For the first time ever, USA Triathlon (USAT) has delved into its official annual rankings of age group triathletes to provide a state-by-state standing for 2009 for multiple categories.
“The analysis mostly reinforced our understanding of the current state of age group triathlon,” said 3-time USAT All-American David Warden, who prepared the report for USA Triathlon. “The distribution of age group talent and participation is broad over all 50 states and Washington, D.C., but there were a few surprises.”
The analysis ranks each state by categories such as overall median score, number of triathletes tallying at least 90 points in their annual ranking, the percent of ranked triathletes scoring at least 90 points in their annual ranking and the rank of each state by age group.
The annual USA Triathlon Ranking is one of several benefits of becoming an annual member of USA Triathlon. Each year, members who participate in three or more USAT-sanctioned events receive a national ranking.
The top 10 percent in each age group earn USA Triathlon All-America honors. The annual rankings and All-America selections are published in USA Triathlon Life magazine and are available online at usatriathlon.org.
“USA Triathlon’s annual rankings are always one of the most popular benefits for our members,” said Gordon Weldon, USA Triathlon’s Operations Director. “Our athletes enjoy seeing where they stack up against the rest of the nation, and through the hard work of David Warden, they can now see where their home state ranks nationally.”
Despite the diverse and challenging training environments that US triathletes face, Warden said the report reveals remarkable age group equity across all USA Triathlon regions. “It’s further evidence that triathlon is truly a lifestyle, and that triathletes everywhere don’t let obstacles like inclement weather or limited access to facilities keep them from their goals,” Warden said.
The states with the highest median female score were Minnesota, Washington, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Michigan, followed by Pennsylvania, Utah, Maine, Nevada and Colorado rounding out the top 10. For the men, Washington, Minnesota, Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado scored the highest median ranking, followed by Nevada, Iowa, California, New Hampshire and Kansas.
In addition to the median score by state, the analysis attempts to quantify the concentration of ‘elite age groupers’ per state, by reviewing the number of triathletes who scored 90 points or higher in their annual rankings.
“In reviewing multiple USAT-sanctioned triathlons, athletes who have a USAT score of 90 or greater have a reasonable chance of finishing in the top three overall at a local event with approximately 100 participants,” Warden said. “By reporting on the number and concentration of triathletes who achieve this score, it may be possible to determine the competitive age group environment of a given state or region.”
The report also ranks each state by age group, offering a unique view into the male and female age group categories, such as males aged 55-59 or females aged 30-34.
“Although the age group rankings by state are very diverse, some states have an unusually high concentration of highly ranked age groups.” Warden added. “Washington, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire stand out for the female age groups, while Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin have a high percentage of age groups ranked on the men’s side.”