September 10, 2011 (Beijing, China) – Elite Triathlon Academy student-athlete Kelly Whitley (Geneva, Ill.) garnered a fifth-place finish Saturday at the sprint-distance 2011 ITU Junior World Championships in Beijing.
Whitley posted a time of 1:04:12 in the sprint-distance event to log her second straight top-five finish at Junior Worlds.
Johanna Gartman (Chattanooga, Tenn.) finished 27th 1:07:41, and Breanna Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.) placed 28th in 1:07:59. New Zealand’s Mikayla Nielsen earned the victory in 1:03:40.
After getting “beat up” early in the swim and heading out on the bike about 40 seconds off the pace, Whitley quickly rode to the front of the pack and attempted to push the pace for over the 20k ride. “It was hard to go that fast on the bike because the course was so wet, but I wanted to be ahead going into transition but that didn’t really work out,” said Whitley.
Despite not being able to break away on the bike, Whitley found herself among the leaders from the get-go on the run. She held strong in the top 10 before surging on the second of two laps to run to a fifth-place finish. “I caught two girls on the second lap, so I’m happy with that and I’m happy that I finished in the top five,” said Whitley.
2011 ITU Women’s Junior World Championships
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
1. Mikayla Nielsen (NZL), 1:03:40
2. Ashlee Ballie (AUS), 1:03:42
3. Hanna Philippin (GER), 1:03:47
5. Kelly Whitley (Geneva, Ill.), 1:04:12
27. Johanna Gartman (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 1:07:41
28. Breanna Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), 1:07:59