With national titles on the line, a field featuring more than 40 top American triathletes – including three Olympians – will be in action at the 2012 USA Triathlon Elite National Championship, held alongside the Nickel City Triathlon on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Read the race preview from USA Triathlon below:
The Olympic-distance races, which will feature a total of nearly 100 international athletes, also serve as the Buffalo ITU Pan American Cup. The elite action at NFTA Boat Harbor Park begins at noon Eastern with the women’s race, followed by the men at 2:30 p.m.
The spectator-friendly elite races will open with a two-lap, 1,500-meter swim, followed by a 40-kilometer bike comprised of eight 5-kilometer laps and a 10-kilometer run featuring four 2.5-kilometer loops.
In search of her first USA Triathlon Elite National Championship title since 2006, Beijing Olympian Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) headlines the women’s field. A winner of five domestic non-drafting events this year, she returns to draft-legal racing for the first time since placing eighth at May’s ITU World Triathlon San Diego.
USA Triathlon Project 2016 program members Lindsey Jerdonek (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and defending under-23 national champion Kaitlin Shiver (Gainesville, Fla.) are also on the start list.
Other women to watch include Anna Battiata (Mechanicsville, Va.), who owns three top-10 Pan American Cup finishes on the year; two-time USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship winner and two-time Under-23 National Championship runner-up Jessica Broderick (Boulder, Colo.); 2012 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship winner Marissa Ferrante (Aptos, Calif.); and 2011 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship winner Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Among the international women slated to compete in Buffalo are Olympians Flora Duffy of Bermuda and Paula Findlay of Canada. Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.
London Olympian Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.) and Beijing Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) – both USA Triathlon National Team members - lead the men’s start list. Huerta’s season has been highlighted by a ninth-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego to earn a spot on the Olympic Games roster, as well as top-five ITU finishes in Dallas and Edmonton. Shoemaker, the winner at 2010 Elite Nationals, owns a pair of ITU podium finishes on the season, was 10th at the Dextro Energy World Triathlon Sydney and stands 25th in the ITU World Triathlon Series rankings.
Also slated to compete in Buffalo are USA Triathlon Project 2016 program members Greg Billington (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Joe Maloy (Wildwood Crest, N.J.), Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.). VanOrt was second at Elite Nationals a year ago, while Billington is the defending under-23 national champion.
Among USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program standouts slated to compete on the men’s side are Dan Feeney (Wilmington, Del.), Eric Lagerstrom (Gresham, Ore.) and Jason Pedersen (Simi Valley, Calif.).
Additional rising men’s stars to watch at Elite Nationals include Ryan Bice (Colorado Springs, Colo.), William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) and Kevin McDowell (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.