25 medals were won by Americans in sprint- and Olympic-distance events
Team USA ended its trip to Auckland on Monday with nine world titles at the 2012 ITU Age Group and Sprint World Championships, collecting a total of 25 medals on the final day of competition.
The day began with a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run sprint event, and four Americans picked up gold:
- Lynda Lubelczyk (60-64, Manchester, N.H.)
- Jonathan Reik (60-64, West Hartford, Conn.)
- Patricia Ryan (70-74, Medford, Mass.)
- Wayne Fong (80-84, Chatsworth, Calif.)
The Olympic-distance event was the final race for age-groupers, who covered a course consisting of a 1,500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run. Winning titles for the U.S. were:
- Kelly Dippold (50-54, Overland Park, Kan.)
- Bridget Dawson (55-59, Portland, Ore.)
- Lauren Binder (65-69, Portland, Ore.)
- Elizabeth Brackett (70-74, Chicago, Ill.)
- Dave Robinette (70-74, Centennial Colo.)
Brackett won her fourth straight world title, and Robinette defended his 2011 title, a feat he also accomplished in the aquathlon event earlier in the week.
“To repeat is tough,” Robinette said. “This was a much tougher field than Beijing, because we’ve got some Kiwis and some Aussies here who weren’t in Beijing.”
The U.S. swept the podium in the men’s 70-74 age group, and Robinette says his teammates and competitors are also his friends. “We compete hard, but in the same vein, we help each other to improve because if they improve, it kind of puts it on us to improve.”
In all, American age-groupers picked up 33 medals between the aquathlon, sprint and Olympic-distance events in Auckland.
Members of Team USA relish the opportunity to represent their country at this level of competition, especially when poses a challenge.
“I think I had my best race of the year. It was an incredible competitive field and I’m very happy with third place,” said Carlos Dolabella (50-54, Key Biscayne, Fla.), who picked up a bronze medal in the sprint event. “I kept focused the whole way, and if it was not for the tough competition, I wouldn’t have had the race I had today.”
First-time members of Team USA like Savannah Dearden (18-19, St. Petersburg, Fla.) soaked in the world championship experience, especially the camaraderie of the team. “It’s definitely been fun,” she said. “Everyone is so sweet and nice and helpful. They’re such great athletes.” Deardon will go home with a silver medal from the Olympic-distance race and says she’d like to return to try to win her age group in the future.
The world championship experience is about more than just medals. In some cases, it marks a return to the sport after a setback, like it has for Karen Newman, a longtime member of Team USA. Newman (Old Greenwich, Conn.) was second in the 50-54 age group in the sprint event and has overcome incredible odds after a battle with breast cancer.
“To be here is really a miracle,” she said, as competitors from around the world congratulated her after the race. “This is for every single person who is battling a disease. Never give up your dreams; the impossible is possible.”
Team USA is comprised of the nation’s top amateur triathletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU world championship event. Visit usatriathlon.org for more information on Team USA.
The age-group events were just part of the competition on Monday, as the paratriathletes raced to world championship titles later in the day. For coverage of all the world championship events in Auckland, including the ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final, visit usatriathlon.org.
2012 ITU Age Group Sprint World Championships
United States Medalists
3. Nataliia Kravchuk (Honolulu, Hawaii), 1:12:14
2. Karen Newman (Old Greenwich, Conn.), 1:20:59
3. Carlos Dolabella (Key Biscayne, Fla.), 1:08:48
1. Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), 1:29:47
1. Jonathan Reik (West Hartford, Conn.), 1:16:15
1. Patricia Ryan (Medford, Mass.), 1:51:41
2. Celeste Callahan (Denver, Colo.), 1:55:59
3. Sarah Fairbairn Powers (Roseland, N.J.), 2:15:46
2. Marshall Wakat (Charleston, S.C.), 1:32:48
1. Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), 2:44:13
2012 ITU Age Group World Championships
1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
United States Medalists
2. Savannah Dearden (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 2:28:42
3. Cindi Bannink (Madison, Wis.), 2:24:29
3. Robyn Nearn (Clovis, Calif.), 2:24:53
1. Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.), 2:28:31
1. Bridget Dawson (Portland, Ore.), 2:38:49
2. Nathan Nevid (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), 2:24:43
1. Elizabeth Brackett (Chicago, Ill.), 3:26:25
2. Sibyl Jacobson (Canaan, N.Y.), 3:40:21
3. Peggy McDowell-Cramer (Santa Monica, Calif.), 3:45:21
1. Dave Robinette (Centennial, Colo.), 2:54:42
2. Roger Little (Bedford, Mass.), 2:56:29
3. William Marshall (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 3:00:07
2. Karlton Naylor (Fayetteville, Ark.), 3:41:08