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Top USA paratriathletes to compete for national titles in Pleasant Prairie

Melissa Stockwell - USA Paratriathlete

The United States’ most talented paratriathletes, including four US Paralympians, will compete for national titles in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, on Sunday 25 June at the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon National Championships.

The event will take place in conjunction with the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon at Prairie Springs Park. Set for 06:30 CT, the race features a sprint-distance 750m swim, 20K bike and 5K run course. Athletes will swim in Lake Andrea, bike on flat and fast roads in the village of Pleasant Prairie, and run on paved paths to the finish line within Prairie Springs Park.

Athletes will compete for national titles in six paratriathlon sport classes, revised for 2017. Four members of the 2016 US Paralympic Team are currently on the start list, including silver medallist Hailey Danz (PTS2, Chicago, Illinois), fourth-place finishers Chris Hammer (PTS5, Salt Lake City, Utah) and Elizabeth Baker (PTVI, Roswell, Georgia), and top-10 finisher Patricia Collins (Alexandria, Virginia, PTS4).

Also competing in Sunday’s national championship is five-time ITU Paratriathlon world champion Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Washington), who will be the favourite in the men’s PTVI division.

Five of Sunday’s competitors have proven they are in top form this season with podium performances at World Paratriathlon Series events in April and May. The series continues in Edmonton, Canada, on 28 July and culminates with the Grand Final in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on 15 September.

Top-performing athletes at Paratriathlon Nationals who are not already members of the USA Paratriathlon National Team will be considered for the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program, designed to identify and develop athletic potential leading toward the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

To compete at Paratriathlon Nationals, athletes must be officially classified and have competed at a USA Triathlon or ITU Sanctioned Event that meets distance and time standards between 1 May 2016 and 28 May 2017. A National Classification opportunity will be offered in Pleasant Prairie prior to the event.

Sunday’s event will also feature a Physically Challenged Open Division, available to paratriathletes who are not classified or do not meet the qualifying time standards. This wave has no qualification criteria and does not qualify athletes for national titles.

In total, more than 50 paratriathletes are currently registered to compete in either the National Championship event or the Physically Challenged Open Division.

Live coverage of the event will be available via @USATLive on Twitter and at usatriathlon.org.




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