Reed, Ertel win spots on U.S. triathlon team

Updated: April 19, 2008, 7:25 PM ET
Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Matt Reed and Julie Swail Ertel secured spots on the U.S. Olympic men's and women's triathlon teams Saturday with wins in the second of three trials.

Ertel will be seeking an Olympic medal in her second sport after winning silver in water polo eight years ago. Reed, who switched his affiliation from New Zealand to the United States in 2004, will compete in his first Olympics against his brother, Shane, who made the New Zealand team last week.

Ertel, who was the USA Triathlon Elite national champion in 2007, and Reed join Laura Bennett and Jarrod Shoemaker on the team, with one spot for both the men and women left to fill based on standings over the three events at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in June in Des Moines, Iowa.

Reed of Boulder, Colo., charged into the lead on the last lap of the 24.8-mile bike ride and wound up with a 20-second win over Andy Potts. He finished the 0.9-mile swim, bike ride and 6.2-mile run in 1 hour, 52 minutes, 15 seconds, ahead of Potts (1:52.35) and Hunter Kemper (1:52.39), the leading contenders for the final spot on the men's team.

There were 11 women and 10 men competing, and Manny Huerta dropped out on the ride.

The 6-foot-5 Reed, the world's tallest professional triathlete, became a U.S. citizen in 2007.

Ertel, who lives in Irvine, Calif., pulled away from Sarah Haskins Kortuem and Sarah Groff on the run on a course similar to the one they'll tackle in the Beijing Games in August. Ertel finished in 2:02:21, followed by Kortuem (2:02.50) and Groff (2:02.59).

Ertel benefited from a swift transition from the bike and efforts to speed up her running with three races in as many weeks leading up to the week of the triathlon trials. She was a second alternate on the Olympic team in 2004.


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