Led by Kevin McDowell’s gold medal performance, eight U.S. men and women posted top-11 finishes to sweep the team titles on Sunday at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) 12th World University Triathlon Championships.
McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) pieced together a solid swim and bike before logging the fastest run of the day to finish in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 38 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course. Chris Braden (Boulder, Colo.) had the fastest bike split and held on to a podium finish through the run, taking third in 2:04:33 behind Tomas Renc of the Czech Republic. Brandon Nied (Phoenix, Ariz.) was ninth in 2:12:29, and Ryan Bice (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished in 2:15:43 for 11th place.
On the women’s side, Kaitlin Donner (Satellite Beach, Fla.) finished in 2:18:02 to earn the bronze medal behind Hungary’s Zsofia Kovacs, who won in 2:16:04, and Heather Sellars of Great Britain, who was second in 2:16:31. Donner’s podium finish was an improvement on her fourth-place finish from the World University Triathlon Championships in 2012. Summer Cook (Phoenix, Ariz.) was fifth in 2:18:44, logging the fastest swim and run splits in the field. Michelle Mehnert (Boulder, Colo.) finished ninth in 2:21:37, just ahead of Erin Dolan (Bentonville, Ark.), who was 10th in 2:21:50.
The top three finishers in each race were counted toward the team score with aim being to record the lowest point total possible. With McDowell’s win and Braden’s podium finish, the U.S. men scored 13 points to finish ahead of the Czech Republic (22 points) and Japan (43 points). The U.S. men previously finished on the podium in the team competition in 2008 in Erdek, Turkey, when they finished second behind Switzerland.
This is the second consecutive team title for the U.S. women, who earned a total of 17 points, improving their winning score of 25 from the 2012 event in Yilan County, Chinese Taipei. The U.S. women have finished on the podium in each of the last four events, taking bronze in 2008 and silver in 2010. Great Britain was second with 28 points, and Japan was third with 40 points.
2014 FISU World University Triathlon Championships
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Women’s Individual – Complete Results
9. Michelle Mehnert (Boulder, Colo.), 2:21:37
10. Erin Dolan (Bentonville, Ark.), 2:21:50
11. Ryan Bice (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:15:43
1. United States – 17 points
3. Japan – 43 points