really challenging," said Julia Juliusson (45-49, Laguna Beach, Calif. "You needed to know how to handle your bike. The swim was great, and the run was super, but the bike was technical so it was tough."
Still, the weather was not enough to keep the athletes' spirits down. Athletes who qualified for this event last year at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Burlington, Vt., have been preparing for the race for a full year, and some of them have had other successes along the way. Ellington, the winner of the 16-19 age group, recently posted a top performance at the 2013 USA Triathlon Sprint National Championship and was still hungry for more.
"I've just been looking forward to this trip so much. This is just that final moment when all the hard work comes through," Ellington said. "It's a lot of hard work and a lot of support. My coaches and my family are awesome, and I would not be anywhere near here without it."
And as always, being a part of Team USA is a terrific feeling for many of the nearly 350 Americans who raced on Friday.
"There's nothing like putting on my uniform in the morning that says USA," said Hart, who is on Team USA for the fifth year and recently won her age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. "The pride of running through a city in another country and getting to represent the United States of America doing something that I love - there's nothing like that thrill."
Team USA has now won 30 medals total between the aquathlon and sprint triathlon championships. Age-group competition concludes Sunday with Olympic-Distance Worlds. The ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final will also be contested Saturday and Sunday, which will determine the ITU World Triathlon Series champion for the season. Coverage of these events, as well as Junior, Under-23, aquathlon and paratriathlon are available at usatriathlon.org.
Malia Ellington was one of seven American world champions in the sprint event on Friday.
2013 ITU Sprint World Championships - Click here for complete results
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
United States Age-Group Medalists
1. Malia Ellington (Cornelius, N.C.), 1:11:42
3. Dillon Nobbs (La Verne, Calif.), 1:04:25
1. Matthew Organista (Carpinteria, Calif.), 1:05:34
Male 25-29 1. Jack McAfee (1:04:12, Kennesaw, Ga.), 1:04:12
3. Suzanne Hueslter (Riverton, N.J.), 1:14:52
3. Michael Collins (Irvine, Calif.), 1:08:53
3. Michele Tuttle (Columbia, Md.), 1:18:46
3. Paul Brinkmann (Flagstaff, Ariz.), 1:09:55
2. Ellen Hart (Denver, Colo.), 1:19:39
1. Carol Hassell (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 1:22:20
3. Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.), 1:15:59
1. Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), 1:31:50
3. Patricia Ryan (Medford, Mass.), 1:47:40
1. Michael Wood (Ventura, Calif.), 1:29:00
3. Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), 2:09:21
2. Donald Ardell (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1:31:40
2. Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), 2:16:29
1. Chuck Freuler (Fresno, Calif.), 2:40:57
||About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement - as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 510,000 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 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).