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The deal with the San Diego Start List
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So many fans and pros alike were shocked when they saw the San Diego start list and realized the names they thought would be on the list weren't. Here is a rundown of what went on and how the start list was created;

-The first guys that get a crack at entering is the 10 person Gold Group. That currently consists of top 3 at 2008 Olympics and Top 7 from 2011 WTS Series. 7 of those 10 guys took their spots (Alistair Brownlee, Brukhankov and Vidal passed).

Then next they take 30 guys from the current WTS standings. (so just Yokohama in this case). Its important to note that they take 30 guys and not necessarily the top 30. Because some from this ranking already are included in the Gold Group or chose to pass their spot, those spots get rolled down. In this case you had to be in the top 35 to be included. This is how Chrabot, Shoemaker and Fretta got in. (Fretta finished 32nd but was the 25th included because of roll downs)

Next they take 20 guys from the ITU points list that aren't already qualified. Manny Huerta was the 20th of 20 to qualify this way. He was 43rd overall on the points list.

So if you've been doing the math there are 7+30+20 guys that have taken a spot already. Now they continue down the points list until they've reached their predetermined field size. In this case they happen to choose 65. So they took the next 8 available guys on the start list to get to 65 total starters. The last guy let in was Clark Ellice of NZL who is ranked 56th on the points list. Ethan Brown is 58th and Greg Billington 64th.

Next up USAT has their own qualification specifications. Each federation is given the opportunity to sub out one racer for another. So USAT has created their own list which takes an athlete's two best scores from post Grand Finale WTS, WC or Continental Championships. That substitution is automatic unless the one being subbed out is protected (yes another list). In this case Mark Fretta will be subbed out for Hunter Kemper who is the highest unqualified athlete on the USAT record. If Kemper, is not healthy that spot will be rolled down to Greg Billington who is the next highest.

Interesting to note- Sarah Haskins will be subbed out of San Diego. The third women's spot was largely believed to be a toss up between Haskins and Laura Bennett. However, Haskins (who has spent the majority of 2011 racing non-drafting) will be subbed for Jillian Peterson, who has a higher USAT ranking.

Moving on, ITU also reserves the right to give up to 5 discretionary invites. There is also the matter of withdrawals which will get rolled down on the points list. So that gives Brown, Billington,Collins and Fretta some hope to make it. Accounting for the fact no federation (asides from the US as the host nation) can have more than 6 entries, Brown is 2nd on the waiting list, Billington 7th and Collins 11th. Of course though, if they gain entry they would have to be accepted by USAT's policy as well.



If you want my projection of which Americans will actually start at San Diego, well I have no freaking clue. This process is super overly complicated

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fantasy Triathlon
http://914419110599774392.weebly.com/index.html
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the info (again). Great to have some ITU stuff on the forum too.

I'm going down to Sydney this week-end to watch the WTS races, should be fun.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed - thanks for the update!

Aaron Bales
Lansing Triathlon Team
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Do you think the ITU will give the some, if not all of the 5 discretionary invites to US men?


https://twitter.com/mungub
http://benmunguia.blogspot.com
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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looks like ben collins wasn't clear on how to get a start in san diego...or happy about being left off (i tend to agree with him if points/politics are set aside)

from his twitter...
"Looks like San Diego start list was based only on Yokohama results. I wasn't there so Im SOL? Wish we'd known that! Im 10th on the wait list"
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Mr ITU wrote:
Accounting for the fact no federation (asides from the US as the host nation) can have more than 6 entries....

Any federation with an athlete(s) in the Gold Group can exceed the quota. There are 7 Aussies, 7 Kiwis and 7 Russians in the mens' race, and 9 Aussies in the womens' race.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Is Kemper trying to be ready for San Diego? I thought he was for sure out. I think it would be a shame if Brown, Billinton, Fretta ect are not on the start line. A shame!
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [PBFLRacing] [ In reply to ]
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He has been in the pool. Without a doubt he is swimming fast. Not sure if he's back at the 16:10 1500m time he was accustomed to in the fall. Good news is he didn't really have to take much bike/run time off and he's been playing on the alter g. HK is one tough dude, though he may not look like it.
Last edited by: cjathey: Apr 11, 12 8:21
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [mungub50] [ In reply to ]
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mungub50 wrote:
Do you think the ITU will give the some, if not all of the 5 discretionary invites to US men?

since we have no athlete in the "Gold Group", and if each nation can only have 6 athletes, It looks like the most the US could get is 2 extra slots.

Hoka One One - Field Service Rep
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for this. So with Haskins being subbed out, does that mean there's no chance of her making the Olympic team?
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [TM2194] [ In reply to ]
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so this is basically ridiculous.

it seems like apparently everyone was under an impression that it would be done one way, and then ITU changed qualification around so it included yokohama?

