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March 14, 2013

Groff is off to strong year

The Olympics behind her, Groffy is on the go again.

Sarah Groff earned the women’s victory to lead the United States at Saturday’s Clermont (Fla.) ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup at Lake Louisa State Park.

Groff posted a time of 1 hour, 17 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course to earn her third career ITU Pan American Cup win.

Olympian Helle Frederiksen of Denmark was second in 1:00:23, while Kaitlin Donner of Gainesville, Fla., rounded out the women’s podium in 1:00:31.

Groff continued to see results from her concentration on improving the running portion of the event. She ran the 5k in 17:43, the fastest run time in the race. Groff also led the pack after the swim portion of the event.

A week earlier, Groff finished second at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco. She did so despite an upset stomach and a gash on her head that she had to get stapled up after the event.

“I split my scalp open,” Groff told Bonnie D. Ford of ESPN.com. “You know, it’s a tough enough race as it is, and I kind of made it a lot harder on myself. There’s a 20-meter-long tunnel (near the start of the running leg) that’s probably five feet (high). You crouch down and run through it. I stood up a hair too quickly and hit it really hard, ended up on the ground.

“The woman who was stapling my head together after the race said, ‘Maybe you should have left your helmet on,’ and ‘I guess you really, really wanted to win,’ because I kept on going. Character-building moment, I guess. The next six miles were pretty miserable; I’m not going to lie. Needless to say, when I went back the second time, I was really, really cautious.”

Clermont ITU Sprint TriathlonPan American Cup 

Women’s Top 10 

1. Sarah Groff (Hanover, N.H.), 1:00:17

2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN), 1:00:23

3. Kaitlin Donner (Gainesville, Fla.), 1:00:31

4. Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), 1:00:44

5. Paula Findlay (CAN), 1:00:51

6. Carolina Routier (ESP), 1:01:07

7. Katie Hursey (Hampstead, Md.), 1:01:12

8. Radka Vodickova (CZE), 1:01:22

9. Sara McLarty (Clermont, Fla.), 1:02:40

10. Lauren Goss (Clermont, Fla.), 1:03:36

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