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Posted: March 6, 2016:  

Triathlon: Jorgensen, Kanute, Knibb Capture Continental Cup Wins in Australia, U.S.

Reigning world champion and 2016 U.S. Olympic qualifier Gwen Jorgensen notched her first ITU win of the season on Saturday in Australia, while Ben Kanute and Taylor Knibb raced to the top of the podium at an ITU Continental Cup in Florida.

Gwen Jorgensen was one of three Americans who won Continental Cup titles on Saturday. (Delly Carr/ITU)

Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) took the tape at the Wollongong OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup in 55 minutes, 22 seconds. This early-season victory continues Jorgensen's win streak, which began in May 2014. She finished just over a minute ahead of compatriot Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), who grabbed her second career ITU Continental Cup silver medal in 56:27. Jorgensen and Kasper had the two fastest run splits of the day on the 5-kilometer run course, in 16:25 and 16:49, respectively.

Jorgensen will make her 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series debut on April 9 in Gold Coast, Australia. Kasper and Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), who finished ninth in Wollongong, will be racing in the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup next weekend.

Americans also fared well at a CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup on Saturday, held in Clermont, Florida, at Lake Louisa State Park, with eight U.S. athletes finishing in the top 10.

Kanute (Geneva, Ill.) finished in 53:08, just two seconds ahead of Canadian Xavier Grenier-Talavera, while Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) ran his way on to the podium to round out his medal collection from ITU events.

Kanute was in the front pack coming out of the water in the sprint-distance event, and held his position from start to finish. Kanute held off the field, including a charging McElroy, to log his first career ITU victory at the elite level. McElroy's bronze is his first for triathlon, adding to the gold medal he won last season for the U23 Duathlon World Championship and his bronze from the Aquathlon World Championship.

In the women's race, Knibb (Washington, D.C.) made her elite triathlon debut with a winning time of 59:51. Knibb has posted top results as a junior elite triathlete, and had a strong showing in Clermont with the second-fastest swim and run splits. Sarah Haskins (Clermont, Fla.) finished with the silver medal in 1:00:01, which gives her five career podium finishes in Clermont. Great Britain's India Lee was third in 1:00:06.

Another ITU Continental Cup is slated to take place in the U.S. next weekend in Sarasota, Florida, with 20 U.S. women and 28 U.S. men currently on the start list. Sarasota will also host the CAMTRI Triathlon Junior North American Championships as well as the CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships, where paratriathletes will by vying for provisional spots on the U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team.

Wollongong OTU Sprint Triathlon Oceania Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women - Complete Results
1. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), 55:22
2. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 56:27
3. Jaz Hedgeland (AUS), 56:32
U.S. Finishers
9. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 57:37
Clermont CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Men - Complete Results
1. Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.), 53:08
2. Xavier Grenier-Talavera (CAN), 53:10
3. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 53:18
U.S. Finishers (top 20)
10. John O'Neill (Vail, Colo.), 54:01
11. Rudolphe von Berg (Boulder, Colo.), 54:11
18. Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), 54:39
Elite Women - Complete Results
1. Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.), 59:51
2. Sarah Haskins (Clermont, Fla.), 1:00:01
3. India Lee (GBR), 1:00:06
U.S. Finishers (top 20)
5. Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.), 1:00:31
8. Bria Edwards (State College, Pa.), 1:00:46
10. Calah Schlabach (Arlington, Va.), 1:00:55
12. Sarah Alexander (South Bend, Ind.), 1:01:03
14. Nicole Truxes (Tempe, Ariz.), 1:01:33
15. Michelle Mehnert (Boulder, Colo.), 1:01:35
17. Molly Higgins (Randolph, N.J.), 1:01:56
18. Megan Foley (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1:02:13

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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