Lagerstrom and Crowley land IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz titles

There were victories for Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Eric Lagerstrom (USA) on the coast of California on Sunday as both athletes took home the win ahead of a strong field, with notable results including a pair of second place finishes for veterans Tim O’Donnell (USA) and Mirinda Carfrae (AUS).

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Pro Men – Wire-to-wire for Lagerstrom

It was a brilliant bounce back from a disappointing result at the PTO Canadian Open for Lagerstrom in Santa Cruz, as the host of “That Triathlon Life” podcast and 70.3 specialist took the tape after leading from the gun.

Lagerstrom exited the swim first alongside recent long course convert Matthew Sharpe (CAN), with a group that included O’Donnell, Dylan Gillespie (USA) and Danilo Pimentel (BRA) trailing by a little over 10 seconds.

Out on to the bike, the main pack of five, which included O’Donnell, Lagerstrom, Gillespie, Sharpe and Matt Burton (AUS) allowed Ruben Zepuntke (GER) to go up the road, with the German gaining two minutes on the chase pack by the time he arrived in T2.

At the four mile mark, Zepuntke had been reeled in by Lagerstrom, who from there went from strength to strength. Whilst O’Donnell chased hard, he could only close the gap to within 45 seconds to take second place, with IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder winner Sharpe a further 45 seconds behind.

Currently ranked 47th in the world for 2022, Lagerstrom will likely benefit massively from a top drawer performance today. Behind him, O’Donnell proved once again that class is permanent, whilst Sharpe backed up his Boulder win with another encouraging result.

Pro Women – Crowley wins it on the bike

Pamella Oliviera (BRA) was the early leader in the professional women’s race, as she gapped the field by 30 seconds in the water. Behind her, Rachel Olson (USA) and Hannah Sakaluk (USA) swam side by side, with eventual race winner Crowley 1:42 away from the front of the race after the swim.

Out on the roads, Crowley made light work of the bike course, closing the gap down to Oliviera by the 40 mile mark and in the process putting over two minutes in to the rest of the field who trailed in her wake. Crowley and Oliviera came into T2 together, with Sonja Catano (USA) 2:40 behind and uber-runner Carfrae 4:06 adrift.

After a tough bike leg which split the field apart, Crowley deservedly ran to victory with a fearless half marathon. Incredibly, Crowley ran so well that she extended her lead over Carfrae to 4:46, with the American running a 1:23 half marathon split off the bike to take second. Behind her, Oliviera held strong after an impressive display over all three disciplines to take third.

IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz 2022 results

Sunday 11 September 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

PRO Men

  • 1. Eric Lagerstrom (USA) – 3:44:47
  • 2. Tim O’Donnell (USA) – 3:45:34
  • 3. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) – 3:46:13
  • 4. Ruben Zepuntke (GER) – 3:49:37
  • 5. Dylan Gillespie (USA) – 3:50:39

PRO Women

  • 1. Sarah Crowley (AUS) – 4:12:13
  • 2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) – 4:16:59
  • 3. Pamella Oliviera (BRA) – 4:17:41
  • 4. Sonja Catano (USA) – 4:22:41
  • 5. Rachel Olson – (USA) 4:30:12
Tomos Land
Article by
Tomos is a contributor to TRI247. He is a Journalism Student at Cardiff University and competes for Gog Triathlon Club back home in North Wales.