Colorado Athletes Off to a Successful Start at ITU World Championships
September 7, 2011 (Beijing, China) – Team USA kicked off a busy week of multisport action in strong fashion Wednesday by earning five age group world titles and 19 medals at the 2011 ITU Aquathlon World Championships.
Claiming gold for the United States in the 2.5-kilometer run, 1,000-meter swim, 2.5-kilometer run event were Brent Demarest (16-19, Charleston, S.C.), Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (55-59, Castle Rock, Colo.), Judge Jones (60-64, Billerica, Mass.), Peggy McDowell-Cramer (70-74, Santa Monica, Calif.) and Dave Robinette (70-74, Centennial, Colo.).
“It’s a competitive field and just an amazing setting to be in Beijing,” said Jones, who earned his fourth aquathlon world title in the last six years in 41 minutes, 1 second – four minutes clear of his closest 60-64 age group competitor. “To race on the site of the Olympics for the sport of triathlon just sends chills through you. I’m just proud to represent the USA and proud to be here, and I was happy with my race.”
Griffin-Kaklikian overcame Wednesday’s warm conditions to claim her second straight 55-59 age group title in convincing fashion, stopping the clock at 43:55 to best her age group by three minutes. “I didn’t expect it to be this hot and humid,” said the Colorado native. “Otherwise, it was a really nice course and good competition.”
Competing in his first world championship event after earning a national aquathlon crown in May, Demarest posted a time of 32:50 to earn the 16-19 world title in his first opportunity. “I just really wanted to compete with the best in the world and see how I stood on the world scale,” said Demarest, a high school sophomore.
In addition to the quintet of gold-medal winners, Team USA, which is comprised of amateur multisport athletes that represent the U.S. at each ITU world championship event, added seven silver and seven bronze medals.
Among the silver medalists was Pieter deHart, who earned his second straight medal in the 30-34 age group in 34:17. “It took awhile to get into rhythm on the swim, but I knew that was a strong point for me and I just tried to hold on that last run with everything I had left,” said deHart, who earned bronze a year ago in Budapest, Hungary. “After last year I was really hooked … Really there’s no (event) like it to get this level of competition in an aquathlon venue.”
Wednesday’s event was the first of two races this week for 21 U.S. athletes, who also will compete in either this weekend’s sprint- or Olympic-distance triathlon events. Among those doubling up is 16-year-old Taylor Fogg (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who earned a runner-up finish in the 16-19 age group and used her experience Wednesday as preparation for Saturday’s Sprint World Championships. “I’m really gunning for Saturday and hoping that it can go well,” said Fogg. “I think that it’s great that I was able to check out the venue.”
Aquathlon Worlds was the first of many events over the span of five days in Beijing, which also will host the ITU World Championship Series Grand Final Saturday and Sunday. More than 250 Americans are scheduled to be in action over the course of the week, which also features sprint- and Olympic-distance age group triathlon world championships, as well as paratriathlon, junior and under-23 events.
2011 ITU Aquathlon World Championships
2.5k run, 1,000m swim, 2.5k run
2. Taylor Fogg (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 38:37
1. Brent Demarest (Charleston, S.C.), 32:50
2. Elizabeth Hefley (Pasadena, Calif.), 38:50
3. Jenny deHart (Lexington, Va.), 40:35
2. Pieter deHart (Lexington, Va.), 34:17
2. Erika Binger (Minneapolis, Minn.), 41:10
3. Julianna Batizy-Morley (Centennial, Colo.), 38:59
3. Andrew Farrell (Orlando, Fla.), 34:47
3. Diane Stokes (Northborough, Mass.), 48:19
2. Julie Lyons (Greenwood Village, Colo.), 44:02
3. Elaine Morison (Lafayette, Calif.), 47:32
1. Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (Castle Rock, Colo.), 43:55
1. Judge Jones (Billerica, Mass.), 41:01
3. Carole Mawson (Woodside, Calif.), 1:04:43
2. Bullet Bales (Glendale, Calif.), 1:01:16
3. Sten Mawson (Woodside, Calif.), 1:03:16
1. Peggy McDowell-Cramer (Santa Monica, Calif.), 1:05:55
1. Dave Robinette (Centennial, Colo.), 50:33
2. Marshall Wakat (Charleston, S.C.), 52:49