COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The top teenage triathletes in the United States will face off this summer in a three-race series designed by USA Triathlon to develop draft-legal racing skills and identify top talent for selection to national and international championships.
USA Triathlon has designated two Youth Elite & Junior Elite Cup events, which will complement its Youth & Junior National Championship scheduled for Aug. 11-12 in West Chester, Ohio. Together, these events will comprise the 2012 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series.
The first series event will take place in Monroe, Wash., on June 16. Hosted by the TriMonroe Triathlon, this event will award 15 qualification spots per division to the national championship. The second series event, and the final qualifier for nationals, will take place in West Des Moines, Iowa, on July 15. Eight athletes in each division will qualify for nationals from the West Des Moines event, which is sponsored by Bank Iowa.
The Junior Elite Series is open to athletes between the ages of 13-19 divided into two competition divisions. The Youth Elite division is comprised of 13-to-15-year-olds who complete a 375-meter swim, 10-kilometer draft-legal bike and 2.5-kilometer run. The Junior Elite division is comprised of 16-to-19-year-olds who race a 750m swim, 20k draft-legal bike and 5k run. The top finishers in each division earn points toward both a Junior Elite Series Championship title and their draft-legal national ranking.
The top finishers in the Junior Elite Series based on points earned at all three events will be invited to visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to meet with USA Triathlon High Performance staff, train with resident athletes and visit USA Triathlon's national headquarters. Runners-up will receive special invitations to attend a USA Triathlon Junior Select Camp in 2013.
The overall male and female winners of the USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship will earn spots to compete at the 2012 ITU Junior World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, on Oct. 21.
Photo Credit: Two-time Youth Elite National Champion Tamara Gorman