The University of Arizona’s Ben Kanute proved his versatility on Saturday morning, taking the men’s USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship title less than 24 hours after beating out a tough field in the draft-legal sprint race.
UC San Diego’s William Jones led the men out of the water with, Kanute, the University of Colorado’s Davide Giardini, Stanford’s Andrew Roos and the University of Colorado’s Chris Braden on his heels. Kanute, who has said he has raced on this course several times in the past, worked his way to the front and stayed there throughout the 40K bike ride.
Jones rode behind Kanute (at a legal distance) throughout the entire ride, and the two came into T2 together. Teammates Braden and Giardini were next into transition and quickly went to work trying to catch the fast-running Kanute. Further back, the University of South Florida’s Michael Poole exited the bike and started running his way through the field. He caught nearly everyone ahead of him, but couldn’t pass the fleet-footed Kanute. Kanute crossed the finish line to earn the victory in an unofficial time of 1:46:36. Poole earned second at 1:47:08. The battled for second and on was tight, with four athletes crossing within 22 seconds of each other. It was the University of Iowa’s Alex Libin who ultimately earned the final podium spot.
Quotes from unofficial winner Ben Kanute:
“Everything felt really solid. Me and Bill Jones [UCSD] pushed the swim a little bit, and I was able to get out front and put some time on the pure runners out there. It was good to have the turnarounds [on the bike] so often to check up on where everybody was. Then it was just a matter of falling into my pace into the run and going hard to the finish.”
“I knew Bill Jones was injured so I wasn’t sure how he was going to run. I needed to get out to an early lead and hold it as long as possible. Once I got to the far turnaround and crossed the bridge it was just home-free from there.”
“The teams, everybody who’s dressing up and cheering out on the course. There’s so much energy here it’s hard to always find a race out there that has this much energy, so this is just awesome.”
On the quick turnaround from yesterday’s draft-legal win:
“There were a lot of people who skipped out on that race because they were worried about it, so that actually made this race more sweet too, knowing I beat everybody who was waiting for today.”
USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships
Tempe, Ariz. – April 13, 2013
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Ban Kanute (Arizona) 1:46:36
2. Michael Poole (USF) 1:47:08
3. Alex Libin (Iowa) 1:47:15
RELATED: CU’s Michelle Mehnert Unofficial Women’s Winner In Tempe