In what is being billed as an ‘unprecedented five-year agreement’, West Chester, Ohio, will host the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships at Voice of America Park through 2021.
West Chester first hosted rising youth and junior triathlon stars in 2012 and is seen as a prime location for the National Championship event, with more than 20 of the 38 active High Performance Teams within a day’s drive of the venue.
The Youth & Junior Nationals is scheduled for 5-6 August 2017, and tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in August from 2018-21. The event has sold out for the last four years, with more than 700 athletes ages 7-19 competing for national titles annually. The two-day event is contained within Voice of America MetroPark and supported through a strong partnership with the Butler County Visitors Bureau and other community organizations.
As part of the five-year agreement, enhancements will be added yearly to elevate the profile of the event. Proposed enhancements include elite athlete appearances, a fan zone for athletes and spectators, a VIP tent and grand stand seating at the finish line, bike course familiarization for the age-group athletes and local restaurant and attraction deals for athletes and their families. More details on the enhancements will be shared at a later date.
“West Chester and Butler County are extremely proud to host USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships and welcoming competitors and families from across the US for years to come,” said Mark Hecquet, Executive Director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau. “In addition we look forward to working with USA Triathlon to further elevate these championships as the premier youth and junior triathlon event in the US.”
The Youth & Junior Nationals event weekend showcases young triathlon talent in races for junior and youth elite triathletes and youth age-groupers. The Junior Elite Nationals for athletes ages 16-19 covers a 750m swim, 20K bike and 5K run, while Youth Elite Nationals competitors range in age from 13-15 and cover half the distance, completing a 375m swim, 10K bike and 2.5K run course.
Qualification is required for junior elite and youth elite events, and athletes compete in a draft-legal format similar to that contested in the Olympic Games and other elite events on the International Triathlon Union (ITU) circuit.
The non-drafting Youth National Championships are open to participants ages 7-15, and athletes compete for awards against others of the same age. Older athletes ages 11-15 will complete a 200m swim, 10K bike, 2K run course, and younger athletes will complete a 100m swim, 5K bike and 1K run. No qualification is required for the age-group Youth National Championships.
USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series
The organization has also selected the events that will comprise the 2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series providing athletes the opportunity to qualify for the 2017 USA Triathlon Youth Elite & Junior Elite National Championships.
The USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series serves as a talent identification and development pathway for the organization’s High Performance program. Athletes and teams participating in the series prepare specifically for draft-legal racing. Participation is open to athletes ages 13-19 who will compete in the youth elite (13-15) or junior elite (16-19) divisions.
2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Series
- CAMTRI Sarasota North American Junior Championships, Florida, March 11
- USA Triathlon Sarasota Youth Elite Cup, Florida, March 12
- USA Triathlon Richmond Youth Elite/Junior Elite Cup, Virginia, May 7
- USA Triathlon Pleasant Prairie Youth Elite/Junior Elite Cup, Wisconsin, June 4
- USA Triathlon Monroe Youth Elite/Junior Elite Cup, Washington, June 24
- USA Triathlon Flatland Youth Elite/Junior Elite Cup, Iowa, July 9
USA Triathlon serves as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).