Start list includes six U.S. Olympians and numerous world medalists
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2009) -- The United States’ top triathletes will compete against the world’s best in the third of eight ITU World Championship Series events taking place around the globe. The Washington, D.C., leg of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series will take place Sunday, June 21, with a start time of 9:10 a.m. for the elite men and 11:45 a.m. for the elite women.
The following profiles highlight the 18 U.S. athletes (nine men, nine women) who will be participating in the D.C. event. For more triathlete profiles and standings, go to www.triathlon.org. More detailed bios on the U.S. athletes are available at www.usatriathlon.org/athlete or follow the link on each athlete's name below.
• Laura Bennett (age 34) from North Palm Beach, FL – Laura is currently ranked 44th in the world and 7th in the U.S. She placed 4th in the Beijing Olympics and is a four-time ITU World Championship medalist. Laura’s husband, Greg, competes for Australia.
• Ethan Brown (age 24) from Lowell, MA – Ethan was the 2007 and 2008 U23 National Champion and came in 3rd at the 2008 Elite Nationals. In 2007, he was named the U23 Triathlete of the Year.
• Matt Chrabot (age 26) from Virginia Beach, VA – Matt attended George Mason University and has been an elite triathlete since 2006. He is the 3rd ranked American on the ITU World Cup rankings and was the winner of the 2008 Pan American Championships in Mazatlan, Mexico. He is currently 34th in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races.
• Mary Beth Ellis (age 32) from Washington, DC – Mary Beth was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Lewes, Delaware. She came in 2nd place at the 2008 70.3 World Championships and 6th in the 2008 US Olympic Team Trials. She is currently 29th in the standings after the first two races.
• Brian Fleischmann (age 31) from Jacksonville, FL – Brian is currently the 4th ranked U.S. athlete is 45th in the ITU rankings. He came in third overall (second American) at the 2007 USAT Elite Nationals, and in 2006 was the ITU Team World Champion with teammates Andy Potts and Matt Reed.
• Mark Fretta (age 32) from Portland, OR – Mark is ranked 91st in the ITU rankings and 10th in the USAT rankings. He finished third at the 2003 ITU World Cup and second at the 2006 ITU Doha World Cup. He is currently 60th in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races.
• Sarah Groff (age 28) from Cooperstown, NY – After starting her first World Cup race in 2005, Sarah vaulted to the #4 World Cup ranking, and top American, in 2008. She is currently the top-ranked U.S. athlete. She is a member of the USA Triathlon National Team and has represented the USA in the ITU World Championships since 2006. She is 25th in the standings after the first two races.
• Sarah Haskins (age 28) from St. Louis, MO – Sarah is ranked #19 in the world (#2 American) and is #17 in the world championship standings after the first two races. The first in her family to become a triathlete, she was a silver medalist at the 2008 ITU World Triathlon Championship in Vancouver, Canada. She placed 11th in the Beijing Olympics.
• Hunter Kemper (age 33) from Longwood, FL – Hunter is a three-time Olympian and a six-time USAT Elite National Champion. He was the World Cup champion series winner and earned the USOC SportsMan of the Year award in 2005. He placed 7th in the Beijing Olympics.
• Amanda Felder (age 27) from Houston, TX – Amanda is currently the 10th ranked U.S. athlete and #63 in the world. She is a two-time USA Triathlon Collegiate National Champion (2005 and 2008) and recently won an ITU Pan American Cup event in Ixtapa, Mexico.
• Jasmine Oeinck (age 24) from Littleton, CO – Jasmine is ranked #113 in the ITU standings and #13 in the USAT rankings. She was a 2008 and 2007 ITU U23 World Championship Silver Medalist.
• Andy Potts (age 33) from Princeton, NJ – Andy is ranked #13 in USAT rankings and #102 in the ITU. A 2004 Olympian, he has been concentrating on long distance racing in recent years, winning the Ironman 70.3 World title in 2007 and finishing 7th at his Ironman World Championship debut in 2008. He was the 2007 Pan American Games gold medalist and the 2007 USAT Elite National Champion. He also has two World Cup wins on his resume.
• Matt Reed (age 34) from Boulder, CO – Originally from New Zealand, Matt is the #2 ranked USAT athlete and ranks #16 in the ITU rankings. Matt qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games with a win at the US Olympic Team Trials in Tuscaloosa, AL. He also finished fifth at the 2008 ITU World Championship in Vancouver, Canada. He is currently 71st in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races. His brother is also an elite triathlete who competes for New Zealand.
• Jarrod Shoemaker (age 27) from Maynard, MA – Jarrod is currently the top-ranked U.S. athletes and is ranked 9th in the world. He is 6th in the standings after the first two world ITU championship series events, the highest of any of the American athletes. He placed 18th in the Beijing Olympics and was the ITU U23 World Champion in 2005. His sister, Jenna, is also an elite triathlete.
• Jenna Shoemaker (age 25) from Maynard, MA – Jenna is part of a brother-sister triathlon family, with her brother Jarrod and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She is the third-ranked American (#27 in the world). She placed 1st in the 2009 ITU Pan American Cup in Mazatlan, Mexico and second in the ITU PATCO Championship in Oklahoma City. She is currently 49th in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races.
• Amanda Stevens (age 32) from Enid, OK – Amanda is ranked #59 in ITU standings and #8 in the USAT standings. She is a 2008 National Team member and was a 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials Qualifier. She is currently 63rd in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races
• Joe Umphenour (age 40) from Bellevue, WA – One of the oldest ITU competitors, Joe is ranked 12th in the USAT rankings and 99h in the ITU. He finished second at the 2008 USAT Elite National Championship. He is currently 69th in the standings for the 2009 ITU World Championships after the first two races.
• Rebeccah Wassner (age 34) from Gaithersburg, MD – Rebeccah was named the 2004 USAT Rookie of the Year. Born and raised in the Washington, DC metro area, she placed third at the NYC Triathlon in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Washington, D.C., is the only North American stop in an eight-city Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. The winner will take home $18,000 of a $150,000 prize purse and gain valuable points toward becoming world champion at the series finale in Gold Coast, Australia. The 65 elite men and 65 elite women triathletes will compete in an Olympic distance race on Sunday, June 21, that includes a 1.5k swim in the Potomac and 40k bike and 10k run that winds through Washington, D.C.’s monumental corridor. The race, which will be broadcast live in some regions via Universal Sports, is expected to attract a global audience of 100 million.
Earlier that day, USA Triathlon (USAT)-sanctioned age group non-drafting competitions will take place, featuring an Olympic distance race (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) and a shorter, Sprint distance race (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run). The age group competitors will finish in the same finish arena as the elites.
About the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Washington, DC
The Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series event in Washington, D.C., is produced by Upsolut Sports North America LLC. Washington, D.C., is one of eight cities in the series and the only North American stop. The series is sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and USA Triathlon (USAT) and starting in 2010, will serve as the sole qualification mode for athletes qualifying to represent their country in the 2012 Olympics.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 115,000 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, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.