Athletes Compete in Paratriathlon National Championships for Chance at Team USA

Amputee athlete running with prosthetic

Mark Barr is one of 12 athletes who won a 2012 Paratriathlon National Championship on May 28 in Austin, Texas. Photo courtesy of USA Triathlon

On Memorial Day, paratriatheletes from across the United States competed in the 2012 USA Paratriathlon National Championship in Austin, Texas. The race is the first of three events in the USA Paratriathlon Race Series, which includes the Denver Triathlon on June 10 and the Nickel City Triathlon on Sept. 16 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The athletes also competed for spots on the USA Paratriathlon National Team, which went to division winners.

The race consisted of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run beginning at Lake Lady Bird.

"It was a really nice course," said Geoffrey Kennedy, who defended his TRI-1 title from 2011. "It was a perfect swim, well marked, slight uphill and fast downhill. It's perfect."

In addition to Kennedy, five other athletes defended titles: Melissa Stockwell (TRI-2, Chicago), Beth Price (TRI-3, Spanish Fort, Ala.), Robin Caruso (TRI-4, Ridgefield, Conn.), James Brown (TRI-5, Carlsbad, Calif.) and Patricia Walsh (TRI-6, Austin, Texas).

"It feels great," said Caruso, who has won the TRI-4 division for five years now. "That's what I came here to do. Number five. It's such an honor."

Also claiming national titles were Erica Davis (TRI-1, Carlsbad, Calif.), Mark Barr (TRI-2, Galveston, Texas), Sean Vangerena (TRI-3, Orlando, Fla.), Daniel Hathorn (TRI-4, Virginia Beach, Va.), Patricia Collins (TRI-5, Harker Heights, Texas) and Jeremy Winters (TRI-6, Mursfreesboro, Tenn.).

Race results are as follows:

  • Female TRI-1: Erica Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:45:57
  • Male TRI-1: Geoffrey Kennedy (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico), 1:10:47
  • Female TRI-2: Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.), 1:33:56
  • Male TRI-2: Mark Barr (Galveston, Texas), 1:27:09
  • Female TRI-3: Beth Price (Spanish Fort, Ala.), 1:39:17
  • Male TRI-3: Sean Vangerena (Orlando, Fla.), 1:14:53
  • Female TRI-4: Robin Caruso (Ridgefield, Conn.), 1:29:49
  • Male TRI-4: Daniel Hathorn (Virginia Beach, Va.), 1:08:41
  • Female TRI-5: Patricia Collins (Harker Heights, Texas), 1:22:20
  • Male TRI-5: James Brown (Carlsbad, Calif.), 1:15:00
  • Female TRI-6: Patricia Walsh (Austin, Texas), 1:18:28
  • Male TRI-6: Jeremy Winters (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 1:24:31

Division winners qualified for spots on Team USA for the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, Oct. 22.

"I've played team sports my whole life," said Brown. "You can wear your city, you can wear your state, but there's nothing like wearing your country on your chest."

Paratriathlon will make its debut at the Paralympic Summer Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.