Standard Duathlon and Mixed Age Group Relay Titles Crowned on Day 3 of USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival Presented by Toyota

IRVING, TX – Alex Arman, 34 (Boulder, Colo.) and Kirsten Sass, 43 (McKenzie, Tennessee) repeated as the overall national champions of the Standard Distance Duathlon National Championships without drafting (10k run, mountain bike 40k, 5k race) and the National Age Group Mixed Relay Triathlon Championships made their exciting debut Saturday in Irving, Texas, as approximately 600 age group multisport athletes competed in the third day of the 2022 USA Multisport National Triathlon Championships festival presented by Toyota.

The third of four days of multi-sport racing, Saturday’s action at the Levy Event Plaza saw more than 300 bike racing specialists race for national titles in the standard-distance duathlon national championships without drafting and the opportunity to compete. qualify to represent Age Group Team USA at the 2023 Age Group Triathlon World Championships.

Athletes ran a 10k run, a 40k bike and a 5k run through the community of Las Colinas on a hot and windy day in Irving.

Arman broke the record in the men’s race, winning the overall title in 1 hour, 51 minutes, 13 seconds. The victory is Arman’s third at the national duathlon championships, as he also won the overall standard distance title in 2021 and 2018. Running in a strong field that took turns leading the bike, Arman pulled away in the second moto to hold off Conrad Goeringer, 34 (Nashville, TN) who took second in 1:51:27 and age group 35-39 winner Andrew Vos, 36 (Broomfield, Colorado), who took third place in 1:51:38.

“It was probably the most fun race I’ve ever had. It was so tactical,” Arman said. “There were four of us, taking turns in the lead on the bike. When Conrad (Goeringer) left, I knew I had to go with him. Conrad pushed him for the second round and I was like, ‘If I don’t go, it’s over.’ I just tried to stay as close as possible. The second run was a matter of patience. I knew it was going to be about attrition. It’s so hot, it’s humid, people are going to explode. I just tried to stick to it at the end.

Sass, the 2021 National Standard Distance Champion, had an impressive performance in the women’s race, clocking a winning time of 2:06:45 – 5 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Kristen Hetzel, 43, (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), who finished in 2:11:45. Steph Popelar, 55 (Elizabeth, Colo.), was third in 2:12:20.

The national title is the 26th for Sass in his illustrious age-group duathlon and triathlon career.

“You certainly don’t take them for granted,” said Sass, who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games last summer as a guide for visually impaired Paralympian Amy Dixon. She reflected on her experience in Tokyo. “Guiding is something that I am very passionate about. To be able to do this with Amy Dixon who worked so hard to get to Tokyo – it was so special to be there with her and achieve such a dream. I love guiding and this was the pinnacle of my entire career.

Popelar, who won the National Women’s Grandmaster title, praised Irving’s hospitality.

“The support that the City of Irving has offered has been second to none,” Popelar said.

61-year-old Christian Evans (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) won the Men’s Grandmaster title. Sass won the Women’s Masters title, while 47-year-old Benjamin Drezek (Denton, Texas) won the Men’s Masters title.

Billie Pate, 72 (Upland, Calif.) won the Athena 55+ National title. She attempts to compete in eight events during the National Multisport Championships Festival, earning her the title “Multisport Master”, awarded to all athletes who compete in five or more races during the event.

Mike Savage, 60 (Geneva, IL), won the Clydesdale 60+ National title. Chris Worden, 44 (Indianapolis, Indiana), won the Clydesdale national title 40-59, while Leslie Battle, 53 (Warwick, RI), won the Athena national title 40-54. Ashley Miller, 34 (Urbandale, Iowa) won the Athena 39-and-under national title.

After the duathlon races, the afternoon action session included the start of the Age Group Mixed Relay Triathlon National Championships, an exciting, fast-paced and spectator-friendly new national championship format.

In the mixed relay, teams of four (in male-female-male-female order) compete, with each team member completing 250m swim, 5km bike, 1.2km triathlon before to touch his teammate. The mixed relay made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last summer, and the United States won the Olympic silver medal.

For many triathletes, Saturday’s National Age Group Mixed Relay Triathlon Championships was their first opportunity to compete in the format. Sixty-five teams competed on Saturday, with national titles awarded to the teams, split into different brackets based on the combined team ages of each team’s four athletes. Spectators lined up in the race marker area, cheering as the athletes finished their leg to mark their teammate who ran from the grass near the shore to dive from the boat launch into the lake Carolyn.

The foursome of Anthony Didion, 29-year-old Jenna Haufler (Mill Valley, Calif.), 27-year-old Miguel Mattox (Mill Valley, Calif.), and 29-year-old Alex Leandri (Nashville, Tenn.) won the tag team title. The “Working Triathlete” team beat the tape in 1:08:16.

“It was awesome. I wouldn’t have done it with any other team than with those three. I was grimacing and then I hit the pavement (near the finish) and then I was like, “We did it! All I wanted was to get to the finish and see these guys,” said Leandri, who relished the opportunity to run the mixed relay. “This race brings everyone together. We all cheer together for the same race. We run as a team. Whether you are in front or behind, everyone is there. We are in the falls together. I love this event.

In the Clydesdale & Athena division, the “Can’t Stop the Reign” team won the national title with Kevin Gaston, 39 (Atlanta, Ga.), Grace Collar, 44 (Shelburne Falls, Ma.), Lance Fargo, 56, (Ocean View, Delaware) and Battle combined for a time of 1:33:30.

