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Photos 98 USTS Championships
Oceanside, California

Age group swimmers lined up on the beaches of Oceanside, California to compete in the finale of the reborn United States Triathlon Series. The USTS is making a bid to win back the hearts of amateur and pro triathletes as the sport prepares for its debut in the 2000 summer Olympic games.

AG men set their watches and prepare to hit the surf in Oceanside, California.

98TSAGSwim01.jpg (23722 bytes)

98TSAGSwim02.jpg (21829 bytes) Surf's up at Oceanside. It never rains in California--except on race day. Age groupers worked their way to the swim start in a light drizzle and saw the clouds part for the start gun. As they waited, the surf grew and the buoys drifted to create the longest swim of the season.

Women age groupers head into the surf and the western front of the Oceanside pier.

Beach starts may drive some racers nuts, but they sure are cool to watch. Wes Hobson knows his strengths and knows how to compete. For the first two legs of the USTS Championships the long-sleeved Hobson will be the man to catch. That's even more cool than the beach start.


The men pros stir up the silicon for spectators at Oceanside.

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P98TSLinSir04.jpg (14066 bytes) Siri Lindley started as an age grouper. She was recognized as New Zealand's rookie of the year when she made the jump to the pro ranks--and she has struggled for recognition ever since. But Oceanside was to be her day. Tapping a competitive spirit second to none, Lindley was destined to run down the leaders and claim Bally's USTS championship.



Siri Lindley was nervous when she woke up on race day morning. Too nervous to remember that she wasn't supposed to win.

Gail Laurence, Barb Lindquist and Jennifer Gutierrez lead the field down the sandy beaches of Oceanside. None of them would figure in the top three on this day.



The cameras pointed toward the favorites as the underdogs prepared to steal the race.

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P98TSLinBar02.jpg (15728 bytes) She was the favorite. Barb Lindquist led the American women through the summer, but Oceanside was not to be her race. In the home stretch, Lindquist would see her lead drop to second, then to third, and finally to fourth place. Who cares? She had a great season and she's a great competitor. Give her a high five the next time you see her--she started as an age grouper too.



Barb Lindquist couldn't stretch her season far enough to win the USTS.

Everyone knew it was Barb Lindquist's race to win--or lose. The swim was no question, and her bike? Oceanside provided a great course for the top American female of '98. But there were early signs of trouble. Lindquist's lead out of the swim could have been greater, and her lead into T2 had shrunk. By the end of the first lap of the run the story had reached the good pages--this was going to be a race.



Barb Lindquist heads into her second lap and into trouble.

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P98TSKemHun01.jpg (21957 bytes) While the women were hoping to make a race of the USTS, Hunter Kemper was stalking the men's leaders by holding his own on the bike. Too bad for Nick Radkewich--Kemper's best event is the run.





Hunter Kemper exits T1 within striking distance of the USTS championship.

First you pound through the surf and then, 100 yards out of T1, you pound up a steep hill to start the bike. Some opted to walk. Gear down, stand up, speed up.



AGs head head up their first hill and out onto the damp Oceanside roads to start their bike.

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P98TSLinSir05.jpg (23232 bytes) No one was more suprised than the champion herself when Siri Lindley crossed the finish line for the "best day of her life." The best part of Lindley's victory was the sincerity of it all. It was just fun to see all that hard work turn into smiles.





Siri Lindley beats the odds while beating the field at Oceanside.

Hunter Kemper came up through the same Iron Kids ranks as Nick Radkewich. Radkewich stayed at Kemper's parent's house in Florida before his victory in the USTA National qualifier in Clermont. Tough! Kemper, a former cross country runner, hung onto Radkewich's heels through most of the run then put the race to bed in the final stretch. As Wes Hobson would say during the evening's awards ceremony--anyone who doesn't believe non-drafting triathlon isn't exciting wasn't at Oceanside on this race day.

Hunter Kemper makes his mark on US triathlon and puts down notice that those intending to go to Sydney in 2000 had better talk to him first.

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