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Posted: August 9, 2016:  

Triathlon: Age Group Nationals Bring Thousands of Amateur Triathletes to Omaha This Weekend

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The 2016 edition of the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, the organization's largest and longest running National Championship event, will take place in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first time this weekend, with more than 4,000 registered athletes set to compete over two days of competition.

More than 4,000 athletes are registered to race this weekend in Omaha. (Rich Cruse/

Races begin at 7:30 a.m. CT each day, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships on Saturday, Aug. 13 and the Sprint National Championships on Aug. 14, with the main venue set at Levi Carter Park. The Olympic-distance event has been held annually since 1983 and features a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Sprint Nationals competitors will complete a 750m swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run. Athletes ages 15 to 86 will compete for titles in their respective age groups, and approximately 470 athletes are registered in both events for back-to-back days of competition. A live video stream will be available both days at

A number of defending national champions highlight the start list, along with reigning world champions for both Olympic-distance and sprint events. In all, nine Olympic-Distance Nationals champions and 12 Sprint Nationals winners are on the start list and will compete for age-group titles in Omaha:

Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions 
Name (Hometown), 2016 Age Group
Abbie Sullivan (Canandaigua, N.Y.), F20-24
Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), F35-39
Adrienne Leblanc (Scottsdale, Ariz.), F45-49
Kelly Dippold (Olathe, Kan.), F50-54
Michael Smith (Brownsburg, Ind.), M55-59
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M55-59
Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), M60-64
Nancy Avitabile (Bethesda, Md.), F65-69
Freddie Ferraro (The Colony, Texas), M65-69

Returning Sprint National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2016 Age Group
Laura Mathews (Memphis, Tenn.), F20-24
Thomas Barton (Miami, Fla.), M25-29
Matthew Payne (Golden Valley, Minn.), M35-39
Shannon Kurek (Granville, Ohio.), M45-49
Adrian Mackay (New York, N.Y.), M50-54
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M55-59
Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), M60-64
Lynda Lubelczyk (Manchester, N.H.), F65-69
Craig Cecil (Vestavia, Ala.), M65-69
Sheila Isaacs (Shoreham, N.Y.), F75-79
Roger Little (Bedford, Mass.), M75-79
Winston Allen (St. Augustine, Fla.), M85-89

Triathlon world championships medalists are also on the start list after finishing on the podium last year at the ITU Age-Group Triathlon World Championships in Chicago. World champions in their respective age groups in the Olympic-distance event who will race on Saturday in Omaha include Sass, Schiller and Avitabile, as well as Jack Toland (M20-24, Kirkland, Wash.), Tracy Kellner (F45-49, Mequon, Wis.), Ellen Hart (F55-59, Denver, Colo.) and Bill Ziering (85-89, Carmel, Calif.). On the start list for Sprint Nationals are world champions at that distance, including Sass, Hart, Little, Allen, Carol Hassell (F60-64, West Palm Beach, Fla.), Kathy Calabretta (F65-69, Ludington, Mich.) and Eileen Croissant (F75-79, Greeley, Colo.). In total, there will be 36 ITU World Championships medalists, including 10 silver medalists and 10 bronze medalists, competing for more hardware this weekend.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented by the competitors in this weekend's field. A number of countries are also represented, with athletes hailing from Brazil, Great Britain, Mexico and Peru. To be eligible for national titles and awards, athletes must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals.

In addition to the bragging rights of claiming a national title, athletes will be competing for coveted spots to represent the U.S. at the 2017 ITU World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, which will be held Sept. 14-17, 2017. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each age group of the Olympic-Distance Nationals will automatically earn a spot for Team USA. In Sprint Nationals, athletes must finish in the top eight to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal bike leg. More information about Team USA qualification for the sprint race is available at Team USA is comprised of amateur athletes who represent the United States at each ITU World Championship event. Learn more about Team USA at

Also part of the Age Group Nationals weekend for the first time is a beginner wave, which will be the last wave of Sprint Nationals to allow new or novice triathletes an opportunity to participate. More about the beginner wave is available at The Omaha-area community is encouraged to come out and support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.

For more information on Age Group Nationals, visit the Olympic-Distance Nationals and Sprint Nationals event pages.

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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