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AgeGroupTriSm.gif (3325 bytes) 1998 LC National Championships     AG Home
AGPhotos 1998 US LC Championships
Lubbock, Texas

Chris Eschback edged out Peter Kotland, 25-29, by 18 seconds to take top age group honors at Buffalo Springs. Eschback's 4:13:11 placed him third among all the racers for the day. Chris Eschback, top age grouper at Buffalo Springs.

Buffalo Springs Lake swim start. Spring-fed Buffalo Springs Lake is cool enough to permit wetsuits. Nestled within a small ravine, the swim allowed this year's racers to forget about the record heat building over the Texas landscape and enjoy the illusional light of sunrise.

Once out of the water, racers climbed out of their wet oasis and into the glow of early morning. About ten miles down the road they would begin to encounter the real hills of Lubbock. Climbing out of the ravine.

Victoria Piper finishes her deceivingly hilly bike. Victoria Piper, 30-34, won her age group in 4:57:55. It is hard to imagine that Buffalo Springs Lake is noted for its hilly course. But Mike Greer has woven his race through a series of small valleys to make it one of the toughest half-Ironmans around.

Troy Jacobson had to run down James Bonney to take his third consecutive Long Course National Championship. Racers must start the run as they did the bike, by climbing out of the Buffalo Springs Lake ravine. The run course will dip in and out of the small valley again before making the final descent to the finish line.

Troy Jacobson starts his run.

Melissa Bannister won 20-24. Melissa Bannister, 20-24, crossed the finish in 5:18:59 and ended her day as an age group champion. Lubbock provided an ideal proving ground for those athletes hoping to fly to Hawaii and attend the Ironman's 20th anniversary.

Giving it your all at this year's Buffalo Springs race was sometimes painful as Lubbock's intense heat eventually took its toll on the field. Mary Uhl, third woman elite in 5:01:44, finished her race then collapsed in agony.

Mary Uhl, third elite, collapsed at the finish.

David Bailey won the male hand cranks on his way to Kona.

David Bailey, hand crank, earned his trip to Kona by coming from behind after the swim to win his division in 5:26:41.

Laurie Abrams, still looking fresh, had a few miles left to give when she crossed the line as the top female elite in 4:52:27. Abrams finished the day as the second woman overall, placing just over two minutes behind age grouper Amy McGrath.

Laurie Abrams finished as top female elite.

1998 LC National Championships     AG Home