Two-day national championships conclude at the lake front in Milwaukee, Wis.
Malia Ellington and Matt Migonis sped toward overall Sprint National Championship titles Sunday on the second day of competition at the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, held near Discovery World and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
More than 1,100 competitors raced on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course to conclude the two-day event, which was hosted in Milwaukee for the first time and will return to the city in 2014. In all, more than 4,000 athletes competed in the Olympic- and sprint-distance events on the weekend to create the largest-ever USA Triathlon National Championships event in the organization’s history.
Ellington (Davidson, N.C.) pieced together a fantastic performance and recorded a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes, 7 seconds to best the women’s field and the 15-19 age group. The young champion also competed in USA Triathlon’s Junior Elite Nationals last weekend, where she finished fifth.
“It’s a lot of fun because you see a lot of the same girls. We saw each other in Ohio last weekend and then we are all here again,” said Ellington, who will be heading to London for the ITU Triathlon World Championships next month. “I love all the USAT stuff, especially running down to the finish line with all the flags and everything.”
A fellow rising triathlon star Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) finished second overall with a time of 1:06:30, while 30-34 winner Sunny Gilbert (St. Louis, Mo.) logged a time of 1:07:09 to round out the overall podium.
With the fastest time of the day of 59:19 on the sprint-distance course, Migonis (Hamilton, N.Y.) picked up titles in the overall men’s and 30-34 age group categories. Migonis made the long drive to Milwaukee from New York and finished 58th overall in Saturday’s Olympic-Distance National Championships.
“To be honest, it was hillier than I thought it would be and that was a benefit to me on the bike. I actually felt really good on the bike. From the first mile I felt great and I knew it was going to be a good day,” Migonis said. “The finish is amazing, to come down on the red carpet like that is just a sweet feeling.”
Seth Rider, another young up-and-comer on the triathlon scene, posted the only other sub-1 hour finish, coming in second overall and first in the 15-19 age group with a time of 59:58. Jack McAfee finished in 1:00:26 for third overall and the title in the 25-29 age group.
Sprint Nationals Masters titles went to Chris Wickard (Crown Point, Ind.) in 1:08:54 and Dave Slavinski (Point Pleasant, N.J.) in 1:01:24. Barbara Sullivan (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.) earned Grand Masters titles in 1:18:24 and 1:08:43, respectively.
“It’s always a great feeling,” said Slavinski, who defended his age group and Masters titles from 2012 in a sprint to the finish. “You have those moments of self doubt in a race […] and it is very fulfilling being the first guy across the finish line no matter how you end up overall. Winning your age group is something that is always so special.”
The event attracted athletes of all ages from around the country, with competitors ranging in age from 15 to 89, including an estimated 100 athletes who raced both Saturday and Sunday.
“I just turned 60 and thought I would take advantage of being young,” said Karen McKeachie, who completed the Age Group Nationals double for the first time and won the 60-64 age group in the Olympic- and sprint-distance events over the weekend. McKeachie has competed in roughly 30 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships but still appreciates the challenge, saying, “I always find something that I can do better with each one.”
With top finishes Sunday, athletes earned coveted spots to represent the U.S. at the 2014 ITU World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, set for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 2014. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each Sprint Nationals age group in Milwaukee qualified for a Team USA slot. Team USA is comprised of amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championship event.
2013 USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships, Milwaukee, Wis.
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Sprint National Champions – Complete Results
Overall Female: Malia Ellington (Davidson, N.C.), 1:06:07
Overall Male: Matt Migonis (Hamilton, N.Y.), 59:19
Masters Female: Chris Wickard (Crown Point, Ind.), 1:08:54
Masters Male: Dave Slavinski (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 1:01:24
Grand Masters Female: Barbara Sullivan (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:14:09
Grand Masters Male: Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.), 1:08:43
Athena 39 & Under: Nicole Wubker (Weston, Wis.), 1:44:02
Athena 40+: Toni Alford (Evanston, Ill.), 1:25:46
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Glen Brittich (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.), 1:15:04
Clydesdale 40+: John Hartpence (Defiance, Ohio), 1:07:26
F15-19: Malia Ellington (Davidson, N.C.), 1:06:07
M15-19: Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.), 59:58
F20-24: Erin Dolan (Lincoln, Neb.), 1:07:38
M20-24: James Thorp (Brookings, S.D.), 1:01:23
F25-29: Desiree Thomas (Broadview Heights, Ohio), 1:09:00
M25-29: Jack McAfee (Kennesaw, Ga.), 1:00:26
F30-34: Sunny Gilbert (St. Louis, Mo.), 1:07:09
M30-34: Matt Migonis (Hamilton, N.Y.), 59:19
F35-39: Cindi Bannink (Madison, Wis.), 1:08:53
M35-39: Jeff Fejfar (Olive Branch, Miss.), 1:01:57
F40-44: Chris Wickard (Crown Point, Ind.), 1:08:54
M40-44: Dave Slavinski (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 1:01:24
F45-49: Kerry Simmons (Point Lookout, N.Y.), 1:10:15
M45-49: Brian Francis (Brighton, Mich.), 1:02:50
F50-54: Leslie Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 1:11:56
M50-54: Kyle Welch (Sunnyvale, Calif.), 1:04:09
F55-59: Barbara Sullivan (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:14:09
M55-59: James Aust (Sunbury, Ohio), 1:08:05
F60-64: Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 1:18:24
M60-64: Philip Friedman (Erie, Pa.), 1:08:43
F65-69: Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), 1:24:14
M65-69: Barry Rowe (Louisville, Ky.), 1:14:43
F70-74: Beatrice Burns (Hamden, Conn.), 1:35:58
M70-74: Sam Nall (Homosassa, Fla.), 1:23:42
F75-79: Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), 1:52:02
M75-79: Donald Ardell (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1:24:03
F80-84: Dorothy Sinson (Elmhurst, Ill.), 2:24:59
M80-84: David Arst (Wichita, Kan.), 1:57:56