When did the ITU decide to pick the start list like this? If this has been known all along then a lot of the blame falls on USAT for not keeping their olympic hopefuls up to date on what the need to do to get a start at trials.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for compiling. I was certainly one of the people that was confused by the list. I think it brings up two interesting topics (or maybe further continues them):

1) Why is the process so complicated? There can't be a single person in the sport that thinks this is the best way to get people interested in the process. They need to take a hard look at the process after this season. Press "reset," if you will.

2) Someone like Ben Collins basically said he had no idea how the list came together. That a) tells me the system is too complicated, and b) makes me wonder if it is Ben's (and other athletes) fault he isn't on the start list? Shouldn't the athletes and their coaches know, without a doubt, how they can and cannot make the starts? Is this on USATF/ITU or the athletes in this case?

Really, it boils down to the fact that it's all to confusing - which is really too bad. Still love ITU, they just need to figure it out.



Nike | Gatorade
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Though I am indeed a big fan of Slowtwitch, I usually just read the forums and abstain from responding. In this instance, however, I think I must chime in regarding the San Diego men's Olympic Trials event. As you all know, the start list was released yesterday and only 4 American men, myself included, qualified under the existing ITU criteria. USA Triathlon has a substitution policy, however, which allows for one athlete who does not make the start list and has the highest "record" of non-qualifying athletes to sub in for an athlete who does make the start list and has both the lowest "record" of the American men on the start list and a lower "record" than the athlete subbing in. The "record" is made up of the sum of an athlete's 2 best point totals in the prior 12 months obtained in a World Championship Series race, a World Cup, or a Region Championships race (La Paz, January 2012, not Pan Am Games). In this instance, I am the American male with the lowest record on the start list and I was informed yesterday by USA Triathlon that Hunter Kemper will be subbed in for me. You need not ask me how I feel about spending the last 4 years of my life trying to qualify for this race, being one of only 4 men to do so for our country, and then being removed to place someone who has not qualified into the race. I think that goes without saying. Believe it or not, however, this is not the issue I take with this process. Okay, listen to this...

So all relevant athletes have been aware of this "record" and substitution business for quite some time. We have all spent thousands of our own dollars to travel to random races to cultivate and strengthen our records in anticipation of this process. Here's the funny thing though: your record only comes into play if you MAKE THE INITIAL START LIST! Why is this important? Well, Ethan Brown (who I might point out is an extremely talented athlete, an even better person, and my good friend) is essentially the #1 athlete in the world on the ITU wait list to get into San Diego. This means that in a matter of hours when a random person withdraws from the race (and this will happen) Ethan will roll onto the start list. Ethan has a lower record than I, but will not be a sub candidate as he was not on the original start list. Stated differently, an athlete who performed well enough to make the initial start list (me) can be subbed for while an athlete who rolls onto the start list hours later but did not perform well enough to make it into the race initially AND has a WORSE record than me (Ethan) is protected and does not have to worry about being subbed out. Had Ethan had 15 more ITU points (maybe he would have finished a spot or two higher in Mooloolaba or in a random South American points race) he would have been on the initial start list and would have been the athlete with the lowest record making him the substitution candidate, but, since his results were not quite good enough to get him onto the start list initially, HE IS PROTECTED and doesn't have to worry about being subbed for!!! In summary, a worse performance is being rewarded. I am being penalized for making the start list over my teammates/competitors. USAT should have the common sense to wait until 12 days out from the race when the FINAL FINAL start list is set and then make its substitutions given the athletes who are on the start list then when athletes have rolled in off the wait list. Still, they are not adopting this process (well, yet). Their reasoning? "We want to provide notice to the athlete who will be subbed." ????????????? Okay, so let me get this straight... you want to be fair to me by providing me with notice that I might be taken off the start list? The athletes who are about to roll on don't even have "notice" that they'll be in the race so how are they negatively affected if you tell them when they roll on that they will be subbed for? In the words of Hunter Kemper, the beneficiary of this whole process, this is "ridiculous." I have some other words to describe this process, but I'll keep it classy.

Stay tuned to see how this all plays out. I have worked hard to get to this place and I am not going to just give in to this fundamentally unfair and flawed process.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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Mark, thanks for chiming in. Do you have any ideas why USAT wanted to sub Hunter Kemper in? If you're not comfortable posting in the forum, feel free to PM me.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats for doing well enough to actually qualify to be on the start list. Sorry that USAT is essentially shafting you with an injured athlete. Hope that we get to see you race somehow.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [xterratri] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the support guys. I wish to reiterate that I have no issue with any of the hard-working and talented athletes involved in the process, only the ridiculous method in which USAT has chosen to implement their criteria. As for Hunter, the reason USAT is using him as a substitute is because he has earned that right via his record - his point total of his best two races (of the WCS, WC variety) in the past 12 months is higher than any other athlete who did not make the start list.

