The XTERRA Pan American / USA Championship race on Saturday, September 7 in Utah was the culmination of the Pan Am Tour for amateur athletes, meaning three titles were up for grabs – the Pan Am Champion title (awarded to the top finisher in each division at the race), the USA Champion title (awarded to the top American finisher in each division), and the Pan Am Tour title (awarded to the highest points scorer over the 10-race series).
Here we’ll look at who came out on top in each division. In the men’s amateur race, Utah native Bowen Satterthwaite won the 15-19 Pan Am and USA titles with a time of 3:08:11, posting the fastest bike and run splits, while Juan Gonzalez from Chicago, Illinois took home the XTERRA Pan Am Tour title.
Travis Gilpin from Woodinville, WA won the 20-24 race titles, but Facundo Jaramillo from Argentina captured Tour honors.
In the 25-29 division, Anthony Farley from Salt Lake City won the race and Claudio Borquez from Chile won the Tour.
The competitive 30-34 age group yielded the top amateur of the day – Stefano Davite - with a time of 2:50:15 and the fastest bike split. Davite is a successful Italian age group athlete on the ITU and ETU Cross Triathlon circuits and now a XTERRA Pan American Champion. Runner-up Mike Lavery from Bozeman, MT posted the quickest run and finished in 2:52:13 to capture the XTERRA USA Champion title, and Steve Croucher, who had the fastest swim spilt, second fastest bike split, and a solid run to finish in third place at the race won the Pan Am Tour crown.
It wasn’t such a surprise that Lavery posted such a fast run as he has been focusing on trail running this season in Montana. He came into T2 in fourth and worked his way up to second in the age group on the run.
“I rode solo until I caught Lesley Paterson at the base of the Sardine climb,” said Lavery, who is headed to Maui. “She was riding quite fast and I was a bit unsure of my overall bike fitness. I passed her on one of the open sections of the descent, chose the worst line ever, rode over all these huge rocks, and somehow didn't crash. The run was a struggle, but I got into the zone, settled into a pace, and kept moving. Overall it was a great day.”
Peter Santini from Carbondale, CO won the 35-39 division Pan Am and USA titles with a time of 3:03:56 and the fastest run split.
“I’m a late onset swimmer, so it’s definitely my weak leg,” said Santini, who won his age group at XTERRA Beaver Creek, Lory, and Fruita this year and is looking forward to racing in Maui next month. “The first 300 yards of the swim were pretty rough with lots of contact, but I came out of the water happy with my effort but no real idea of where I was in the field. I rode strong without burning too many matches and was in a good position going into Wheeler Canyon. The run was a battle with Ryan Terry. We were going back and forth for the first 30 minutes of it before I managed to get away. I caught Caleb Baity on the final descent to the finish. I just put my head down and went all out.”
Matthew Monnot from San Francisco won the 35-39 Tour title.
In the 40-44 division, Mike Dorr narrowly missed winning the overall amateur title with a time of 2:50:27, just 12 seconds behind Stefano Davite. He did, however, sweep the rest of the honors in his division, capturing the Pan Am and USA Champion crowns and the Tour title. Dorr won his very competitive age group by more than 10 minutes with a smoking run, and solid bike and swim. His run split of 47:24 was the top split of all amateurs, and his overall time was good enough for 15th place overall. He said it was the best race of his life.
In the 45-49 group, XTERRA Lake Tahoe Champ Stefan Laursen took the top step with a time of 3:10:05 while Eric Snowberg, who was just behind in 3:10:32, took home tour honors. To give you an idea of how fast Snowberg is in the water, his swim time was only slower than elites Sam Osborne and Branden Rakita, and he was the top amateur in the water.
Mike Nahom from New Milford, CT took the 50-54 age group with a time of 3:04:01 and a blazing run split. Joe Cooper was second in 3:09:01 while Joost Van Ulden from Canada was third in 3:19:34 and captured the Tour title.
In the 55-59 division, Karl Edgerton won the race and tour titles with a time of 3:19:03, the fastest run, and the 3rd fastest amateur swim split of the day.
In the 60-64 division, Matt Morrell from Ketchum, ID edged out Cliff Millemann, 3:25:12 to 3:25:37, to win the race titles but Millemann won the tour crown.
In the 65-69 division, Doug Jones from Pensacola, FL won the race titles with a time of 3:59:02 and the fastest swim and bike splits, and Bill Blankenship won the Tour.
David Rakita swept all three titles in the 70-74 group with the fastest swim, bike, and run splits.
And the amazing Willie Stewart won the physically challenged division crowns with a time of 3:46:23. When Stewart was 18, he lost his arm in a construction accident in Washington, DC. Since then, he has competed in the XTERRA World Championship six times and was the 2004 Dave DeSantis XTERRA Warrior Award Recipient.
In the women’s race, Aubrie Aagard won the 15-19 division titles in 4:04:14 while Staci Lovell won the Tour.
Abbi Milner from Bend, Oregon won the 20-24 bracket race titles with a time of 3:30:46.
