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Posted: August 14, 2016:  

Triathlon: Douglas, Sass Top Sprint Fields at Age Group Nationals

OMAHA, Neb. -- Christopher Douglas won his first overall national title on Sunday, while Kirsten Sass continued her championship dominance at the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships, the final event of the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships weekend.

Christopher Douglas, 25, won the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships on Sunday in Omaha, Neb. (Rich Cruse/

On day two of competition at Levi Carter Lake, nearly 1,300 athletes crossed the finish line, bringing the two-day field to over 3,300 finishers. The Sprint National Championships, which has been a USA Triathlon-owned championship since 2010, consists of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.

Douglas (Atlanta, Ga.) posted the fastest time of the day, finishing in 59 minutes, 21 seconds a day after he finished second overall in the Olympic-distance race.

"Yesterday I lost by 3 seconds, so I knew today I was just going to leave everything out there. I had a bunch of guys who were chasing me on the run. I came in not expecting to do so well yesterday. As soon as I realized that I had a chance to podium overall, I came in with a different mindset; that I'm racing to win today."

Kyle Hooker (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished second overall with a time of 59:30, while Justin Keefe (Waltham, Mass.) finished third overall and at the top of the men's 20-24 age group in 59:47.

Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) was the overall women's Sprint Nationals winner after finishing second in 2015, clocking in at 1:07:16. Sass finished second overall in the Olympic-distance event Saturday and also won the overall title at Duathlon Nationals in June.

"I'm really just impressed to win my age group," Sass said. "Doing the double is a real test of your limits. It's a real challenge to keep pushing even when you're hurting -- when you start the race and you're already a little fatigued. It's a mental battle as much as a physical one."

Laura Mathews (20-24, Memphis, Tenn.) was the runner-up and finished only a few seconds behind Sass in 1:07:19. Junior elite triathlete Addison Smith (15-19, Knoxville, Tenn.) finished third in 1:08:31.

Masters titles went to Kelly Dippold (Olathe, Kan.), who finished in 1:10:54, and Jeff Fejfar (Olive Branch, Miss.), who posted a time of 1:03:12. Alicia Caldwell (Denver, Colo.) was the women's Grand Masters winner in 1:16:19, while Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.) earned his second Grand Masters title of the weekend in 1:09:54.

The best athletes of the day -- top-eight finishers in each age group -- qualified to represent the U.S. as members of Team USA on Sept. 14-17, 2017, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where the ITU World Championships will be contested.

Several athletes defended their age-group titles from 2015, including: Mathews, Adrian Mackay (M50-54, New York, N.Y.), Taylor and Winston Allen (M85-89, St. Augustine, Fla.). USA Triathlon's Age Group National Championships will return to Omaha in 2017.

"Every time you come to a new venue there are things you can't anticipate, but we really nailed it this weekend," said Rob Urbach, USA Triathlon CEO. "There are little things to improve upon for next year, but overall I'm highly confident our members had a great experience and enjoyed the city of Omaha."

For more information on Sprint Nationals, visit

Click here for a recap from Saturday's Olympic-Distance Nationals.

2016 USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Sprint National Champions - Complete results
Overall Female: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:07:16
Overall Male: Christopher Douglas (Atlanta, Ga.), 59:21
Masters Female: Kelly Dippold (Olathe, Kan.), 1:10:30
Masters Male: Jeff Fejfar (Olive Branch, Miss.), 1:03:12
Grand Masters Female: Alicia Caldwell (Denver, Colo.), 1:16:19
Grand Masters Male: Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), 1:09:54
F15-19: Addison Smith (Knoxville, Tenn.), 1:08:31
M15-19: Jonathan Mcalister (Argyle, Texas), 1:00:54
F20-24: Laura Mathews (Memphis, Tenn.), 1:07:19
M20-24: Justin Keefe (Waltham, Mass.), 59:47
F25-29: Rachel Pearson (Forest Park, Ill.), 1:09:05
M25-29: Christopher Douglas (Atlanta, Ga.), 59:21
F30-34: Amy Fuhrmann (New Holstein, Wis.), 1:10:52
M30-34: Andrew Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1:02:12
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:07:16
M35-39: James Hallberg (Longmont, Colo.), 1:05:28
F40-44: Heather Curnutt (Madison, Wis.), 1:10:54
M40-44: Jeff Fejfar (Olive Branch, Miss.), 1:03:12
F45-49: Greg Mueller (South Bend, Ind.), 1:03:27
M45-49: Lauren Jensen (Muskego, Wis.), 1:11:53
F50-54: Kelly Dippold (Olathe, Kan.), 1:10:30
M50-54: Adrian Mackay (New York, N.Y.), 1:06:17
F55-59: Alicia Caldwell (Denver, Colo.), 1:16:19
M55-59: Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 1:05:38
F60-64: Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (Castle Rock, Colo.), 1:18:17
M60-64: Gregory Taylor (Yankton, S.D.), 1:09:54
F65-69: Kathy Calabretta (Ludington, Mich.), 1:27:23
M65-69: Michael Orendorff (Pueblo, Colo.), 1:13:32
F70-74: Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), 1:38:47
M70-74: Christopher Baker (Weedsport, N.Y.), 1:28:07
F75-79: Carol Deman (Omaha, Neb.), 1:51:54
M75-79: William Marshall (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 1:30:48
F80-84: Molly Hayes (Bozeman, Mont.), 2:35:01
M80-84: Steve Schloss (Muttontown, N.Y.), 2:07:40
M85-89: Winston Allen (St. Augustine, Fla.), 2:22:25
Beginner Wave F: Emily Torrentez (30, Papillion, Neb.), 1:29:26
Beginner Wave M: Andre Burck (22, Superior, Colo.), 1:30:04

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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