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Posted: November 7, 2016:  

Triathlon: Top Age-Group Athletes Qualify for Draft-Legal World Championships

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The United States' top age-group athletes toed the line for the triathlon and duathlon world qualifiers this weekend at the New Orleans Lakefront. It is just the second year draft-legal racing is being supported by the ITU.

For the second straight year, Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) took the gold in both races, earning a spot to compete at the 2017 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as well as the 2017 Sprint Duathlon World Championships in Penticton, Canada.

On Saturday, Sass swam 750 meters, biked 20 kilometers and ran 5 kilometers in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 29 seconds to claim the overall women's title, having the fastest bike and run of the day. Then she did it all again Sunday as she bike-ran-biked her way to a time of 1:02:39 in the 5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run duathlon -- this time with the fastest splits of any female in all three legs.

On the men's side, Jackson Espeset (Alamosa, Colo.) claimed the overall men's crown in the triathlon qualifier, finishing his race in 55:36. Espeset's second-fastest run and third-fastest bike helped him edge out the next closest finisher by just 3 seconds.

Meanwhile, Tim Henriot (New York, N.Y.) won the duathlon qualifier in 56:37. Henriot's fastest 2.5k of the day, clocking in at just over 8 minutes, gave him the edge he needed to outlast his competitors by nearly a minute.

Sass wasn't the only double winner this weekend, as three other individuals also took home age-group titles in both the triathlon and duathlon races. Joshua Andrews (Baton Rouge, La.) stood atop the podium twice for the 35-39 men with times of 1:00:26 and 58:21 in the triathlon and duathlon, respectively. Men's 50-54 age-grouper Mark Hecox clocked in at 1:01:56 in the triathlon and 1:03:16 in the duathlon to take the wins. And, finally, Jocelyn Shilling won the women's 55-59 division with a triathlon time of 1:14:12 and a duathlon time of 1:15:42.

In addition to Sass, John Sillery (Chattanooga, Tenn.) also successfully defended his title from 2015, finishing his triathlon in 1:01:44.

Learn more about draft-legal racing here.

Triathlon Draft-Legal Qualifier
New Orleans, Louisiana
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Complete Results
Overall Female: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:02:29
Overall Male: Jackson Espeset (Alamosa, Colo.), 55:36
F16-19: Katelyn Elliott (Porter, Texas), 1:05:15
M16-19: Bobby Hammond (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 55:45
F20-24: Allison Koch (San Antonio, Texas), 1:05:46
M20-24: Jackson Espeset (Alamosa, Colo.), 55:36
F25-29: Kearci Smith (Plano, Texas), 1:05:14
M25-29: Mark Saroni (San Antonio, Texas), 55:39
F30-34: Brooke Kessler (Harpers Ferry, W.Va.), 1:06:39
M30-34: Michael Dunn (Denver, Colo.), 59:14
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:02:29
M35-39: Joshua Andrews (Baton Rouge, La.), 1:00:26
F40-44: Rachel Chambers (Sarasota, Fla.), 1:06:13
M40-44: John Sillery (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 1:01:44
F45-49: Juliet Hochman (Portland, Ore.), 1:08:33
M45-49: Timothy Newberg (Atlanta, Ga.), 1:03:02
F50-54: Rebecca Smith (West Chester, Pa.), 1:09:23
M50-54: Mark Hecox (Salem, N.H.), 1:01:56
F55-59: Jocelyn Shilling (Saylorsburg, Pa.), 1:14:12
M55-59: Mark Hanlon (Spring, Texas), 1:05:44
F60-64: Catherine Beal (St. Louis, Mo.), 1:26:24
M60-64: Bill Reese (Mandeville, La.), 1:06:44
F65-69: Jo Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.), 1:37:04
M65-69: Kevin Simmons (Lake Mary, Fla.), 1:11:36
F70-74: Mary Ann Bogart (Los Altos, Calif.), 1:43:13
M70-74: Larry Nelson (Hixson, Tenn.), 1:21:53
M75-79: Jon Adamson (Alpharetta, Ga.), 1:25:47
Duathlon Draft-Legal Qualifiers 
New Orleans, Louisiana
5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run
Complete Results: Women, Men
Overall Female: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:02:39
Overall Male: Tim Henriot (New York, N.Y.), 56:37
M15U: Axel Mateo (Marietta, Ga.), 1:01:35
F16-19: Kaytlynn Welsch (Alvin, Texas), 1:10:24
M16-19: Addison Furry (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), 59:52
F20-24: Megan Merryman (Lynchburg, Va.), 1:05:55
M20-24: Michael G'Sell (St. Louis, Mo.), 58:10
F25-29: Lauryn Falcone (Morgantown, W.Va.), 1:09:58)
M25-29: Tim Henriot (New York, N.Y.), 56:37
F30-34: Renee Harrington (Raleigh, N.C.), 1:13:00
M30-34: Luis Iturralde (New Orleans, La.), 58:29
F35-39: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 1:02:39
M35-39: Joshua Andrews (Baton Rouge, La.), 58:21
F40-44: Annette Jacobs (St. Louis, Mo.), 1:18:50
M40-44: Scott Newberry (Memphis, Tenn.), 59:13
F45-49: Ute Nastler (Plano, Texas), 1:11:23
M45-49: Michael O'Riley (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:00:53
F50-54: Sue Alschuler (Albuquerque, N.M.), 1:19:17
M50-54: Mark Hecox (Salem, N.H.), 1:03:16
F55-59: Jocelyn Shilling (Saylorsburg, Pa.), 1:15:42
M55-59: Brent Peacock (Jackson, Wy.), 1:04:26
F60-64: Patricia Driscoll (Stowe, Vt.), 1:22:00
M60-64: Ted Kennedy (Boulder, Colo.), 1:05:28
F65-69: Diane Kerns (Portland, Ore.), 1:31:25
M65-69: Keith Woodward (Stowe, Vt.), 1:05:44
F70-74: Karen Hasque (Odessa, Fla.), 1:50:36
M70-74: Leandro Contreras (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 1:11:10
F75-79: Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.), 1:32:07
M75-79: June Black (Austin, Texas), 2:01:25

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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