I should also point out that if Hunter rolls onto the start list from the waiting list, all of this is moot from my perspective and I will be allowed to keep my spot. Unfortunately Hunter is #15 on the wait list and his chances of rolling on are quite low.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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USAT is really doing you a fovor Mark. Instead of just ramming it into you asshole dry, they are giving you time and some grease, so that now when they butt fuck you, it will slip in nice and easy, and they will hope that you did not notice it. Like you, I would notice, and this whole thing stinks. Is it just their usual incompitence, or is it that they are using this as a way to circumvent you and get the next guy in??. I'm guessing it is the usual, they never think things through and account for all variables. Or maybe you pissed in someone's cornflakes..
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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mark,

i agree this whole thing has been one big clusterf**k. quick question, were you guys aware all along that this is how the san diego start list would be selected? As in, they would take top 30 from yokohama last year, etc. It seems like a bunch of the other olympic hopefuls were under the impression that the start list would be selected differently, many of them believing they had made the trials.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [monty] [ In reply to ]
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I will not comment on competence, but I will point out a few more facts unknown to the general community. As it stands now, Olympian Sarah Haskins will be subbed out for Jill Petersen who also did not make the start list. Why didn't Jill make the start list? Jill has enough points to qualify for the original start list, but did not send an email to USA Triathlon telling them she was actually interested in participating in the Olympic Trials. Yep. Seriously??? Jill has been living at the Olympic Training Center for 4 years and preparing 24/7 to try for the Olympic Games. That's it. One single goal. Given that she is among a small handful of girls (5) actually eligible for trials, that all conversation on international trips to World Championship Series races as well as international camps and daily training at the US Olympic Training Center among USA Triathlon employees, National Teams Directors, etc. revolves around Trials preparation, and that Jill has traveled to many international races for the sole purpose of solidifying her spot at Trials (and all this travel has not only been discussed with USAT officials, but also has occurred alongside them!), a reasonable person would think that USA Triathlon might actually do one of their athletes a favor and not throw them under the bus on a technicality. It is a fair, safe, and OBVIOUS assumption that USAT should make in that all the eligible athletes who've dedicated their lives to making the Trials should desire to be entered into the race. I feel that USAT has a fiduciary duty to ensure that, especially since they have often funded an athlete in the achievement of the process.

P.S. Sarah Groff... not on the start list either. Why? She too didn't send an email explaining she wanted to be at the second trials race. While she's already qualified for the Olympics, it was a given that she wanted to race at the only WCS race on American soil in 2+ years for her family and for her sponsors. Alas, she didn't spell it out for USAT in an email so, well, sorry Sarah.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [Mr ITU] [ In reply to ]
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Mr ITU wrote:
So many fans and pros alike were shocked when they saw the San Diego start list and realized the names they thought would be on the list weren't. Here is a rundown of what went on and how the start list was created;


-The first guys that get a crack at entering is the 10 person Gold Group. That currently consists of top 3 at 2008 Olympics and Top 7 from 2011 WTS Series. 7 of those 10 guys took their spots (Alistair Brownlee, Brukhankov and Vidal passed).

Then next they take 30 guys from the current WTS standings. (so just Yokohama in this case). Its important to note that they take 30 guys and not necessarily the top 30. Because some from this ranking already are included in the Gold Group or chose to pass their spot, those spots get rolled down. In this case you had to be in the top 35 to be included. This is how Chrabot, Shoemaker and Fretta got in. (Fretta finished 32nd but was the 25th included because of roll downs)

Next they take 20 guys from the ITU points list that aren't already qualified. Manny Huerta was the 20th of 20 to qualify this way. He was 43rd overall on the points list.

So if you've been doing the math there are 7+30+20 guys that have taken a spot already. Now they continue down the points list until they've reached their predetermined field size. In this case they happen to choose 65. So they took the next 8 available guys on the start list to get to 65 total starters. The last guy let in was Clark Ellice of NZL who is ranked 56th on the points list. Ethan Brown is 58th and Greg Billington 64th.

Next up USAT has their own qualification specifications. Each federation is given the opportunity to sub out one racer for another. So USAT has created their own list which takes an athlete's two best scores from post Grand Finale WTS, WC or Continental Championships. That substitution is automatic unless the one being subbed out is protected (yes another list). In this case Mark Fretta will be subbed out for Hunter Kemper who is the highest unqualified athlete on the USAT record. If Kemper, is not healthy that spot will be rolled down to Greg Billington who is the next highest.

