Erica Clevenger and Mike Meehan won the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championship individual titles Saturday at Clemson, South Carolina. Meehan and Brittany Warly won the USAT draft-legal sprint distance events Friday. And the Colorado Buffaloes won their 7th straight overall team title.
USAT Collegiate Nationals Olympic distance non-drafting
Erica Clevenger of the University of Arizona passed Kelly Kosmo of UCLA on the last lap of the run and Mike Meehan of Penn State completed a rare individual double Saturday at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Championships in Clemson, South Carolina.
Clevenger topped her 7th-place finish last year with a swim that left her with a 4-minute deficit, a swift 1:07:34 bike split that put in range of the leaders and within 15 seconds of top rival Kelly Kosmo of UCLA. Clevenger capped her day with a dominant run that brought to the finish in 2:15:50 with a 20 seconds margin of victory over Kosmo and 41 seconds on 3rd-place finisher Erika Ackerlund of Montana.
“I wouldn't really ever say that I knew [I could win], but I knew I had to give it a shot,” Clevenger told USA Triathlon media. “I'd be mad at myself if I didn't give it a try.” Clevenger said she won it on the bike. “Kelly's beat me in a sprint before, so I knew I'd have to make a move if I wanted to win. This is the closest I've been to a team sport, and it's unreal - there's no way I could get to the level I'm at without my team.”
Meehan won the USAT Collegiate Nationals draft-legal sprint distance men’s individual title Friday and used a dominant bike split to win the USAT Collegiate Nationals Olympic distance non-drafting men’s individual honor Saturday. Meehan is the first athlete to win both races since 2013 when Ben Kanute of Arizona earned the double.
Greg Harper of California led the swim with Seth Rider from Queens by a breakaway margin over Meehan, Christopher Douglas of Georgia Tech and Joel-Tyler Rogers of San Diego State. Halfway through the 40k bike leg, Rider Harper and Harper maintained a lead, but by T2 the three chasers took over. On the run Meehan immediately took charge and hit the finish in 1:58:24 with a 47 seconds margin of victory over the day’s fastest runner Sean Harrington of UCSB and 1:26 over 3rd-place finisher Michael Arishita of Texas A&M.
USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships
Clemson, South Carolina
April 23, 2016
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Erica Clevenger (Arizona) 2:15:50
2. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA) 2:16:10
3. Erika Ackerlund (Montana) 2:16:31
4. Laura Haley (Arizona) 2:18:40
5. Brittany Warly (Colorado) 2:18:47
1. Mike Meehan (Penn State) 1:58:24
2. Sean Harrington (UCSB) 1:59:11
3. Michael Arishita (Texas A&M), 1:59:50
4. Collin Chartier (Marymount), 1:59:53
5. Dan Feeney (Colorado), 2:00:41
USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals draft-legal sprint distance
Mike Meehan of Penn State and Brittany Warly of Colorado led a field of more than 100 triathletes to win individual honors at the USA Triathlon draft-legal sprint distance Collegiate Championships Friday in Clemson, South Carolina.
Utilizing draft-legal team tactics on the bike leg, Meehan advanced from 15th place and 10 seconds down after the swim to a few seconds lead over a pack of 15 starting the run.
“My training has been going really well,” Meehan told USAT media. “I knew that I was in good form, I just had to make sure that I came into T2 first because that's where a lot of people make the mistake coming in too far back.”
Meehan then ran his way to glory, finishing in 52:16 with a 16 seconds margin over Dan Feeney of Colorado and 29 seconds over 3rd-place John Felix of Clemson.
Warly emerged from the swim 8th, then hung on with the chase group who trailed breakaway leader Erika Ackerlund of Montana by 40 seconds at T2. Warly surged to the front halfway through the 5k run and finished in 1:00:34 with a 38 seconds margin on runner-up Ackerlund and 1:13 on 3rd-place finisher Kelly Kosmo of UCLA. Warly thus improved on her 2nd place finish in this event last year. This was Warly’s first individual collegiate national title although she earned gold as a member of the six-time University of Colorado National Championship team.
