West Chester, Ohio, to Host USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships
27 Jul, 2017
The nation’s top up-and-coming triathletes ages 7-19 are set to compete at next month’s USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships, returning to Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, from Aug. 5-6. The event has sold out for the past four years and is expected to sell out again this year, with more than 575 athletes already registered to compete.
Youth & Junior Nationals have been held in West Chester since 2012. In December of 2016, USA Triathlon entered into an unprecedented five-year agreement with West Chester and Butler County to host the event through 2021.
“The City of West Chester and Voice of America Park have been excellent hosts for our youth and junior triathletes for the past five years, and as always, we look forward to returning for this year’s race,” said Brian D’Amico, National Events Director at USA Triathlon. “This event provides the opportunity for the nation’s fastest young triathletes to go head-to-head, while at the same time offering an exciting race experience to kids who are new to the sport.”
The action begins on Saturday, Aug. 5, with draft-legal championship races for junior elite (ages 16-19) and youth elite (ages 13-15) athletes. Both the junior elite and youth elite events feature a draft-legal format, similar to what is contested at the Olympic Games and other elite events on the International Triathlon Union circuit.
Junior elite athletes, starting at 8 a.m. ET, will cover a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course. Youth elite athletes start at 11:05 a.m. ET and will cover a 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run. Athletes in these races earned spots on the start list through qualifying events, including last year’s national championship and the six draft-legal events that made up the 2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series. For more information about the Junior Elite Series, visit usatriathlon.org/usatjuniors.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, junior elite and youth elite athletes ages 13-19 will compete in the eighth edition of the draft-legal Mixed Team Relay, starting at 7:30 a.m. ET. Each athlete on a four-person team will complete a 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run before tagging off to their next teammate. Last year, this event featured more than 50 teams.
The relay format is similar to that of the ITU Mixed Team Relay World Championships coming to Hamburg, Germany, this weekend, in which the U.S. is the defending world champion. On June 9, the International Olympic Committee announced that the triathlon Mixed Team Relay event would be added to the program of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Following the relay, the age-group Youth National Championships will get underway at 10:40 a.m. ET. This event, which is non-drafting and has no qualifying criteria, provides the opportunity for youth ages 7-15 to compete for national titles in their age groups. Older athletes ages 11-15 will race on a 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run course, and younger athletes will complete a 100m swim, 5k bike and 1k run. The race will also feature a youth paratriathlon open division, in which athletes cover a 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run. Registration for the age-group races is still open at active.com.
In addition to the individual competition throughout the weekend, awards will be given to the top youth club in non-drafting events and the top development team in draft-legal events.
USA Triathlon is also supporting its Tri for Change program for the fourth consecutive year. This program provides opportunities for underserved children in the local community to train for a triathlon with a dedicated coach, culminating in a premier race experience at the Youth National Championships.
As part of the program, children receive a training plan and guidance from a USA Triathlon Certified Coach, as well as financial support for travel, race entry and membership fees. The 2017 program to date includes 12 participants. For more information on the 2017 Tri for Change program, visit usatriathlon.org/triforchange.
Finally, USA Triathlon is partnering with The Shoe Project at Youth & Junior Nationals to provide new and used footwear to individuals in need in Cincinnati and around the world. There will be two drop-off locations at Voice of America Park and Milano’s restaurant in West Chester, and all racers and their families are encouraged to donate a pair of shoes. For more information about The Shoe Project, founded by local Cincinnati Eagle Scout John Ferguson, visit theshoeproject.com.
For complete event information for the 2017 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships, visit usatriathlon.org/usatjr17.
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).