IRVING, Texas — Age-group multisport athletes descended on Irving, Texas over the last weekend of April to vie for several US national titles. The events kicked off on Wednesday with an open water swim, followed by these national championship events that saw more than 3,000 registrants:
• Draft-legal Triathlon National Championships
• Duathlon (run-bike-run) National Championships (standard and draft-legal sprint distances)
• Aquathlon (run-swim-run) National Championships
• Aquabike (swim-bike) National Championships (standard distance)
• Super Sprint Triathlon Time Trial National Championships
• Super Sprint Duathlon Time Trial National Championships
• Mixed Relay National Championships
In addition to racing for age-group national championships, athletes also had the opportunity to qualify to represent Team USA at the 2024 World Triathlon Age-Group World Championships. And with the opportunity to race multiple events over the four-day span, more than 50 athletes attempted to race five or more events for the chance to earn the title of “Multisport Master.” Athletes crowned as Multisport Master received a special belt buckle and were honored at the final awards ceremony on Sunday evening.
Thursday: Aquathlon, Super-sprint Triathlon, Super-sprint Duathlon
Thursday’s racing action began with the Super-Sprint Triathlon Time Trial National Championships.
Starting one-by-one in a time-trial format, athletes competing in the Super-Sprint Triathlon Time Trial National Championships raced a super-sprint distance course consisting of a 250-meter swim in Lake Carolyn and a 5-kilometer bike and 1.2k run along Las Colinas Boulevard. The distance is a shorter version of the standard sprint distance of a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. With the short distance, athletes sped through the fast and flat course.
Todd Suttor (Boulder, Colo.) finished second in 16:27, earning the men’s 25-29 title. Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colo.) finished first in the women’s 55-59 age-group with a time of 19:32.
In the Super-Sprint Duathlon Time Trial, Dominique Stasulli (Boulder, Colo.) won the women’s 30-34 age-group in 19:33, Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colo.) again prevailed in the women’s 50-59 age-group in 20:11, and Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.) claimed the men’s 80-84 age-group in 30:56.
In the Aquathlon National Championships, a growing multisport format that consists of swimming 1,000 meters and running a 5k, Julianna Batizy-Morley (Littleton, Colo.) won the women’s 50-54 category in a time of 41:46. Alicia Caldwell (Denver, Colo.) claimed the women’s 60-64 title in 44:14.
Friday: Draft Legal Sprint Triathlon and Draft Legal Sprint Duathlon
The draft-legal format is a style of multisport racing that involves athletes riding in packs and working together on the bike. The style is contested in elite triathlon on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit and Olympic Games. On Friday, the format belonged to the country’s best age group athletes.
In the morning Draft Legal Duathlon, Dominique Stasulli (Boulder, Colo.) placed second overall in 1:06:29, winning her 30-34 age-group national title. Juan Cortes (Centennial, Colo.) won the men’s 40-44 title in 1:00:21. Barbara Kostner (Lakewood, Colo.) won the women’s 75-79 title in 2:02:21, and Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.) picked up his second title of the weekend by taking the men’s 80-84 age-group in 1:45:29.
In the afternoon Draft Legal Triathlon, Bella Chirafisi (Middleton, Wis.), a member of the Colorado State University collegiate club triathlon team, won the women’s overall national championship. She completed the race in a time of 1:06:08. Ken Axford (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won the men’s 45-49 age-group in 1:01:52, and Peter Valentyik (Boulder, Colo.) took the men’s 55-59 title in 1:01:30.
Saturday: Standard Duathlon and Standard Aquabike
In the Standard Duathlon National Championships, Alex Arman, 34, (Boulder, Colo.) repeated as the men’s overall national champion and men’s 35-39 champion. Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colo.) took second in the women’s race with a time of 2:06:54, claiming the women’s 55-59 title (and her third of the weekend) in the process. Audrey Suttor (Boulder, Colo.) won the women’s 30-34 age-group in 2:08:31, and Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colo.) claimed the men’s 80-84 age-group title (his third of the weekend) in 3:59:46.
In the Aquabike National Championships, one of the fastest-growing sports within the multisport disciplines, athletes completed a 1,500 meter swim and 40k bike. Todd Suttor (Boulder, Colo.) finished a close second overall in 1:13:44, which also translated to a second place in the men’s 25-29 age-group.