Amateurs, Elites Shine at USAT Nationals in Oregon
SOURCE: INSIDE TRIATHLON By Liz Hichens
Sept. 21, 2008 — There are few sports where the recognition of amateur accomplishments can rival that of the professionals. Nearly every event in the sport of triathlon allows everyday athletes to compete amongst the most gifted and talented professionals. The Age Group National Championships in Portland, Ore. showcased the best amateur athletes in the country, bringing age groupers into the same spotlight as the top elites. With the age group competition taking place in the morning and the Elite Nationals slated for the afternoon, the 2008 “Northwest Trifest” challenged the best of the U.S. to conquer the 1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run on a difficult course made up of the rolling hills near Henry Hagg Lake. Both age groupers and pros alike enjoyed nearly perfect conditions on race day with temperatures lingering in the mid-60s and little to no wind on the entire course.
with hopes of being crowned one of the United States’ top triathletes. The overall male winner was Jason Schott of Dahlonega, Ga. with a time of 1:54:08. Brooke Davison of Boulder, Colo. earned the top spot for the women, finishing with a time of 2:05:52. The Grandmaster Title (ages 60+) went to Steven Smith of Granger, Ind. With a time of 2:15:17, Smith defended his 2007 title by a margin of nearly 10 minutes.
Many of the competitors from the Age Group Nationals remained on the race grounds to witness America’s top Olympic-distance professionals vie for the Elite National Championship. The opportunity to observe both the amateur and elite championships is rare, as the last time the two took place at the same venue was in 1992 in Cleveland, Ohio. Although the event was touted to see all three Olympic males compete on the same stage again, Hunter Kemper withdrew prior to the race and Jarrod Schumaker dropped out after the swim, leaving Matt Reed as the only male Olympian to complete the race. Another top Olympic-distance competitor, Andy Potts, was also absent from the race as he focused his efforts on longer distances events.
After finishing a disappointing 32nd in the Olympics, Reed bounced back to win the race with a time of 1:54:30. Reed’s win came in large part from his strong performance on the second leg with a bike time of 59:49. Joe Umphenour posted a solid run time, and was the second to cross the finish line with a time of 1:55:38. Ethan Brown earned the third fastest time, finishing at 1:55:44.
In the women’s race, Julie Ertel, Sarah Haskins, and Laura Bennett all competed in the National Championships after representing the United States in Beijing. Ertel used a fast break at the end of the race to defend her title with a time of 2:05:46. Haskins crossed the line less than 11 seconds later for second position and a time of 2:05:57. Sarah Groff remained in the lead pack through the majority of the race and finished third at 2:06:27. Bennett was the final Olympian to finish the race in fourth position at 207:51.
USA Triathlon Age Group/Elite Nationals
Hagg Lake, Oregon
September 20, 2008
1.5k-swim, 40k-bike, 10k-run
1. Matt Reed (Boulder, Colo.) 1:54:30
2. Joe Umphenour (Seattle, Wash.) 1:55:38
3. Ethan Brown (Lowell, Mass.) 1:55:44
4. Matt Chrabot (Virginia Beach, Va.) 1:56:33
5. Brian Fleischmann (Colorado Springs, Colo.)1:57:02
1. Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.) 2:05:46
2. Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 2:05:57
3. Sarah Groff (Boulder, Colo.) 2:06:26
4. Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) 2:07:51
5. Becky Lavelle (Los Gatos, Calif.) 2:08:19
Age Group Men
1. Jason Schott (Dahlonega, Ga.) 1:54:08
2. Adam Webber (Denver, Pa.) 1:54:58
3. Nathan White (Des Moines, Iowa) 1:56:03
4. Eric Bell (Knoxville, Tenn.) 1:56:06
5. Doug Clark (Morristown, N.J.) 1:56:16
Age Group Women
1. Brooke Davison (Boulder, Colo.) 2:05:52
2. Cathy Yndestad (St. Paul, Minn.) 2:09:37
3. Stacey Richardson (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 2:09:51
4. Shannon Donley (Anchorage, Alaska) 2:10:52
5. Lori Deschamps (Anchorage, Alaska) 2:12:06