USA Triathlon National Team members Sarah Haskins and Jarrod Shoemaker won their second career USA Triathlon Elite National Championship titles Saturday at the Nickel City Triathlon at Gallagher Beach.
Read the race recap from USAT below:
On the men’s side, Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished in 1:52:52 – eight seconds behind Shoemaker - to place second and claim back-to-back under-23 U.S. national titles. Mexico’s David Mendoza was third overall in 1:54:19, while Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.) overcame a crash on the bike to take the final spot on the U.S. national championship podium and finish fifth overall in 1:54:19.
The women’s race played out as expected with Haskins and Duffy getting away early on the swim and carrying a 20-second lead on Jennifer Spieldenner (Findlay, Ohio) into T1. Haskins and Duffy continued to build their lead on the bike, pushing it to 2:40 on a seven-woman chase pack through five of the eight laps.
On the sixth lap, Haskins made her move and grabbed an 11-second lead on Duffy with two laps to go. She continued to push the pace over the final two laps of the bike. “I was debating whether to go on the sixth or seventh or the fifth lap,” Haskins said. “I just kind of made the decision into the headwind just to go. When you do that in a race, you’ve got to go as hard as you can for about two minutes - just commit - and that’s what I did.”
Haskins entered T2 with 45 seconds on Duffy and nearly four minutes on the rest of the field. Duffy made a small dent in the lead on lap one of the run, trimming the margin to 39 seconds, but Haskins was not threatened the rest of the way. She closed with a 36:54 10k split for the fastest run of the day and lifted the tape 1:16 clear of the field.
“It’s special, for sure. Having not made London, it’s nice to be able to walk away with a win,” said Haskins, who was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and just missed qualifying for the 2012 Games.
In the subsequent men’s race, a lead group of nine formed on the first lap of the bike after gaining a bit of separation over the course of the 1,500m swim. First-year elite Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) led the race out of the water and into T1.
Once on the bike, the nine-man lead group, featuring Americans Shoemaker, Billington, Maloy, Kanute and Brian Lamar (Whittier, Calif.), built and maintained 90-second lead on a 12-man chase pack entering T2. On the run, the eventual podium finishers gained separation on the first 2.5k lap, and Shoemaker and Billington opened up an 11-second margin on Mendoza at the 5k mark.
“I was excited we had a pack off the bike, and we worked really hard together to keep that gap and grow it a little bit on the second pack,” Shoemaker said. “Getting out on the run, I just wanted to feel my way and take it a little bit toward the end.”
Shoemaker did just that, gaining a 13-second lead on Billington on the third lap and finishing with an eight-second advantage to lock up his first elite national title since winning in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2010.
“After I didn’t make the Olympic Team I definitely put a big star next to this one and wanted to come out and win it,” said Shoemaker, who represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “It was great to have almost a perfect race.”
A $60,000 total prize purse, which included $20,000 for the top five Americans, was up for grabs Saturday. With their wins, Haskins and Shoemaker earned $8,000 apiece.
Buffalo ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
1. Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:03:05
2. Flora Duffy (BER), 2:04:21
3. Joanna Brown (CAN), 2:07:29
4. Kaitlin Shiver (Gainesville, Fla.), 2:07:57
5. Anna Battiata (Mechanicsville, Va.), 2:08:36
6. Jennifer Spieldenner (Findlay, Ohio), 2:09:24
7. Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio), 2:09:40
8. Marissa Ferrante (Palo Alto, Calif.), 2:09:58
9. Abby Geurink (Hudsonville, Mich.), 2:10:12
10. Laurel Wassner (New York, N.Y.), 2:10:58
1. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), 1:52:44
2. Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:52:52
3. David Mendoza (MEX), 1:53:06
4. Octavio Oliveros (MEX), 1:54:17
5. Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), 1:54:19
6. Ivan Kalashnikov (RUS), 1:54:22
7. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), 1:54:26
8. Kevin Collington (Orlando, Fla.), 1:55:22
9. Jason Wilson (BAR), 1:55:35
10. Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.), 1:55:52