Chapman wins XTERRA national title
BRECKENRIDGE – Spending a day swimming in one of the country’s prettiest lakes, riding a mountain bike along its perimeter, and then trail running in the same area isn’t a bad way to kill a Sunday morning. Neither is earning a national championship while you’re at it. Seventeen-year-old Kate Chapman did all of the above on Sunday, taking first in the 15-19 women’s division of the XTERRA USA Championship Off-Road Triathlon in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Chapman finished the .93-mile swim, 21.7-mile mountain bike and 6.2-mile trail run in 3 hours, 56 minutes and 54 seconds, nearly 17 minutes faster than second-place finisher Shannon Forster of San Jose. The Summit High graduate said she wasn’t positive she had won her division until she found her results card a few minutes after she finished, but gained confidence when she passed a girl during the mountain bike leg wearing the same race tattoo on her leg as Chapman. That girl turned out to be Forster.
“I saw the 15 on the back of her leg and I thought, ‘Go for it,'” Chapman said from her Breckenridge home Wednesday. “I don’t know where she’s from, but I don’t think she had the same altitude training as I did.”Chapman’s victory qualified her for the XTERRA World Championship on Oct. 24. She hopes to compete for the world title in her division if she can secure sponsorship funding for the travel expenses involved. Chapman, who finished second in her division in the XTERRA Central Championship at Keystone on July 18, hopes to use her success in off-road triathlons as a springboard into adventure racing later in life. “A lot of adventure racers have started off in XTERRA as a way to build an endurance base for multi-discipline events,” she said. “I’ve gone 4 hours, so let’s see if I can go 6, 12, 24. In adventure racing you don’t really peak until you’re twice my lifetime, so I have a ways to go.”
Chapman, credits her mother, Anne, as one of her biggest sources of inspiration in her outdoor adventures. Anne made the trip with Kate and competed in the event as well, finishing third in the 45-49 women’s division (4:42:04). “I’m not competing against her,” the elder Chapman said. “We just encourage each other and do the best we can.” The Chapmans weren’t alone in representing Summit County at the championships. Frisco’s David Janoweic finished fifth in the 20-24 men’s division, with a time of 3:21:25.
“It’s my favorite course I’ve ever raced on,” Janoweic said. “The lake is so clean you can see the bottom the whole time you’re swimming.” Keystone’s Cindy Burkart (3:59:01) finished ninth in the 30-34 women’s division and Silverthorne’s Angela Knightley (4:07:04) finished 11th in the same division. Finish Line: Vail’s Josiah Middaugh (2:39:15) was crowned as the men’s XTERRA national champion after finishing third overall behind Europeans Sylvain Dodet and Eneko Llanos … Chapman’s national title came on the same weekend that five local athletes – Tristan White, TJ Fisker, Walker Savidge, LaDawn Stephenson and Todd Smith – won national titles in mountain biking in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Check Saturday’s edition for the complete story … For more information on the XTERRA USA Championship, visit the Web site at http://www.xterraplanet.com. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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