Currie, Paterson win XTERRA Southeast Championship

By XTERRA
May. 16, 2015

Complete Results / Video / Photo Gallery

(Pelham, AL) – Braden Currie from Wanaka, New Zealand and Lesley Paterson from Sterling, Scotland won the 10th annual XTERRA Southeast Championship triathlon at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama this morning.

The men’s race came down to a sprint finish between Currie and last year’s champion, Josiah Middaugh from Vail, Colorado.  The two ran stride for stride for the entire six-mile trail run, the final stage of the race, with Currie taking the tape in 2:18:23, just three seconds ahead of Middaugh.

In the women’s race two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson was the sixth pro woman after the one-mile swim in Double Oak Lake, took the lead about a one-third of the way through the 20-mile mountain bike stage, and won comfortably in 2:39:13, more than four-minutes ahead of runner-up Emma Garrard of Park City, Utah.

Today’s race also doubled as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race. As such, the top American finishers Middaugh and Garrard were honored as the USAT Elite National Champions.

Here’s what some of the pros had to say about their day:

Braden Currie, who captured his third XTERRA of the year (following back-to-back wins at XTERRA New Zealand and XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in April).

- It’s a real mental game. I’d only ridden the course once so I knew Josiah had that advantage there and probably as well that he’s a lot stronger rider than I am, but I had that break out of the swim so he had to work really hard to catch up from the start (Josiah was 2:15 behind Braden out of the swim).

- I caught Craig Evans on the bike and I asked him when does Josiah normally catch you and he says not until the run, but then I looked back and Josiah was only five meters behind me so sure enough he shot past.

- (Out of the bike to run transition) I tried to go out at the start but Josiah hung on so I figured there was no point in killing myself so I set back

- Josiah is a really strong cyclist, so I knew he’d catch up somewhere.  When he did I let him go passed and followed him around, then ran into a tree and had to catch back up again.  We headed out on the run together.  I sat behind him for the second lap and when he grabbed a drink at that last aid station I ran as fast as I could and it worked.  Look forward to a season of racing him.

- Awesome day, great racing, really competitive.  That course is fun, a mountain bikers ride, really cool.

Josiah Middaugh, runner-up at the last five championship races he’s done (Twice to Ruben Ruzafa at the USA and World Championships last year, to Rom Akerson at XTERRA Costa Rica in March, to Francisco Serrano at the West Championship last month, and to Currie today).

- I was trying to feel it out first lap a little bit and he went out really hard and I thought maybe he might be bluffing. On that first lap I figured out I was a little bit stronger on the climbs, and he was a little bit faster on the flats, so on the second lap I hit every climb as hard as I possibly could but I just couldn’t shake him.  I’d open up a couple steps and he’d come right back.  Congrats to Braden for running really tough, just really mentally tough.  Coming down that last straight I was just trying to hang on to the rope.  At the end of the second lap we hit the pavement and I grabbed some water – not to drink but to wake myself up – and he took off.  I wasn’t giving up, though.  I was pumping my arms, giving everything I had.

- We were both trying to soften each other up a little bit on the run. We would put in these half moves, tons of bursts, but not really full on, it was just to see if the other guy would fall off.

- I can’t remember a race this close before.  I liked it.  It was a little tactical.  We attacked each other probably a dozen times on the run.  I was attacking on the hills but there weren’t enough of those.

Chris Ganter

Chris Ganter (matches career-best 3rd place finish he also achieved at West Champs last month)

- Got out of the water around Josiah and Olly.  Olly was a lot smoother on the terrain so I stayed with him.  And there are only two places where you can really use your fitness, the jeep trail climb and Johnson's Mountain, and I used those two spots to move myself up in the race.  Moved through everyone except Craig, Braden, and Josiah.

- I was two minutes down in transition, and really worried about Olly behind me.  I ran hard, had the effort level at pegged. Caught Craig on the second lap on the bridge, gave him a pat and said let’s do this.

