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Posted: September 5, 2016:  

Triathlon: Summer Cook Wins First WTS Race to Lead U.S. Podium Sweep in Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Summer Cook picked up her first career ITU World Triathlon Series victory on Sunday, winning the gold medal on the way to an American sweep at Edmonton's Hawrelak Park.

Summer Cook won her first career WTS title Sunday in Edmonton. (Wagner Araujo/ITU)

Cook (Thornton, Colo.) finished the 750-meter swim, 10-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer runcourse in 56 minutes, 49 seconds to barely edge 2016 U.S. Olympians Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.), 56:52, by three seconds and Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 56:56, by seven seconds. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) also finished inside the top 10, coming in sixth with a time of 57:19.

"I actually came into today wanting to finish in the top 10." Cook said. "I was working really hard on the bike to stay with the group, so to be able to come off of that and have a strong run was surprising to me. A lot of today was finding the mental willpower to keep myself in the race and put myself in the position to have a strong result."

It was an American-led race from the start with five of the top 10 coming into the first transition hailing from the U.S. The success continued through to the bike but not without pressure from overall series leader Flora Duffy from Bermuda.

On the last lap of the run, True and Duffy broke out to an early lead. However, Cook came out of nowhere with the fastest run split of the day by 12 seconds, 16:38 over 5 kilometers, to pass True in the final kilometer. Meanwhile, Duffy faded down the stretch, allowing Zaferes to pull past and clinch the U.S. women's third 1-2-3 finish ever, as well as the third both True and Zaferes have been a part of the past two seasons.

"It's pretty sweet," Zaferes said. "This is my third all-American podium I've been on the past two years. And for Summer to be a part of it now too is just really cool. It's just amazing how USA is growing."

On the men's side, Kevin McDowell was the top American, finishing a season-best 18th with a time of 52:39. Great Britain's Jonathan Brownlee claimed the gold in 51:39 after finishing second at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics a couple weeks ago.

The final stop of the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series is set for Sept. 17-18 in Cozumel, Mexico, where world champions will be crowned based on season-long points standings. Duffy still leads with 3,491 points. Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.), the two-time defending World Champion, is currently ranked No. 2, trailing by 166 points. Where these athletes finish in Cozumel will determine the overall winner for 2016.

ITU World Triathlon Edmonton
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women - Complete Results 
1. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), 56:49
2. Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.), 56:52
3. Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.), 56:56
U.S. Finishers
6. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 57:19
11. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 57:45
14. Lindsey Jerdonek (Cleveland, Ohio), 57:57
25. Erin Jones (Hood River, Ore.), 58:39
29. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 58:54
30. Jessica Broderick (Boulder, Colo.), 59:00
39. Megan Foley (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1:02:37
40. Sarah Alexander (South Bend, Ind.), 1:02:48
Elite Men - Complete Results
1. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR), 51:39
2. Mario Mola (ESP), 51:56
3. Richard Murray (RSA), 52:01
U.S. Finishers
18. Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), 52:39
24. Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), 52:48
42: Rodolphe von Berg (Boulder, Colo.), 55:14
DNF Dylan Sorensen (Zionsville, Ind.)

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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