2008 Hy-Vee Triathlon
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa
For the second straight year, some of triathlon’s biggest names headed to America’s heartland for the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup, the seventh stop of the 2008 BG Triathlon World Cup series.
The Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup is the largest prize purse event in the world again for 2008. The top 15 finishers in each division receive a share of the $700,000 prize purse, but only six competitors remained in the chase for a spot on the U.S. national team that will compete at the Beijing Games.
The $200,000 prize money pays bills, but great value is given to a spot on U.S. team. The elite male and female winners of today’s Hy-Vee Triathlon in West Des Moines earn $200,000, but qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team is priceless. “If I finished 16th, and were the first American,” Groff said, “I would be out of my mind and overjoyed.”
American powerhouse Sara McLarty opened a sizeable lead in the swimming leg. It was no surprise that Mclarty was first out of the swim (as she was in Vancouver), earning her a hefty $5,000 bonus sponsored by Speedo. McLarty easily exited the Blue Heron Lake first, holding a sizeable lead on the rest of the field.
McLarty cycled on her own for the first lap and a half before she was reeled in by the strong chase group that included some of the sport’s heavy hitters: Snowsill, Laura Bennett, Moffatt, Julie Ertel and world champion Tucker. Ten women rode in the lead pack together, adding time to its lead.
As the women headed out onto the 10-kilometer run course, Australia’s Emma Snowsill immediately surged to the front, establishing a 19-second lead. Snowsill, the three-time World Champion, continued to run strongly and pull away to her third World Cup win of the season and the huge $200,000 first prize.
Haskins secured the final spot on the three-member U.S. women’s team with a sixth-place finish Sunday at the Hy-Vee Triathlon. The silver medalist at the world championships two weeks ago finished well ahead of the other contender for the U.S. berth, Sarah Groff. Groff had to be the first American finisher in the ITU World Cup race to claim the spot. Defending champion Laura Bennett was the top American with a fourth-place finish. Bennett and Julie Ertel already had secured spots on the U.S. team. In addition to the Speedo bonus, McLarty’s fifteenth place confirmed her share of the big prize purse. 20 triathletes will compete for United States on international stage
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.|June 2, 2008
USA Triathlon is pleased to announce the 20 elite athletes who will represent the United States at the 2008 ITU Triathlon World Championships this weekend in Vancouver, Canada.
The team consists of six female elites and three female U23 athletes, and two athletes on the junior female team. The events – which will also include championships for age group and physically challenged athletes – will be split over three days. For the elites, the juniors take to the course on Thursday, June 5. The elite and U23 races are set for Sunday, June 8.
“With worlds taking place in North America in an Olympic year, we are very excited about our medal possibilities,” said USAT Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn. “We have podium potential on nearly all of our teams.” After no podium finishes in 2006, the team rebounded with two medals at last year’s event in Hamburg, Germany.
Sara McLarty, the 2006 USAT U23 National Champion and 2006 Aquathlon World Champion, is on the team for the second straight year and will look to improve on last year’s 49th place finish. McLarty, unquestionably the fastest swimmer in the world of draft-legal racing, will play a key role in helping the U.S. get an early lead.
Laura Bennett (N. Palm Beach, Fla. / Boulder, Colo.)
Julie Swail Ertel (Irvine, Calif.)
Sarah Haskins Kortuem (St. Louis, Mo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Sarah Groff (Cooperstown, N.Y. / Boulder, Colo.)
Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Amanda Stevens (Enid, Okla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
The elite races are standard Olympic distance: 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run.
2008 Beaches Fine Arts Triathlon #1
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL | May 17, 2008
The first of three sprint triathlon in the Lifestyles Beaches Fine Arts Series in Ponte Vedra Beach went off to cloudy skies but a field of nearly 400 athletes. The field tackled a quarter mile ocean swim, a 10 mile bike ride and a 3 mile run through Ponte Vedra Beach. First among all competitors in 51 minutes, 13 seconds was world class female triathlete Sara McLarty, 25 of Deland, who returned to her former Florida stomping grounds for a quick local race before heading to the World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver later this summer. For the men, Jacksonville master’s stalwart Steve Pettit, 47, beat James Sweeney, 39, for first male finisher by less than a second, 52:15.37 to 52:15.50, with both nearly a minute behind McLarty.
2008 Olympic Triathlon Trials – Tuscaloosa
On a beautiful sunny day at a venue lined with more than 2,000 fans just off the campus of the University of Alabama, the 11 women took to the course first. And it was Sara McLarty who pushed the pace by gaining an early lead with a 19:09 in the 1.5k swim, followed by Sarah Haskins (19:21) Sarah Groff (19:21) and Ertel (19:23). The four of them worked hard to surge to a 1-minute break over Joanna Zeiger, Mary Beth Ellis, Jasmine Oeinck and Becky Lavelle.
After two laps of the 40k course, it was evident this was a four-person race, as McLarty was joined by Sarah Haskins, Ertel, and Sarah Groff.
Julie Swail Ertel used a lightning-quick bike to run transition to surge ahead of Sarah Haskins, then sealed her win with a personal best 35:19 10km– 23 seconds faster than Haskin’s run – to cross the line in 2:02:21 for a 29-second margin of victory. The win gave the 2000 Olympic water polo silver medalist a rare Olympic qualification in a second sport.
Once on the run, Ertel blazed out front and was never challenged as Ellis dropped back and 2000 Olympian Zeiger, in her farewell to ITU style racing, ran a 37:15 to stake a final claim on fourth place.
USA Triathlon Announces Initial Athletes for 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. | Jan. 29 2008
A total of 22 U.S. athletes are currently eligible to compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Triathlon scheduled for April 19 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The initial list is based on the 2007 end of the year International Triathlon Union Olympic rankings. USA Triathlon requires athletes be ranked in the top 125 in the world the week before the Olympic trials in order to compete. The list could change as athletes continue to compete and earn ITU ranking points at international events prior to the Olympic Trials. Sara is on the preliminary list of eligible U.S. athletes…
Honored in her hometown of Deland, on January 14, 2008 Sara received the Sports Person of the Month award. She is pictured here with Elenore and her sister Libby, who awarded Sara the Pug Allen award (named in memory of their father) 8-years ago. The Pug Allen award is presented to a multi-sport high school athlete at this annual banquet.