- I’m really pleased, my fitness was better today than in Vegas but couldn’t use it because it’s a skill course.

Notes:

Fastest swim: Craig Evans, 19:39 / Sara McLarty, 20:09
Fastest bike: Josiah Middaugh, 1:21:20 / Lesley Paterson, 1:36:09
Fastest run: Braden Currie, 34:11 / Lesley Paterson, 38:32

- Karsten Madsen crashed at mile six, suffering a bad cut on knee and had all kinds of other nicks and scrapes, got back at it and pulled into second place before suffering through three flat tires.  DNF’d.

- Craig Evans led early then stayed with Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh on the back half of the bike.  Entered T2 in third and held on for fourth.  It’s the seventh time in eight years he’s been top four here, including two runner-ups, and three third-place finishes.

PRO MEN          
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Braden Currie 28 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:18:23 100
2 Josiah Middaugh 36 Eagle-Vail, Colorado 2:18:26 90
3 Chris Ganter 36 Boise, Idaho 2:24:32 82
4 Craig Evans 37 Hendersonville, Tennessee 2:25:49 75
5 Olly Shaw 23 Rotorua, New Zealand 2:27:14 69
6 Branden Rakita 34 Colorado Springs, Colorado 2:27:58 63
7 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:28:37 58
8 Ryan Ignatz 36 Boulder, Colorado 2:29:35 53
9 Brad Zoller 37 Avon, Colorado 2:31:40 49
10 Chris Foster 32 Redondo Beach, CA 2:41:50 45
Also: Will Ross (41)

Lesley Paterson

 

Women's Quotes:

Lesley Paterson (winner of three straight this year at XTERRA Costa Rica, West Champs, now here.  It’s the third time if four years she has won this race, and she missed last year due to injury).

- Just tried to stay smooth.  I had a couple slips out on the bike early so once I took the lead I just wanted to keep the rubber side down.

- Swim is still tough with the shoulder (she fractured it pre-riding in Costa Rica) and I was a little sore bumping around on the bike, but it has been improving.

- Great to be back and winning races.

- This course is very rooty, twisty, turny … so I tried to recreate that training in San Diego before the race by practicing cornering and all that stuff.  It’s a technically challenging course.

- I love the Southern hospitality here, the people are so sweet and the volunteers were great.

- It was a really tough day out there for the whole field so hope everyone gets through their injuries and tough times and comes out stronger.

Emma Garrard (Runner-up to Paterson for second time this year)

- I flew off on the first slick bridge, twisted my seat around.  Hit a root wrong, twisted my handle bar, smashed my head, roughed up my shoulder.  I crashed like four times today, all before Blood Rock. After that I was fine.

Notes:

- Lesley will now switch focus to chasing her dream of making Great Britain’s Olympic mountain biking team.  She’ll probably not race another XTERRA until Maui, aside perhaps from a European race.

- Suzie Snyder had a bad crash early on and suffered the whole day, audible in a ton of pain, but soldiered through to finish third.

- Catherine Sterling had a XTERRA career day, her first top four.

- Christine Jeffrey was brilliant in her first race of the year, riding in second until Emma and Suzie caught her late.  She came with a bum ankle but still managed a solid fifth place finish.

- Maia Ignatz had one of her best days as a pro, finishing in sixth.

- Hannah Rae Finchamp had a tough day in her pro debut, crashing hard at the very beginning of the bike and eventually had to pull.

- Katie Button was riding strong, much like her Canadian counterpart Madsen in the men's race, but three flats took her out of contention.

