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Petersen Earns Podium Finish at Pan American Triathlon Championships

Verzbicas withdraws with left shin injury; Huerta leads U.S. men

LA PAZ, Argentina – Americans Jillian Petersen and Margaret Shaprio finished second and third, respectively, Sunday at the PATCO Pan American Triathlon Championships to lead the U.S. contingent in the opening race of the 2012 International Triathlon Union season.

Jillian Petersen was second at Sunday’s PATCO Championships

Petersen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) logged a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 22 seconds on the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run course to earn the silver. Shapiro (Herndon, Va.) took third in 2:08:26.

Making his elite and Olympic-distance debut, reigning junior world champion Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was in position to strike on the run and quickly joined the top five out of T2 before ending his day at the 6k mark due to a left shin injury. Verzbicas, who sensed a tweak in his shin earlier in the week but felt good in pre-race warm ups today, will undergo evaluation upon return to Colorado Springs to determine the extent of his injury.

Kaitlin Shiver (Satellite Beach, Fla.) placed seventh in 2:11:01, while Lindsey Jerdonek (Washington, D.C.) was 13th in 2:15:52. All four U.S. women rode with the lead pack throughout the 40k bike with Petersen and Shapiro closing strong on the run to secure spots on the podium. Canada’s Sarah-Anne Brault won the women’s race in 2:07:10.

Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.), who made strong charge at the mid-point of the race but fell off over the final 3k of the run, placed 14th in 1:57:04 to lead eight American men in action. Ben Collins (15th, Colorado Springs, Colo.), Brian Lamar (16th. Whittier, Calif.) and Barrett Brandon (20th, Fort Worth, Texas) joined Huerta to give the U.S. four of the top-20 finishers on the men’s side. Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield was part of a three-man breakaway on the bike and held on for the win in 1:53:36.

2012 La Paz PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships
(1,500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)

Women – Click here for complete results
1. Sarah-Anne Brault (CAN), 2:07:10
2. Jillian Petersen (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2:08:22
3. Margaret Shapiro (Herndon, Va.), 2:08:26
7. Kaitlin Shiver (Satellite Beach, Fla.), 2:11:01
13. Lindsey Jerdonek (Washington, D.C.), 2:15:52

Men – Click here for complete results
1. Tyler Butterfield (BER),1:53:36
2. Brent McMahon (CAN), 1:54:07
3. Kyle Jones (CAN), 1:54:30
14. Manuel Huerta (Miami, Fla.), 1:57:04
15. Ben Collins (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:57:10
16. Brian Lamar (Whittier, Calif.), 1:57:57
20. Barrett Brandon (Fort Worth, Texas), 1:59:12
22. Mark Fretta (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 1:59:24
23. Kevin Collington (Orlando, Fla.), 1:59:28
26. Dan McIntosh (Denver, Colo.), 2:03:45
DNF Lukas Verzbicas (Colorado Springs, Colo.)