(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The US had a great showing at the 2011 Pan Am Triathlon, held this weekend in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. Sarah Haskins brought home the gold in dominating fashion and in so doing,
guaranteed herself the US one more place at the 2012 Olympics in London. Gwen Jorgensen was 4th and qualified for London earlier in the year by winning a second place medal at the ITU Championship series.
The US men also put together an impressive race. Manuel ‘Manny’ Huerta won the silver medal falling just six seconds short to Brazil’s Reinaldo Colucci in the final few kilometers of the race.
Haskins put on a clinic for the women during the 1500m swimming, 40km cycling, 10km running race. She led out of the water in a group of three, along with Pamela Nascimento Oliveira of Brazil and American Sara McLarty. That trio would go on to put nearly 3 minutes on the chase pack by the end of the bike.
During the run Haskins easily held off a surging Barbara Riveros, of Chile, to win in a time of 1:57:37. Riveros finished with a time of 2:00:23, while Oliveira crossed the line in 3rd at 2:00:32. Sara Mclarty faded to 13th place in a time of 2:05:49.
Video highlights of the women’s race here.
The US men had a great showing, but despite a Herculean effort, Manny Huerta just didn’t quite have the legs to best race winner Reinaldo Colucci. The US team pushed an agressive pace on the bike with Matt Chrabot and Mark Fretta taking turns driving the pace and chasing down attacks.
Huerta himself said on his twitter account that his teammates had sacrificed their chance at the podium to put him in medal position at the end of the race. Huerta and the much larger Colucci came off the bike at the same time and held even going into the final 3km of the run.
Colucci won in a time of 1:48:02, Huerta crossed the line in 1:48:09, and Canada’s Brent McMahon finished in third with a time of 1:48:23. Chrabot and Fretta finished 10th and 23rd, respectively.
Video highlights of the men’s race can be seen here.