Mandy McLane and Kaleb VanOrt raced their way to overall victories Saturday at the 2010 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship as more than 1,300 athletes chased national titles at Manderson Landing, Alabama.
Closer to home, Glenview triathlon team, Together We Tri. sent 5 athletes to nationals for the first time in club history: Mark Morgan, Kim Morgan, Bruce Noxon, Betsy Noxon and coach Mary Bradbury.
TWT known for being a newbie triathlon team, has one secret weapon, head coach Mary Bradbury, who qualified for the world championships on Saturday, with an overall time of 2:20:46. This year the team stepped away from it's usual, newbie coaching classes and added an advanced group, that is obviously paying off in a big way.
The scorching heat in Alabama played it's part with all of the athletes, who have been getting used to the cooler climate here in Chicago. However all 5 of the local athletes debut on the national stage was filled with pride and great racing. 42 athletes from Illinois made their way to Alabama, making a good showing for the Midwest.
For many age-groupers, Saturday's national championship is the culmination of season-long goals. "I like to have a goal and have the discipline to reach it - have the discipline to stay the course - and it's a lifestyle," said female 50-54 champion Elizabeth Bulman (San Diego, Calif.), who finished in 2:22:28.
In addition to the bragging rights of claiming an age group national
title, Saturday's top finishers also earned coveted spots to represent
the U.S. at the 2011 ITU World Championships in Beijing, China, on
Sept. 10-11, 2011. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in
each age group in both the Olympic-distance and sprint events in
Tuscaloosa will qualify for a Team USA slot.
The best triathletes normally come from places like Boulder and San
Diego, these 5 local athletes, along with the 42 total from Illinois
are proof that Illinois and Chicago can't be counted out.
Congratulations to all of the athletes who made the trip to Alabama and Beijing.