Interesting to note- Sarah Haskins will be subbed out of San Diego. The third women's spot was largely believed to be a toss up between Haskins and Laura Bennett. However, Haskins (who has spent the majority of 2011 racing non-drafting) will be subbed for Jillian Peterson, who has a higher USAT ranking.

Moving on, ITU also reserves the right to give up to 5 discretionary invites. There is also the matter of withdrawals which will get rolled down on the points list. So that gives Brown, Billington,Collins and Fretta some hope to make it. Accounting for the fact no federation (asides from the US as the host nation) can have more than 6 entries, Brown is 2nd on the waiting list, Billington 7th and Collins 11th. Of course though, if they gain entry they would have to be accepted by USAT's policy as well.



If you want my projection of which Americans will actually start at San Diego, well I have no freaking clue. This process is super overly complicated


Little off topic rant here, but this is ridiculous. Lets keep in mind, this is just to get into a race which is only one part of the qualifying process for the Olympics in triathlon in the US. Seriously... it shouldnt take hours to answer the question, "How does one make the Olympic team for triathlon?"



--------------------------

Team Timex 2014
@ajhodges
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [BPerry] [ In reply to ]
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At the Yokohama race all of us were told that the points earned their would count in earning a spot at San Diego and possibly Sydney. I left that race thinking I was set. Upon returning home I was informed by USAT (I cannot specifically say whom, and must say that perhaps it was word of mouth) that this was not the case and Yokohama would not be counted. Misinformation was given and I can state with 100% certainty that all the pros and all the staff were shocked when the list came out yesterday. I have had either phone or email communication with every single American athlete on the men's start list as well as all the athletes on the wait list (in the top 15) in the last 12 hours and not a one is not baffled. All of the athletes' previous assumptions were based on guidance given by USA Triathlon. Was USAT misinformed by the ITU? Perhaps. It would not be the first time. Still, USAT's assumptions were incorrect and the outcome unanticipated.
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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yea thats what it seems like.

Quite funny that USAT didn't know how to qualify athletes to their own Olympic trials....
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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markfretta wrote:
At the Yokohama race all of us were told that the points earned their would count in earning a spot at San Diego and possibly Sydney. I left that race thinking I was set. Upon returning home I was informed by USAT (I cannot specifically say whom, and must say that perhaps it was word of mouth) that this was not the case and Yokohama would not be counted. Misinformation was given and I can state with 100% certainty that all the pros and all the staff were shocked when the list came out yesterday. I have had either phone or email communication with every single American athlete on the men's start list as well as all the athletes on the wait list (in the top 15) in the last 12 hours and not a one is not baffled. All of the athletes' previous assumptions were based on guidance given by USA Triathlon. Was USAT misinformed by the ITU? Perhaps. It would not be the first time. Still, USAT's assumptions were incorrect and the outcome unanticipated.


I will say this: whether it's unclear communications for points in the Olympics, tracking AG'ers rankings and results, officiating, the ever-changing rulebook, and even the difficulty of navigating their website, it's very typical USAT: Unclear, unorganized, and uninspiring. We don't really ask a lot, but we get less. It's unfortunate that they are the national body governing our sport - they're not well run. Bad strategists, with worse execution. If I did my job like they are doing their job, I'd be out.

I'm sorry that some of their finest work has put your dream and others' in jeopardy. I hope that it works out.



------------------

- I do all my own stunts
Last edited by: Rick in the D: Apr 11, 12 14:03
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [markfretta] [ In reply to ]
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If this doesn't call out the ST investigative reporting team, nothing will.

I'd really like to see something on the ST front page regarding this (what appears to be) USAT misstep.


"Good genes are not a requirement, just the obsession to beat ones brains out daily"...the Griz
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Re: The deal with the San Diego Start List [pacco] [ In reply to ]
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pacco wrote:
looks like ben collins wasn't clear on how to get a start in san diego...or happy about being left off (i tend to agree with him if points/politics are set aside)

from his twitter...
"Looks like San Diego start list was based only on Yokohama results. I wasn't there so Im SOL? Wish we'd known that! Im 10th on the wait list"

Realise the whole Yokohama issue is only one piece of the puzzle, and it would seems like Fretta is getting right royally shafted here. But we knew in 2011 that the San Diego start list would be determined first and foremost by Yokohama, so it would seem strange that Collins wasn't clear 4 months into 2012. I enquired for my wife back in November as to eligibility and was instructed then as to the Yokohama issue.
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