Tuscaloosa to Host Triathlon Action This Weekend
23 Apr, 2018
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is set to welcome more than 1,300 triathletes from 120 collegiate clubs and more than 150 high school triathletes from April 27-28 for the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club and High School National Championships.
A longtime USA Triathlon National Championships host, Tuscaloosa is welcoming the event for the second consecutive year. The city also held Collegiate Club Nationals in 2011 and 2012, as well as the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships (sprint and Olympic-distance) in 2009 and 2010.
All races start with a swim in Black Warrior River, followed by a bike and run on Jack Warner Parkway and surrounding paths, and finishing at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
The two-day collegiate event kicks off at 8:15 a.m. CT on Friday, April 27, with the sixth annual USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships. Up to 75 men and 75 women who qualified for spots through their respective collegiate club teams and USA Triathlon’s 10 collegiate conferences will be on the start list. Athletes will cover a 750-meter swim, four-lap 20-kilometer bike leg and two-lap 5-kilometer run. The fast-paced draft-legal format is similar to what is contested at the Olympic Games and elite International Triathlon Union races.
On Friday afternoon starting at 12 p.m., the focus shifts to younger athletes with the third running of the USA Triathlon High School National Championships. The event will be in a non-drafting format with a 750m swim, three-lap 21.45k bike and two-lap 5k run. The USA Triathlon High School Program, which features state championships in addition to Nationals, is designed to expand opportunities in the sport for young athletes ages 13-19 and grow triathlon clubs at the high school level.
High School Nationals awards are presented to the top-three individual finishers and the top-three boys’, girls’ and overall clubs. Audrey Ernst (South Elgin, Ill.) and Andrew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.) were the 2017 individual champions, while Sammy’s Fox Valley Region Club swept the girls’, boys’ and overall high school club honors.
The action continues Saturday, April 28, with the entire field of collegiate club triathletes competing in the Olympic-distance Collegiate Club National Championships. The course covers a 1,500m swim, non-drafting 40k bike and 9.8k run. The first wave of women will start at 7:30 a.m. CT, and the first men’s wave is set for 10:10 a.m. CT. The race will also feature a paratriathlon open wave going off at 9:25 a.m. CT that follows a sprint-distance course.
Qualified athletes may compete in both the draft-legal and Olympic-distance collegiate events.
The seventh annual Mixed Team Relay event will also be contested on April 28, with up to 55 relay teams set to compete. The relay will start at 4:15 p.m. CT. Teams are comprised of four athletes (two men and two women), with each athlete covering a 300m swim, 5.9k bike and 1.6k run before handing off to the next teammate. Triathlon mixed relays are growing in popularity worldwide, as the International Olympic Committee announced in June that it would add the discipline to the program of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Concluding the weekend is the Awards Ceremony, set for 8 p.m. on April 28 at the Bryant Conference Center’s Sellers Auditorium. The Awards Ceremony will honor the top individual finishers in each race and reveal the final men’s, women’s and overall team standings.
Results from the draft-legal sprint race and the Olympic-distance race will factor into the men’s, women’s and overall team scores. For the first time this year, the Mixed Team Relay will also count toward the overall team score (though it will not affect the men’s or women’s team scores).
The University of Colorado earned its eighth consecutive overall team title in 2017 and returns as the defending champion. Colorado also earned the women’s team title in 2017, while the U.S. Naval Academy men’s team took top honors. Colorado’s Erica Hawley (women’s) and Dan Feeney (men’s) swept the individual titles for the Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships. Another Colorado athlete, Nick Noone, earned the men’s Olympic-distance individual title, while Columbia’s Cecilia Davis-Hayes was the women’s Olympic-distance champion. Last year’s Mixed Team Relay event was called off early due to weather.
Visit usatriathlon.org/ccnc2018 for complete 2018 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships information and usatriathlon.org/hs2018 for High School National Championships information.
Media interested in attending Collegiate Club and High School Nationals are invited to fill out the USA Triathlon National Events Credential Request Form here. All credential requests must be submitted by April 23.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).