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USAT Announces Athletes for 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Colorado Springs, CO (January 29, 2008) - A total of 22 U.S. athletes are currently eligible to compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Triathlon scheduled for April 19 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The initial list is based on the 2007 end of the year International Triathlon Union Olympic rankings. USA Triathlon requires athletes be ranked in the top 125 in the world the week before the Olympic trials in order to compete. The list could change as athletes continue to compete and earn ITU ranking points at international events prior to the Olympic Trials.

Here is the preliminary list of eligible U.S. athletes:

Women (listed alphabetically)
Name Hometown Training Town
Laura Bennett N. Palm Beach, Fla. Boulder, Colo. (Noosa, Australia)
Mary Beth Ellis Rehoboth Beach, Del. Thornton, Colo.
Julie Ertel Irvine, Calif. Irvine, Calif.
Sarah Groff Cooperstown, N.Y. Boulder, Colo.
Sarah Kortuem St. Louis, Mo. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Becky Lavelle Minnetonka, Minn. Los Gatos, Calif.
Sara McLarty DeLand, Fla. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jasmine Oeinck Littleton, Colo. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Margaret Shapiro Great Falls, Va. Herndon, Va.
Amanda Stevens Enid, Okla. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Rebeccah Wassner Gaithersburg, Md. New York, N.Y.
Joanna Zeiger San Diego, Calif. Boulder, Colo.
Name Hometown Training Town
Brian Fleischmann Jacksonville, Fla. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Mark Fretta Portland, Ore. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Doug Friman Alameda, Calif. Tucson, Ariz.
Hunter Kemper Longwood, Fla. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Tim O’Donnell Shavertown, Pa. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Victor Plata Minneapolis, Minn. Santa Cruz, Calif.
Andy Potts Princeton, N.J. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Matt Reed New Zealand Boulder, Colo.
Jarrod Shoemaker Sudbury, Mass. Maynard, Mass.
Joe Umphenour Bellevue, Wash. Colorado Springs, Colo.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Triathlon is the second event in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team selection process that will field the three American men and three women who will represent the U.S. in Beijing in August. The top American woman and top American man at Tuscaloosa will each secure spots on the team.

The first selection event was held at the ITU Beijing World Cup last September, with Laura Bennett and Jarrod Shoemaker qualifying. The final event will be held in Des Moines, Iowa at the Hy-Vee Triathlon. The last male and female athlete will be selected after that race based on a points system that calculates the best two of three races.

The Trials will actually be part of a weekend of multisport action April 19-20 in Tuscaloosa. Collegiate Nationals will take place on Saturday morning, with the Trials race to follow that afternoon. Sunday, April 20 will feature a citizens’ and collegiate alumni sprint triathlon followed by the USA Triathlon Twenty-12 TalentID race, a draft-legal, sprint-distance event that will be open to athletes ages 16 to 29, including junior elite, U23 and age group athletes. It will give athletes experience in draft-legal racing and provide exposure to the Olympic style of racing to the public.

More details on the event can be found at the USAT Olympic Trials website.

Learn more about the athletes and the Olympics.