“The energy at the finish line was intense. Between the spectators and everyone else on the team, there was a lot more incentive investment than you would normally see in a race,” Fargo said. “It was really cool. In all my years of triathlon, it was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Following the day’s races, USA Triathlon hosted an awards ceremony and celebratory lounge at Texas Lottery Plaza on Saturday night. Open to athletes and the general public, each night’s awards ceremony features live music, race highlights on a giant inflatable screen, Mamma Tried Irving bar cart, giant lawn games and Moreover. The local community is encouraged to join and participate.

The fourth day of multi-sport races begins with the national championships of Aquabike (1500m swim, 40k bike) and the non-championship Olympic distance triathlon (1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run) , both of which start at 7:00 a.m. The final race of the weekend is the National Legal Sprint Duathlon Championship (5k run, 20k bike, 3.3k run), which starts at 2:00 p.m. h

After the races will be held the final awards ceremony at 7 p.m., held at the Levy Event Plaza.

2022 United States Multisport National Triathlon Championships Festival
National standard distance champions
Run 10 km, bike 40 km, run 5 km
Men overall: Alex Arman (Boulder, Colorado), 1:51:13
Women’s Total: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:06:45
Male Masters: Benjamin Drezek (Denton, TX), 1:55:32
Female Masters: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:06:45
Male Grandmasters: Christian Evans (Glen Ellyn, IL), 2:06:06
Female Grandmasters: Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colo.), 2:12:20
Clydesdale 60+: Mike Savage (Geneva, IL), 2:40:40
Athena 55+: Billie Pate (Upland, CA), 4:55:31
Clydesdale 40-59: Chris Worden (Indianapolis, Indiana), 2:27:49
Athena 40-54: Leslie Battle (Warwick, RI), 2:55:44
Athena 39 and under: Ashley Miller (Urbandale, Iowa), 3:27:41
M15-19: Logan Talabock (Fort Worth, Texas), 2:15:14
F15-19: No competitor
M20-24: Johnathan Dolan (Atascadero, CA), 1:53:14
F20-24: Carolyn Hoover (Bethesda, NY), 2:36:06
M25-29: Preston Newsome (Brooklyn, CO), 2:01:01
F25-29: Lotti Brinks (Austin, TX), 2:13:22
M30-34: Alex Arman (Boulder, CO), 1:51:13
F30-34: Imelda Muller (Panama City Beach, Florida), 2:18:20
M35-39: Andrew Vos (Broomfield, CO), 1:51:38
F35-39: Stacy Osmond (Naperville, Ill.), 2:19:00
M40-44: Stephen Eles (Boulder, Colo.), 1:57:46
F40-44: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), 2:06:45
M45-49: Benjamin Drezek (Denton, TX), 1:55:32
F45-49: Alison Raitt (Playa Del Rey, CA), 2:20:04
M50-54: Thomas Woods (Lincoln, NB), 1:57:23
F50-54: Pauline Allen (Fayetteville, Ark.), 2:14:08
M55-59: David Engstrom (Beaverton, Ore.), 1:59:50
F55-59: Steph Popelar (Elizabeth, Colorado), 2:12:20
M60-64: Christian Evans (Glen Ellyn, Ill.), 2:06:06
F60-64: Amy Rappaport (Califon, NJ), 2:29:52
M65-69: Tom Resh (Redlands, CA), 2:17:43
F65-69: Colleen Rebant (Ovilla, TX), 2:37:24
M70-74: Jean-Pierre Bacle (Alexandria, Va.), 2:29:41
F70-74: Sharon Gerl (Eugene, OR), 2:59:23
M75-79: David Fraser (Trinidad, CA) 2:26:08
F75-79: No competitor
M80-84: Lockett Wood (Lyons, Colorado), 3:33:28
F80-84: Sharon Roggenbuck (Hillsborough, NC), 4:01:44

National Mixed Age Group Relay Championships
4x 250m swim, 5km bike, 1.2km run
Overall Team Winner: Working Triathlete (Anthony Didion, Jenna Haufler, Miguel Mattox, Alex Leandri), 1:08:16
General Club: Active Triathlete (Anthony Didion, Jenna Haufler, Miguel Mattox, Alex Leandri), 1:08:16
Clydesdale & Athena: Can’t Stop the Reign (Kevin Gaston, Grace Coller, Lance Fargo, Leslie Battle), 1:33:30
100 and Under: Fort Worth TC (Hezekiah Martin, Ava Talabock, Hudson Hamilton, Peyton Hisel), 1:11:28
101-130: Working Triathlete (Anthony Didion, Jenna Haufler, Miguel Mattox, Alex Leandri), 1:08:16
131-160: Peak Multisport (Cameron Hamilton, Katie Gorczyca, Ken Axford, Alexandra Schwein), 1:09:04
161-190: Local Yokels (Ian Ray, Kara Brown, Shawn Bonsell, Chelsea Tiner), 1:13:43
191-220: Go Four (Kirk Framke, Steph Popelar, Peter Valentyik, Alicia Caldwell), 1:12:49
221-250: Fun Relay (Dougin Walker, Jill Kralovanec, Tim Bradley, Celia Dubey), 1:16:33
251-280: Team Fab Four (Jim Aust, Tracy Disabato-Aust), 1:25:55
281-310: That American Team of the 70s (Jim McGinnis, Billie Pate, Kelvin Coppock, Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda), 1:29:11
311+: Octogenarian (Arby Kitzman, Marylynne Caruso, Ralph Ward, June Black) 2:03:13

Maria R. Newman