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Tempe to Host USA Paratriathlon Nationals

19 Sep, 2014


National titles Will be Awarded in Five Sport Classes on Sunday

Led by six USA Paratriathlon National Team members and two 2014 ITU Paratriathlon World Champions, nearly 50 athletes will compete Sunday at the 2014 USA Paratriathlon National Championships, held in conjunction with the Life Time Tri Tempe, produced by Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, at Tempe Town Lake.

Paratriathletes will compete for national titles in five sport classes, completing a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. The first wave will take off at 6:30 a.m. MT and Paratriathlon Nationals awards are slated to begin at 10:15 a.m. MT. Paratriathletes on the start list met time standards set forth at qualifying sprint-distance races sanctioned by USA Triathlon or ITU between May 1, 2013 and Aug. 21, 2014.

In addition to the national championship event, a number of athletes will participate in the Physically Challenged Open Wave, which has no qualification criteria.

Kendall Gretsch (PT1, Madison, Wis.) and Aaron Scheidies (PT5, Seattle, Wash.) earned world titles at last month's ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, and are set to compete this weekend. Gretsch and Scheidies are also on the National A Team. National B Team members on the start list for Sunday include Mark Barr (PT2, Houston, Texas), Jamie Brown (PT4, Carlsbad, Calif.) and Patricia Walsh (PT5, Austin, Texas), while Chris Hammer (PT4, Salt Lake City, Utah) is a member of the National Emerging Team.

Barr, Hammer, Scheidies and Walsh topped the podium in their respective divisions in the 2013 USA Paratriathlon National Championships. Other defending champions on the start list include Israel Antonio (PT5, Chicago, Ill.), Diane Berberian (PT5, St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jacqui Kapinowski (PT1, Tequesta, Fla.).

The sport of paratriathlon continues to evolve following the decision to add the sport to the Paralympic Games. The International Paralympic Committee announced in December 2010 that paratriathlon will make its debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games. Sport classifications were redefined earlier this year to better align with other Paralympic sports. Additionally, the men's and women's PT4 sport classes, as well as the men's PT1 sport class, have been announced as medal events for Rio, and the remaining three medal events will be announced later this fall.

Visit usaparatriathlon.org for more information on each sport class, world rankings and grassroots efforts to grow the sport.

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 races and connects with nearly 500,000 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).

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