COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2016 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships will take place at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, in three weeks, and will showcase the triathlon talents of more than 700 young triathletes who are already registered to compete.
Youth & Junior Nationals in West Chester, Ohio, has sold out the last two years. (Erik Schelkun/USA Triathlon)
The races are set for Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31. The draft-legal championship races for junior elite (ages 16-19) and youth elite (ages 13-15) will begin at 8 a.m. ET on July 30 and feature a draft-legal format contested in the Olympic Games and upcoming NCAA Emerging Sport for Women competition. Junior elite athletes will compete on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run course, and youth elite athletes will compete later on Saturday, covering a 375m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run course. An at-capacity field of 300 junior elite and youth elite competitors is expected, and these athletes earn spots on the start list through qualifying events, including last year's championship and other draft-legal events held throughout the U.S. in 2016.
Junior elite and youth elite athletes ages 13-19 will also compete in the seventh annual draft-legal team relay on Sunday, July 31. Each athlete on the 55 four-person teams expected to participate will complete a 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run before tagging the next athlete on their team. The format is similar to the ITU Mixed Relay competition that will be contested by elite athletes later this month in Hamburg, Germany, and is also on the program at the Youth Olympic Games.
Following the relay, the age-group Youth National Championships are slated for 10:40 a.m. ET. A sold-out event for the last two years, this event is open to children ages 7-15 who compete for national titles against others of the same age, as well as a youth paratriathlon open division. Older athletes ages 11-15 will race on a 200m swim, 10k bike, 2k run course, and younger athletes will complete a 100m swim, 5k bike and 1k run. Paratriathletes will complete a 200m swim, 5k bike and 2k run. Registration for the age-group races is still open now at Active.com, and this event is expected to sell out again this year.
USA Triathlon is also supporting its Tri for Change program for the third consecutive year. Children from the local area are part of the eight-week program, which includes training for their first triathlon with a local USA Triathlon Certified Coach. These children also receive necessary gear to participate in the sport, including a bike, helmet, running shoes and more. Tri for Change helps youth who may not have otherwise had access to these resources discover the sport of triathlon and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle while having fun.
In addition to individual races and national titles throughout the weekend, awards will also be given to the top youth club (non-drafting events) and development team (draft-legal). More information on the event is available at USATriathlon.org.
Volunteers are also needed for the event, and registration for open positions is available at VolunteerLocal.com.
||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).