FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Easton’s Chris Thomas won the masters division of the USA Triathlon Age Group Championships Olympic Distance event to lead a strong performance by Fairfield County athletes over the weekend in Milwaukee.
Thomas won the 40-44 age group and finished 16th overall at the Olympic Distance, which consisted of a 1,500 meter swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run. Thomas finished in 1:56:05, and was especially strong on the bike and run. His bike time of 56:24.9 led the division, and he closed out the race with a 35:35.4 10K, the second best time in the division.
It was the first USA Triathlon championship win for Thomas, whose specialty is half-Ironman and Ironman races.
Emma Langley of Cos Cob also won her age division at the Olympic distance. Langley, a college student at William & Mary, won the 16-19 age group in 2:15:35. She finished 56th overall among women. Her time on the bike, 1:05:48, led her division and she finished with a 44:40 10K, third among the contestants in her division.
Stamford’s John Cook finished fifth in the 75-79 age division at the Olympic distance. Cook finished in 3:27:31.
After the Olympic Distance event on Saturday, Norwalk’s Nick Logan, Stamford’s Megan Kelly excelled at the Sprint Distance on Sunday.
Kelly took eighth in the 35-39 women’s division, finishing in 1:12:51.8. The event consisted of a .465 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. Kelly, a former high school and college swimmer, finished second in her division in that discipline. She finished the bike leg in 35:09, 12th best in the division, and closed out the race with a 5k in 23:34.2.
Logan finished 17th in the 30-34 age group in 1:05:32.8. His best leg was the bike, where he finished in 30:30.2, the 12th best time in his division. Logan finished the 5k in 19:18.1.
The top 25 in each age group qualified to represent the United States in the World Championships in 2015. That race will be held in Chicago, and made this year’s races keenly competitive. Thomas, Cook and Langley qualified to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Distance in the 2015 world championships.
“You had to really be on your game this year with a record field of 5,000 of the best triathletes in the country,’’ Logan said. “Unfortunately a recent injury had me at less than 100 percent after not being able to run for the past three weeks. Fortunately I was able to pull it together for the sprint after falling a little short of qualifying at the Olympic distance. I'm still on the mend but I'll be getting ready to start training for the ultraman world championships in Hawaii this November.”
Other area triathletes who competed in Sprint Distance from Fairfield County included John McFarlane of Darien, Karen Brown and Jennifer Rattray from Greenwich and Redding’s Julia Thome. In the Olympic Distance, Norwalk’s Sean Battis, Greenwich’s Bruce Semer and Southport’s Pascale Butcher were among the finishers from Fairfield County.
Nearly 3,100 triathletes competed in the Olympic Distance race, and about 1,750 competed in the Sprint Distance.