Thursday, November 8, 2007

San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

The five-race series comes to a close at the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island on Saturday, Nov. 10, with 48 elite men and 21 elite women taking to the Olympic distance course (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run).

Professional triathletes from Canada, Venezuela, Mexico, Great Britain, Chile, and Australia will join some of the top triathletes in the United States. Included in the list are Olympians Hunter Kemper (Longwood, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Victor Plata (San Luis Obispo, Calif. / Sacramento, Calif.), one athlete who has already earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, and a host of others who are still in contention for those final slots for Beijing next August.

The race features a $40,000 prize purse, plus Speedo bonuses for the top-three American finishers in both the men's and women's races. Also on the line are cash awards and Speedo bonuses for the overall men's and women's series winners (details below).

To make things even more interesting, USAT is awarding double points for the race winners, meaning more than a dozen athletes in both the men's and women's races are still in contention for the overall series title.

Leading the competitors for the men is two-time Olympian Kemper, who is aiming for another Olympic berth in 2008. He is joined by last year's series champion Jarrod Shoemaker (Sudbury, Mass. / Maynard, Mass.), who qualified for the 2008 Olympics just six weeks ago. Also in contention are Olympic hopefuls Brian Fleischmann (Jacksonville, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.), Mark Fretta (Portland, Ore. / Colorado Springs, Colo.), Doug Friman (Alameda, Calif. / Tucson, Ariz.), and Matt Reed (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Also racing are 2007 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Champion Kevin Collington (Gainesville, Fla.), 2007 USA Triathlon U23 National Champion Ethan Brown (Lowell, Mass.), and a newcomer to the elite ranks, 2007 Overall National and World Age Group Champion Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.).

For the women, six of the top seven point leaders in the series will be racing for the title on Saturday, led by defending series champion and 2007 Pan Ams silver medalist Sarah Haskins (St. Louis, Mo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.). She is joined by 2007 ITU Aquathlon World Champion Sarah Groff (Cooperstown, N.Y. / Boulder, Colo.), 2007 Pan Ams gold medalist Julie Ertel (Irvine, Calif.), National Team member Mary Beth Ellis (Washington, D.C. / Boulder, Colo.), and 2006 USA Triathlon U23 National Champion Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Also on the start list is reigning ITU U23 Worlds silver medalist Jasmine Oeinck (Littleton, Colo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.) and two-time collegiate champion and current U23 National Champion Justine Whipple (Duxbury, Mass. / Colorado Springs, Colo.).

The swim will take place in the in the harbor area of the bay off Treasure Island, followed by the bike leg through the streets of the Island, and an out and back run on the banks of the Island. Race times are noon for the men, followed by the women at 12:05.

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