Cassidy Hickey of Parker, Colorado outsprinted Faith Dasso of New Braunfels, Texas and Hope Frost of Suffolk, Virginia to take the USA Triathlon Youth Nationals by 1 and 2 seconds respectively. In a very different scenario Andrew Flynn of Wilmette, Illinois ran away from Graham Tuohy of Lakewood, Colorado and Lawson McLeod of Tampa, Florida to win the Elite Boys Youth Nationals by 18 seconds in the super sprint format event in West Chester, Ohio Saturday.
On the 375 meter swim, 10 kilometer bike and 2.5 kilometer run course which operates under draft-legal rules, Hickey stacked the odds against her with a 5:49 swim split that left her in 23rd place and just under 30 seconds arrears in the second chase pack on the bike. Meanwhile Dasso, who started with a 5:39 bike split, surged to a solo lead which gave her a 10 seconds advantage at T2, followed by a 5-girl front chase pack. Hickey worked hard to join Hope Frost and rest of the lead chasers.
“On the bike, I wasn’t catching the pack as fast as I wanted to,” Hickey told USA Triathlon media. “With Faith pulling that front pack before she jumped, it was making it hard for me to catch, because she’s a really strong biker. Then when she jumped, it caused the pack to slow down quickly, which allowed me to catch."
“I think it was definitely a mental game and would come down to who had it at the end,” Hickey told Slowtwitch. “Faith obviously went out on the run with a 10 seconds lead on me and I had a 4 second lead on Hope.”
Hickey said she was charging on Dasso, spurred on by Frost as they approached the final quarter mile. “I came up on Faith as we passed the team tents with 200 meters to go,” she said. “I still had a little bit of a lead on Hope – probably 4-5 seconds when she started surging. That is why I started moving on Faith for the finish. In the final 100 meters, Faith and I were right next to each other.“
At the finish, it was Hickey in 33:18, Dasso in 33:19 and Frost in 33:20. “It felt like I had a pretty good body length on Faith, said Hickey. “I didn’t have time to hold up the finish tape, so I ran right through it.”
Hickey is 15 years old and will begin her sophomore year at Highlands Ranch High School this month where she will be super busy. Hickey will compete in cross country, track and field, swimming and mountain bike racing. Hickey was running 5th in this race last year but was bumped to 8th due to a penalty. Hickey won her age group at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals at ages 8, 10, 11 and 12.
While they live far apart, the girls on the podium consider themselves good friends thanks to years competing against one another on the USAT age group circuit. “Hope and I gave been racing together since we were 9 years old,” said Hickey. "I was happy she was able to snag the last spot on the podium. Faith also is a real close friend. We had a plan going into nationals and it worked out for the both of us.”
Andrew Flynn of Willmette, Illinois started his race with a 5:11 swim that put him in 10th place, about 15 seconds behind swim leader Kasey Copley of Cedar Park, Texas. Flynn quickly joined a 10-competitor lead pack, entering T2 with a 1 second ahead of a trio of Graham Tuohy (Lakewood CO) , Lawson McLeod (Tampa FL) and Sam Tullis. Leaving transition, Flynn raced out with two other guys, but on the first of two hills, he was joined and briefly passed by Graham Tuohy.
“I was the first one coming out of the second transition, and I thought I had maybe a little bit of a lead on Graham,” Flynn told USA Triathlon media. “But all of a sudden he came flying past me right after transition, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘I’ve got to stay with him, or he’s going to win it.’ So I really tried to crank it on that run.”
“On the second hill,” Flynn told Slowtwitch, “Graham took a short lead and I knew I had to stay with him. On that second hill, I really pushed it and that's when I broke away.”
Flynn turned on the jets with a race-best 8:10 split for the 2.5 kilometer run, bringing him to the line in 30:21 with an 18 seconds margin of victory over Tuohy and 27 seconds on 3rd place finisher McLeod.
USA Triathlon Youth Nationals
West Chester, Ohio
August 4, 2018
S 375 m / B 10 k / R 2.5 k
Elite Youth Girls
1. Cassidy Hickey (Parker CO) S 33:18 5:49 T1 1:41 B 15:48 T2 00:53 R 9:20
2. Faith Dasso (New Braunfels (TX) 33:19 S 5:39 T1 1:40 B 15:50 T2 00:53 R 9:20
3. Hope Frost (Suffolk VA) 33:20 S 5:23 T1 1:41 B 16:18 T2 00:54 R 9:05
Elite Youth Boys
1. Andrew Flynn (Wilmette IL) 30:21 S 5:11 T1 1:33 B 14:40 T2 00:49 R 8:10
2. Graham Tuohy (Lakewood CO) 30:39 S 5:19 T1 1:34 B 14:31 T2 00:51 R 8:27
3. Lawson McLeod (Tampa FL) 30:48 S 4:57 T1 1:36 B 14:50 T2 00:55 R 8:32