In the 25-29 age group, Rebecca Goldstein took top marks across the board and finished in 3:23:10 with the fastest swim, bike, and run. Emily Cameron from Athens won the Tour.
Christy Drever from Canada took home the XTERRA Pan American Champion crown in the 30-34 division, Jessica Tap from Missoula, MT won the XTERRA USA Championship, and Tory Sigmond from Waltham, MA captured the Tour title.
“I am still riding the post-race high,” said Drever. “I’ve been working hard on the swim this season, and for the first time, I felt comfortable in the water. My transition to the bike was conservative. I live at sea level and didn’t want to dig myself into a hole. I was patient and mindful on the bike and got into a good groove by Sardine Peak. I love this climb – as brutal as it is – and even took a brief moment to look at Pineview Reservoir close to the top just to take in how much of a climb we had endured. Admittedly, the moment was brief, as I was actually battling a few other girls. The XTERRA ladies are fierce and it made for such a fun battle out there!”
In the 35-39 division, Sian Crespo won the race and tour titles with a blazing time on the bike and run. She finished in 3:25:54 while 2017 XTERRA Pan Am Champ, Megan Riepma was second in 3:32:32. Riepma, the 2017 XTERRA Pan Am Age Group Champ, had the fastest swim.
“After Utah, I’ll be knuckling down to prep for Maui,” said Crespo, who lives in the mountains of Truckee, California. “I just hope winter doesn’t arrive too soon.”
Moving up to the 40-44 bracket, Lindsay Jackson had the race of her life and posted the fastest bike split by nine minutes to finish in 3:31:00. Jill Sorensen won the Tour title.
“I’m thrilled to have had a day when everything came together,” said Jackson.
Top amateur of the day, Jennifer Razee had an amazing race with the fastest swim, bike, and run and a time of 3:20:33, good enough for 13th overall for the women. She also won the Pan Am Tour title.
“I had a great day,” said top amateur Jen Razee. “I had a ton of fun racing with friends. The camaraderie of our crew and XTERRA friends pulled me around the course. Sometimes I definitely feel the juggle of family, work, and training is too much, but then I take a step back and remember how much I love it. The challenge of race day, training with friends, and the racing community all feed my soul.”
In the 50-54 bracket, Michelle Yost held off Luisa Saft, 3:52:05 to 3:52:44. Yost had the fastest swim and run while Saft had the quickest bike split to win the Tour title.
“This race is so tough, and I knew I had to stick to my plan for pacing and nutrition,” said Yost. “I really wanted to set myself up for the run so I wouldn’t have to walk much. The swim was great - I found open water fairly quickly and got into a nice rhythm with my stroke and breathing. But that bike is so hard!! I’m continually working on my skills as I started mountain biking four years ago. I struggled with the downhill rocky sections so there’s still improvement to be made there. But I finished up the bike feeling good and hoping I had enough nutrition to get through the run. I did the race in 2016 and that first uphill section has changed which was a welcome relief. My legs felt good and so I just went with it. There weren’t many people around me after the sprint turnoff so I could focus on light feet and not making any mistakes. Once I hit the top, I let my downhill legs go and finished it up.”
Janet Soule took the 55-59 age group race and tour titles with a time of 3:34:03 while Susan Moote was second in 3:55:20. Lisa Sieders was third in 4:22:54. Moote was out of the water first, while Soule posted the fastest marks on the bike and run courses.
In the 60-64 division, Barbara Peterson reigned supreme to win the race and tour titles.
And in the elite divisions, which we covered in-depth here, Sam Osborne won the men’s race and tour titles, while Lesley Paterson won the race and Samantha Kingsford won the tour for the women.
2019 XTERRA PAN AM TOUR CHAMPS
|15-19||Staci Lovell||Kona, HI|
|25-29||Emily Cameron||Athens, GA|
|30-34||Tory Sigmond||Waltham, MA|
|35-39||Sian Crespo||Truckee, CA|
|40-44||Jill Sorensen||Dillon, CO|
|45-49||Jennifer Razee||Edwards, CO|
|50-54||Luisa Saft||Novo Hamburgo, Brazil|
|55-59||Janet Soule||Davis, CA|
|60-64||Barbara Peterson||Berkeley, CA|
|Elite||Samantha Kingsford||New Zealand|
|15-19||Juan Gonzalez||Chicago, IL|
|30-34||Steve Croucher||Peru, VT|
|35-39||Matthew Monnot||San Francisco, CA|
|40-44||Michael Dorr||Avon, CO|
|45-49||Eric Snowberg||Golden, CO|
|50-54||Joost Van Ulden||N. Vancouver, Canada|
|55-59||Karl Edgerton||Vail, CO|
|60-64||Cliff Millemann||Davis, CA|
|65-69||Bill Blankenship||Santa Fe, NM|
|70-74||David Rakita||Durango, CO|
|Elite||Sam Osborne||Rotorua, New Zealand|