The 30th Anniversary AVIA Wildflower Long Course Triathlon will be held on May 5 in central California, and the top five in each amateur age group will be eligible for Team USA for the 2012 ITU Long Distance World Championships to be held July 29 in beautiful Vitoria-Gasteiz, located in the heart of Basque country in northern Spain. If any competitors in the top five choose not to take part in the Team USA contingent competing in Spain, USA Triathlon will roll down as far as 10th place to round out the team.
USA Triathlon National Events Director Jeff Dyrek said that Wildflower was chosen as a qualifier for the second year in a row because of its reputation as a rugged challenge with a topflight field. “Wildflower was chosen because it attracts some of the best long course athletes in the country to the race every year,” said Dyrek, “and Team USA wants the best age- groupers competing for world titles in Vitoria.”
Team USA is comprised of the nation’s top age-groupers, who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championships event.
The 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile Wildflower Long Course on the rural hills of Central California is universally recognized as one of the toughest and most beautiful triathlon venues in the world. It annually draws a sold out field of thousands of amateurs and a select field of the best professionals in the world.
The 2011 AVIA Wildflower Long Course event served as a USA Triathlon age group qualifier for the home country ITU Long Distance World Championships held last November in Henderson, Nevada. Wildflower served the qualifying process well, as eight Wildflower qualifiers went on to win age group world titles.
Trish Deim of Meriden, Idaho was second at Wildflower then went on to win the women’s 30- 34 gold medal in Las Vegas.
Susan Williams of Littleton, Colorado won the 40-44 title at Wildflower then went on to win the ITU age group title.
Armand Moini of Davis, California was third at Wildflower and went on to win the ITU World Championship men’s 18-19 crown in Henderson.
Ben Greenfield of Spokane, Washington was fourth at Wildflower, and then won the men’s 30- 34 gold medal at ITU Worlds.
Tim Hola of Highlands Ranch, Colorado was second at Wildflower then won the men’s 35-39 title at the ITU World Championships.
Scott Smith of Arroyo Grande, California was 3rd at Wildflower and won the men’s 45-49 title in Henderson.
Kyle Welch of Sunnyvale, California won the 50-54 titles at Wildflower and ITU Worlds.
Dwight Lundell of Paradise Valley, Arizona was second at Wildflower and won the men’s 65- 69 crown at the ITU Long Distance World Championships.
In the 2011 USA Triathlon qualifying process for the 2011 ITU Long Distance World Championships also included the October 2, 2010 Halfmax National Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the August 21, 2011 Pigman Long Course Triathlon in Palo, Iowa.
The first race in the USA Triathlon qualifying process for the 2012 ITU Long Distance World Championship was the USA Triathlon Long Course Triathlon National Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on October 8, 2011, and Wildflower will offer the final opportunity for United States amateur triathletes to punch a ticket to the ITU Long Distance World Championships.