On May 3 I raced the Monterrey CAMTRI Pan-Am Cup in Mexico, finishing 7th overall, 2nd among the U23 field, and first American, earning a spot for the ITU U23 World Championships in Chicago this coming September.
I exited the non-wetsuit swim in 10th, 15sec from the lead, after a violent first 400m due to the narrowness of the canal and caught the first guys really quickly.
There were about twenty athletes in our lead group. We were to be together on the monotonous bike course for 8 loops, increasing our lead regularly on the pursuers. On the bike, I felt very strong, stayed aggressive and took numerous turns at the head of the pack. The others found the bike hard while I thought it was easy.
Entering T2 in 2nd, I started the run in first place. In past races, lots of guys would overtake me at the beginning but, today, no one passed me in the first 500m. I figured I must be running well. Then a group of 9 formed and led during the first 2,5km loop. During the 2nd loop, the Mexicans Saracho and Perez, followed by the Olympian American Hunter Kemper, broke away and finished in that order despite a wild sprint. At the start of the last loop, our group of 6 scattered. It became a bit hard for me. I felt I didn’t have that extra 1% I had at the Collegiate Nationals to sustain the faster pace, even though I was told that I “looked comfortable”. I also know that my main rival for the U23 spot, Eli Hemming, is far back, which decreased my motivation to hurt more.
I ended up a satisfying 7th, 31sec behind the winner, 2nd U23 in the Americas Championships and, best of all, 1st American U23 which was my goal coming to Monterrey. Thus, I will be selected, for the first time, for the ITU U23 Worlds in Chicago next September with TEAM USA, which makes me really proud.