Nearly 450 youth age-groupers competed Sundayin West Chester, Ohio. (Erik Schelkun/USA Triathlon)
WEST CHESTER, Ohio -- Youth triathletes from across the country enjoyed a day of swim, bike and run fun at the USA Triathlon Youth and Junior National Championships on Sunday at Voice of America Park.
Approximately 450 youth age-groupers competed for national championships on the second day of competition. Athletes and their families came from near and far to be a part of the event, including Sarah Cross of Alpharetta, Ga., who brought her seven kids to cheer on their triathlete brother and sister Sunday.
"We figured that if the kids have worked this hard, even if they're not winning the races they've worked hard enough to earn this trip," Cross said. "For the other kids of mine who aren't racing, they see it as a time to support their brother and sister."
Athletes like 12-year-old Drew Kroeker of Colorado Springs, Colo., said the long trip was worth it because he has a chance to compete head-to-head against his triathlon friends.
"I really like meeting my rivals from across the country," he said. "We've always had fun competing side by side."
The weekend also included youth and junior elite races on Saturday, plus a relay on Sundaymorning.
"We knew coming in this was going to be the biggest event weekend for this category that we've ever seen," said Tim Yount, USA Triathlon's Chief Operating Officer. "This was the cleanest youth age group race we've ever seen as far as kids and family members all working together to make it happen."
Youth National Championships Age Group Winners
7-10-year-olds: 100m swim, 5k bike, and 1k run
11-15-year-olds: 200m swim, 10k bike, 2k run
Paratriathlon: Jessica Heims (Swisher, Iowa), 41:44
Female 7: Emily Huchingson (College Station, Texas), 23:09
Male 7: Jack Diemar (Jupiter, Fla.), 21:59
Female 8: Maya Reilly (Madison, Tenn.), 21:34
Male 8: A.J. Van Vuren (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), 18:59
Female 9: Monica Lopez-Aguirre (The Woodlands, Texas), 19:20
Male 9: William Stone (Largo, Fla.), 19:06
Female 10: Abby Ross (College Station, Texas), 18:41
Male 10: Nicolas Raffinengo (Boynton Beach, Fla.), 17:00
Female 11: MJ Lopez-Aguirre (The Woodlands, Texas), 30:54
Male 11: Michael Dudzic (Greenwood Village, Colo.), 31:37
Female 12: Liberty Ricca (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 31:39
Male 12: Zach Wilson (Carmel, Ind.), 30:36
Female 13: Lauren Garriques (Lake Dorest, Ill.), 30:39
Male 13: Luis Ortiz (Orlando, Fla.), 29:31
Female 14: Rylee Bowen (Santa Rosa, Calif.), 31:36
Male 14: Nathan Doyon (Crestwood, Ky.), 30:24
Female 15: Phelan Purnell (Butler, Wis.), 31:56
Male 15: Chris Lloyd (Chesapeake, Va.), 28:46
About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement - as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 630,000 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 Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).