“I don't really go into races expecting to win,” Warly said. “It's more like executing and having a good swim. It was really nice to have back-up this year. I had Heidi [Stimac] doing the race -- a freshman on our team. That was really nice because last year I had to race alone.”
USA Triathlon draft-legal Collegiate Championships
Clemson, South Carolina
April 22, 2016
S 750M / B 19.6k / R 5k
1. Mike Meehan (Penn State) 53:16
2. Dan Feeney (Colorado) 53:32
3. John Felix (Clemson) 53:45
4. Dylan Morgan (West Point) 54:03
5. Michael Arishita (Texas A&M) 54:11
1. Brittany Warly (Colorado) 1:00:34
2. Erika Ackerlund (Montana) 1:01:12
3. Kelly Kosmo (UCLA) 1:01:47
4. Melissa Rios La Luz (Webber International) 1:02:44
5. Melissa Teeple (Marymount) 1:02:53
USAT High School National Championship
Taylor Knibb of MC Elite and Jake Baugher of Carolina Varsity Tri Club won the first USA Triathlon High School National Championships Friday at Clemson, South Carolina.
Knibb and Baugher topped the men’s and women's category in a field of 125 high school triathletes from the ages of 13 to 18 representing both high school and club teams.
In a victory for gender equality, Knibb finished in 58:41 with a 12 seconds advantage over men’s winner Baugher. Knibb thus added to her impressive race résumé that includes national titles as a junior elite and age grouper as well as the 2015 ITU Junior World Championship.
“I’m just happy we had a race,” Knibb told USAT media. “It's kind of surreal right now. It's my last year in high school, so I wanted to at least try it.”
Baugher overtook the men’s field near the end of the sprint distance event, winning the first-ever National High School National Championship men’s title in a time of 58:53 with an margin of victory of 7 seconds over Andrew Lopez-Aguirre and 15 seconds over 3rd-place finisher Lachlan Hovius.
“I'm pretty shocked actually,” Baugher said. “This is the first race I've actually won besides [duathlons] or little sprint ones. I didn't know what to expect. I saw it was pretty close to my house, so I thought I'd sign up.”
USA Triathlon High School National Championships
Clemson, South Carolina
April 22, 2016
S 750m / B 19.6k / R 5k
1. Taylor Knibb 58:41
2. Audrey Ernst 1:01:31
3. Addison Smith 1:03:51
1. Jake Baugher 58:53
2. Andres Lopez-Aguirre 59:00
3. Lachlan Hovius 59:08
The University of Colorado made it seven in a row, earning the combined team title by a margin of 21 points at the 2016 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, and also earning the men's team title. UCLA picked up their third-straight women's team title and won the Mixed Team Relay.
Colorado scored 4,033 points in the combined team event, thanks to top-five finishes from Brittany Warly and Dan Feeney. The Buffaloes have won the team title every year since 2010 and own a total of 17 combined team titles. UCLA was second overall after finishing third last year, earning a combined 4,012 points in large part through their women's team win. The U.S. Naval Academy finished third overall, and also won the Armed Forces team award.
Colorado's men scored 2,048 to best the rest of the men's teams in the event, and Navy finished second with 2,020 points. The UCLA men finished third with 1,958 points. The UCLA women held on to their team title with a total of 2,054, with a solid lead over second place Queens University of Charlotte, who earned 1,987 points, and Colorado, who finished with 1,985 points.
Overall Team Standings
1. Colorado 4,033
2. UCLA 4,012
3. Navy 3,995
4. Texas A&M 3,867
5. California 3,855
Women's Team Standings
1. UCLA 2,054
2. Queens University of Charlotte 1,987
3. Colorado 1,985
4. Navy 1,975
5. California 1,961
Men's Team Standings
1. Colorado 2,048
2. Navy 2,020
3. UCLA 1,958
4. Texas A&M 1,935
5. West Point 1,922
Mixed Team Relay
1. UCLA 1:08:17
2. Arizona 1:08:22
3. Navy 1:08:54
Armed Services Team Champions Navy
Team Spirit Award Oregon State