TEMPE, Arizona — Jayden Schofield of the University of California San Diego and Emily Landeryou of the U.S. Military Academy won individual draft-legal titles Friday morning at Tempe Beach Park, as racing got underway at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships.
The draft-legal race marks the first of three collegiate races taking place over the next two days, with the Olympic-distance and mixed relay events on tap for Saturday morning. About 140 collegiate athletes raced for national titles this morning, and the full field of more than 1,200 will toe the line tomorrow. National titles will be awarded to all individual champions, as well as the top men’s, women’s and overall clubs based on combined results from all three races.
Friday’s event featured a 750-meter swim in Tempe Town Lake, a 21-kilometer draft-legal bike on Rio Salado Parkway and surrounding roads, and a 5.1-kilometer run on the Tempe Town Lake Path.
Jayden Schofield pulled away late in the men’s race, while his twin brother and UCSD teammate Luke joined him on the podium in third place. University of Colorado graduate student Mike Meehan, who earned the individual Olympic-distance and sprint draft-legal titles as an undergraduate for Pennsylvania State University in 2016, split up the brothers with a second-place finish.
The University of Arizona’s David Conger led the men out of the swim, covering the 750m course in 10 minutes, 31 seconds — the only athlete to break 11 minutes. By the 3.5k mark on the bike course, though, Conger was overtaken by a pack that included the Schofield brothers, Meehan, Milan Tomin from Queens University of Charlotte and Britt Kaukeinen from George Washington University. By the second transition, only Kaukeinen had been dropped, leading to a four-person battle for three spots on the podium.
Jayden Schofield ran away with the win, covering the 5.1k course in 16:35 for an overall time of 59:07. He was followed closely by Meehan in 59:34. Luke Schofield came through the finish in 59:43, greeted by his brother at the line.
“We both hoped to be on the podium. We like to work together,” Jayden said of racing with his brother. “If we find ourselves in the same run group or bike pack, we love that — just because it’s another brother by your side.”
The Schofield brothers are from Australia and are new to the collegiate club triathlon scene, but Jayden said they have loved the experience of training and racing for a team throughout the season.
“Just the spirit of representing your school — I was nearly in tears coming down that finish line, how happy I was,” Jayden said. “This whole year, getting to train and travel with the UCSD Tri Team, it’s been a great experience overall.”
In the women’s race, the University of Florida’s Nicole Stafford was first out of the water. Cal Poly’s Nicole Jordan, Army’s Landeryou and the U.S Naval Academy’s Carolyn Riggs were the next three out, all less than 30 seconds behind Stafford. The top swimmers formed into a lead pack on the bike, and by the halfway point of the 21k course, they were joined by several other strong cyclists — including Navy’s Theresa Neubig, the University of California-Davis’ Victoria Woolfolk, Queens’ Tereza Zimovjanova and Colorado’s Alexandra Schwein.
The top eight women came out of transition together, but spread out quickly once they hit the run. Landeryou never let up, running at a 6-minute mile pace to break the tape in 1:08:45. Colorado’s Schwein was the next across the line in 1:09:20, followed by Queens’ Zimovjanova in 1:09:47.
Landeryou, a junior elite triathlete in high school, swims at the NCAA Division I level for Army. She returned to triathlon as cross-training during her off-season this year, rediscovering her love for the sport.
“I missed it so much, I had to come back. I know a lot of the girls from the draft-legal circuit in high school, so it was nice to be familiar with people on the course,” Landeryou said. “I love this sport so much. I can hardly even talk about it. I’m a DI swimmer, and I couldn’t stay away from it. The strategy behind it is what really gets me. It’s nice to be able to game-plan a sport. Figuring it out and working with other people I think is really fun, and that’s why I love the bike so much. Triathlon is the best sport in the world.”
The action continues tomorrow with the Olympic-Distance Collegiate Club Championships, in which athletes will cover a 1,500m swim, non-drafting 41k bike and 10k run. Then on Saturday afternoon, teams of four athletes (two men, two women) will compete in the Mixed Team Relay event. Each athlete will cover a 250m swim, 5k bike and 1.2k run before handing off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race.
Results from both the draft-legal and Olympic-distance races will factor into men’s and women’s club scores, while the mixed team relay will factor into overall (combined men’s and women’s) team scoring. Final club standings will be announced at the Awards Ceremony, which is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Tempe Marketplace — District Stage.
The USA Triathlon High School National Championships were also held Friday in Tempe, with Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.) earning the boys’ and girls’ national titles, respectively.
USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Collegiate Club Championships
750m swim, 21k bike, 5.1k run
Collegiate Men — Complete Results
1. Jayden Schofield (University of California San Diego), 59:07
2. Mike Meehan (University of Colorado, Boulder), 59:34
3. Luke Schofield (University of California San Diego), 59:43
4. Milan Tomin (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:00:00
5. Chris Pietraszkiewicz (University of Texas at Austin), 1:00:57
Collegiate Women — Complete Results
1. Emily Landeryou (U.S. Military Academy), 1:08:45
2. Alexandra Schwein (University of Colorado, Boulder), 1:09:20
3. Tereza Zimovjanova (Queens University of Charlotte), 1:09:47
4. Victoria Woolfolk (University of California Davis), 1:10:22
5. Jenna Goodrum (University of Utah), 1:10:46