PRO WOMEN        
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson 34 San Diego, California (Scotland) 2:39:13 100
2 Emma Garrard 33 Park City, Utah 2:44:10 90
3 Suzie Snyder 33 Fredericksburg, Virginia 2:46:52 82
4 Catherine Sterling 38 Ayer, Massachussetts 2:49:17 75
5 Christine Jeffrey 42 Tucson, Arizona 2:50:51 69
6 Maia Ignatz 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:51:45 63
7 Sara Schuler 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:52:54 58
8 Kara LaPoint 27 Truckee, California 2:53:21 53
9 Jaime Brede 37 Breckenridge, Colorado 2:56:43 49
10 Sara McLarty 32 Clermont, Florida 3:01:14 45
Also: Amelia McCracken (41), Emily Bashton (37), Rebecca Blatt (34), Debby Sullivan (31)

General Notes:

- There are a lot of really tough racers in XTERRA.  The slick bridges and roots, and tough technical course led to a bunch of crashes and the walking wounded were everywhere after the race. Incredibly, it didn’t seem to damper spirits at all, more so served like a badge of honor.  Big thanks to the guys at Pelham Fire for taking such good care of the athletes.

- XTERRA’s trail etiquette was on fine display today.  There were countless numbers of courteous passes (on your left when you can, please, thank you, good jobs, etc…).  Really great displays of sportsmanship all around Oak Mountain State Park today.

- Some good work was put in by Dr. Jay Cofield and his mass communication students from the University of Montevallo, who filmed and editing a highlight video at today's XTERRA Southeast Championship race at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama that we could load to our Facebook page.  Also a terrific job by XTERRA’s social media team of Briana Rickertsen for updating @xterraoffroad, and showing live coverage through periscope, and Allison Moore for posting pics and updates to Facebook.

- Special thanks to the 2015 XTERRA Southeast Championship sponsors Paul Mitchell, XTERRA Resorts and Shelby County Tourism.  Also Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, LifeProof, Optic Nerve, Greenlayer, XTERRA Coffee, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, the Shelby County Reporter, and the Utah Sports Commission.

XTERRA U.S. PRO SERIES UPDATE

Having won the first two races Lesley Paterson is the only pro with a perfect score, but this was likely her last race of the Series and if that holds true Emma Garrard is in the best position with two runner-ups and 180 points.  Suzie Snyder is not far behind with her two third-place showings.  In the men’s chase Middaugh is the man right now with 180 points but with today’s win Currie made a bold statement and he is planning on doing the rest of the series.   Pros count their best three scores in the first four, plus what they earn at Nationals on September 19 in Utah regardless of how they do.

Next up: The 17th annual XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Virginia on June 14.

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (After 2)
Pros count best 3-of-4 regionals, plus USA Champs
PRO MEN              
Pl Name West S'East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 90 90 180
2 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 164
3 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 133
4 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 132
5 Alex Modestou, USA 49 58 107
6 Brad Zoller, USA 53 49 102
7 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS 100
8 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 100
9 Ryan Ignatz, USA 45 53 98
10 Ben Allen, AUS 75 DNS 75
11 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS 69 69
12 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 63
13 Chris Foster, USA DNS 45 45
14 JP Donovan, USA 41 DNS 41
15 Will Ross, USA DNS 41 41
16 James Hadley, GBR 37 DNS 37
17 Jimmy Archer, USA 34 DNS 34
18 Kyle Hughes, USA 31 DNS 31
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name West S'East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 200
2 Emma Garrard, USA 90 90 180
3 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 164
4 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 116
5 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 116
6 Maia Ignatz, USA 49 63 112
7 Sara McLarty, USA 41 45 86
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 31 76
9 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 75 DNS 75
10 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 75
11 Brittany Webster, CAN 69 DNS 69
12 Christine Jeffrey, CAN DNS 69 69
13 Rebecca Blatt, USA 31 34 65
14 Katie Button, CAN 53 DNF 53
15 Jaime Brede, USA DNS 49 49
16 Amelia McCracken, USA DNS 41 41
17 Emily Bashton, USA DNF 37 37
18 Lauren Thompson, USA 34 DNS 34

DSC_0845
THE AMATEUR RACE

More than 300 triathletes from 40 states and six countries took part in today’s event, which combined a one-mile swim with a 20-mile mountain bike and six-mile trail run.

