USA Triathlon hosts first national championships since 2019

Alex Arman wins the USA Triathlon National Duathlon Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Photo by Vasha Hunt.

For the first time since August, 2019, USA Triathlon produced a National Championship today – the Duathlon Nationals took place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Today’s events included a 10 km run, 39.6 km bike and a 5.4 km standard distance and a non-drafting sprint race which included a 5 km run, 20 km bike and a 2.9 km run. The races served as qualifiers for Team USA that will compete at the 2021 and 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Almere, Netherlands from Sept. 3 to 12 this year and in Townsville, Australia, from Aug. 18 to 28 in 2022. (Tomorrow will see another qualifying race, a draft-legal sprint.)

The events today used COVID-19 safety measures that included self-screening and teperature checks, face coverings at all times except for racing, contact reduction for athletes, staff and volunteers, along with additional cleaning and disinfection onsite. Athletes were sent off in small groups of five to 10 at a time.

Alex Arman won the men’s standard-distance race in 1:53:46, his second national duathlon title – he also won this event in 2018. Nick Aguila took second in 1:54:56, while Adoh Doherty rounded out the podium in 1:55:14.

Kirsten Sass won her fifth duathlon national title in taking the women’s standard-distance race in 2:12:50. She’s also a five-time age-group duathlon world champion. Behind her were Deanna Newman who finished in 2:14:35, and Kristen Hetzel who was third in 2:17:39.

In the non-drafting sprint event it was Todd Buckingham who took the men’s title in 57:24, defending his title from 2019. Blake Lowery was second in 1:00:44 with Todd Ric6ketts finishing third in 1:03:06.

Cassidy Hickey, who is just 18, also defended her title in the non-drafting sprint race in a time of 1:08:18. Celia Dubey took second in 1:10:04 while Sarah Barber was third overall in 1:12:24. Sass backed up her standard-distance win with a fourth-overall finish in the non-drafting sprint event.

You can find results from today’s racing here.