CLERMONT, Fla. - USA Triathlon National Team member and Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker posted a strong season-opening performance Saturday with a hometown victory at the Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup at Lake Louisa State Park.
Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) ran away from the field to lift the tape in 56 minutes, 4 seconds in the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run event. Canada's Kyle Jones was second in 56:11, while Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.) was third in 56:15.
Canada's Kathy Tremblay won a tightly contested women's race in 1:01:01. Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) edged Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) for second in a sprint finish in 1:01:10. Haskins finished in 1:01:12 to give the U.S. four of the six elite podium spots on the day.
Today's ITU Sprint Pan American Cup was held in conjunction with the Draft Legal Challenge at Clermont, which also featured draft-legal age group events, a non-drafting age group race and youth F1 events.
USA Triathlon Project 2016 program member Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.) was sixth, while William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas) was 10th to place four American men in the top 10.
In the women's race, a lead group of six, which included top Americans Haskins and Whitley, opened up a one-minute gap on the chase pack heading into T2. The eventual podium finishers - Tremblay, Whitley and Haskins - built a 10-second lead on the field at the 2.5k mark of the run before Tremblay pulled away for the win. Whitley, who trains with the Colorado Springs-based Elite Triathlon Academy, and Haskins battled it out for second and third.
Saturday's runner-up performance capped a memorable week for Whitley, who was named USA Triathlon's 2011 Rookie of the Year and Junior Triathlete of the Year earlier this week.
2012 U.S. Olympic qualifier Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) was sixth in her season opener. After riding just off the back of the leaders for much of the bike, she hit T2 with the chase pack and posted the day's third-fastest run split to finish in 1:02:01.
2011 Clermont ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup
(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
Men's Top-10 Finishers -
1. Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.), 56:04
2. Kyle Jones (CAN), 56:11
3. Tommy Zaferes (Soquel, Calif.), 56:15
4. Peter Kerr (AUS), 56:17
5. Adam Bowden (GBR), 56:20
6. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), 56:27
7. Yuichi Hosoda (JPN), 56:34
8. Ritchie Nicholls (GBR), 56:36
9. Aaron Harris (GBR), 56:44
10. William Huffman (Colleyville, Texas), 56:47
Women's Top-10 Finishers -
1. Kathy Tremblay (CAN), 1:01:01
2. Kelly Whitley (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:01:10
3. Sarah Haskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:01:12
4. Jessica Harrison (FRA), 1:01:44
5. Ai Ueda (JPN), 1:01:55
6. Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.), 1:02:01
7. Carole Peon (FRA), 1:02:05
8. Lauren Campbell (CAN), 1:02:18
9. Dominika Jamnicky (CAN), 1:02:46
10. Kerry Lang (GBR), 1:02:49
Photo Credit: USA Triathlon