Daryl Weaver, 42, from Lititz, Pennsylvania ran past 20-year-old Cole Bunn from Bettendorf, Iowa in the last 300-meters to win the overall men’s title in 2:35:27.

“Haven’t had that much fun on a bike course in a long, long time,” said Weaver, who was racing at Oak Mountain for the first time.  “It was an awesome day.  One of the best races I’ve ever had.  I paced myself on the bike, paced myself on the run, and took it easy on the swim.  I was just relaxed.”

Bunn, who was in the lead for 99% of the run and on his way to a big win said when Weaver caught him at the end “I was absolutely spent. I tried to stick with him but he really hammered it in that last 300 yards on the run.”

The future is bright for Bunn, a former amateur XTERRA National Champion in the 15-19 division, who just finished his freshman year racing triathlon at the University of Colorado.

In the women’s race 43-year-old Mimi Stockton from Stevensville, Michigan was four-minutes faster than 41-year-old Mary Rosser from Sterrett, Alabama with a winning time of 2:59:01.

“I spent a lot of time in the pain cave today,” said Stockton, a former XTERRA World Champion.  “I was out all last season with a stress fracture so it feels good to be back racing and to win, even though I hit a tree and might’ve cracked a rib or something … but I’m okay ya know.”

In all, 21 amateur athletes representing 16 states captured USA Triathlon National Championship titles today.  There were two local winners, David Meadows (45-49 division) and Lori Goldweber (50-54 division), both from Birmingham, Alabama.

There was a lot at stake today for amateurs.  The top 15 finishers in each division qualified to race at XTERRA Nationals, Sept. 19 in Ogden, Utah.  50 amateurs punched their ticket to the XTERRA World Championship, and the top 18 finishers in each division qualified to represent Team USA at the 2016 International Triathlon Union Cross Triathlon World Championships, the date and location of which will be announced later this year. Team USA is comprised of the nation's top multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championships event. Visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa for more on Team USA.

Here’s a look at the 2015 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Champions

USAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (WOMEN)    
Division Name Hometown Time
20 - 24 Heather Wilson Temecula, CA 3:42:33
25 - 29 Anna Frey Atlanta, GA 3:56:16
30 - 34 Nicole Valentine Germantown, MD 3:05:13
35 - 39 Melanie Etherton Austin, TX 3:07:29
40 - 44 *Mimi Stockton Stevensville, MI 2:59:01
45 - 49 Margo Pitts Raleigh, NC 3:12:33
50 - 54 Lori Goldweber Birmingham, AL 3:09:51
55 - 59 Stephanie Landy Ballston Spa, NY 3:17:27
60 - 64 Susan Griffin-Kaklikian Castle Rock, CO 3:36:53
65 - 69 Linda Usher Upton, MA 4:38:30
70 - 74 Charlotte Mahan Lenoir City, TN 5:28:39
PRO Emma Garrard Park City, UT 2:44:10
USAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (MEN)    
Division Name Hometown Time
15 - 19 Greg Schott Chesterfield, VA 2:35:46
20 - 24 Cole Bunn Bettendorf, IA 2:35:34
25 - 29 Justin McMurrer Lehigh Acres, FL 2:41:07
30 - 34 James Haycraft Charlotte, NC 2:36:52
35 - 39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA 2:38:35
40 - 44 *Daryl Weaver Lititz, PA 2:35:27
45 - 49 David Meadows Birmingham, AL 2:39:31
50 - 54 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:51:08
55 - 59 Bruce Wilson Temecula, CA 2:51:59
60 - 64 Doug Usher Upton, MA 3:52:55
65 - 69 Alan Moore Ada, MI 3:39:01
70 - 74 Ronald Scranton Tijeras, NM 4:26:41
PRO Josiah Middaugh Eagle-Vail, CO 2:18:26

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Southeast Championship was the 15th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+ (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA# (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss, Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (DIogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa, Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
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