Elite Triathletes Coming to Des Moines This Weekend
7 Jul, 2017
USA Triathlon has announced that a talented field of elite triathletes from across the Americas will race on July 9 in Iowa at the West Des Moines CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup. The elite draft-legal competition, an ITU Continental Cup, is contested under ITU competition rules and features a combined prize purse of $10,000.
The West Des Moines CAMTRI event will also serve as the USA Triathlon Under-23 National Championships, featuring up-and-coming triathletes from across the nation. To compete as a U23, athletes must be between the ages of 18 and 23 as of Dec. 31 of the competition year and must hold a USA Triathlon Elite License.
The United States regularly hosts races on the CAMTRI American Cup circuit, including two earlier this season in Sarasota, Florida, and Richmond, Virginia. In addition, the city of West Des Moines hosted the CAMTRI Triathlon U23 and Junior American Championships in 2016.
“The spring CAMTRI races in Sarasota and Richmond were great successes, and we now look ahead to welcoming competitors from across the Americas to Des Moines next month,” said Barry Siff, USA Triathlon President and CAMTRI Executive Board Member. “Holding the U23 National Championships as a part of an ITU Continental Cup allows USA Triathlon to showcase the future of our sport within a talented international field.”
“The U23 National Championships are a critical piece of USA Triathlon’s elite athlete development pipeline,” said Steve Kelley, Junior and U23 Program Manager at USA Triathlon. “We see young athletes come out of the woodwork every year in this race, as they transition from junior elite and collegiate racing to the senior elite level.”
July’s races will take place at Raccoon River Park, a 631-acre park alongside Blue Heron Lake. Athletes will complete a 750-meter swim; a four-lap, 20-kilometer bike; and a two-lap, 5-kilometer run.
The women’s elite race is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT. Seven U.S. women are currently on the start list, including Erika Ackerlund (Missoula, Mont.), who won the Richmond CAMTRI American Cup in May. Sarah Alexander (Shaker Heights, Ohio) will aim to be in medal contention after taking bronze at February’s CAMTRI event in Havana, Cuba, as will Katie Gorczyca (Las Vegas, Nev.), who placed fourth at the CAMTRI U23 American Championships in West Des Moines last year.
The men’s elite race is set for 2 p.m. CT, and currently includes 14 U.S. athletes. Headlining the U.S. contingent will be Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), who earned two fourth-place finishes at CAMTRI events in Richmond and Hamilton, Bermuda, earlier this season. Collin Chartier (Burke, Va.) and JR Creekmore (Wilmington, Del.) also recorded top-10 finishes at the Richmond CAMTRI event.
Prior to the elite races on Sunday, youth and junior triathletes will have the opportunity to compete at the USA Triathlon Flatland Youth Elite and Junior Elite Cup. The event, which is expected to draw more than 300 athletes, is the final qualifier for the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships from Aug. 5-6 in West Chester, Ohio. To learn more about the youth and junior elite races, visit flatlandtri.com.
Complete event information and up-to-date start lists for the West Des Moines CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup are available at triathlon.org. To learn more about USA Triathlon’s U23 Development Program, visit usatriathlon.org.
About CAMTRI: CAMTRI is the governing body for the Olympic sport of triathlon across the Americas. CAMTRI’s mission is to create, support and improve sustainable triathlon programs that develop the quality and fairness of athletes, coaches, technical officers and events in the Americas, as well as the professionalism of the National Federations. Its goal is to increase the quantity and quality of athletes representing CAMTRI nations in triathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. CAMTRI supports the development of triathlon by empowering National Federations and Regions through a set of strategic operations among all areas of the sport, including increasing the number of high-quality elite events throughout the continent. CAMTRI is recognized by the ITU as the Continental Confederation for North and South America.
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).