Rain may have been falling in Rotterdam, Netherlands, for Saturday’s International Triathlon Union Junior World Championships, but Chase McQueen couldn’t have planned for his race to go much better.
The 2016 Columbus North graduate finished 12th overall and was the top American in the event for ages 19-and-under. The triathlon featured a 750-meter swim, 20K (12.5-mile) bike and 5K (3.1-mile) run.
McQueen was sixth out of the water after a 9-minute, 7-second swim, but was within 11 seconds of the leaders and was able to move into the lead bike pack after the transition. He was among the lead pack of eight following the biking portion.
McQueen then ran a 16:40 5K to finish in 57:19. Australia’s Matthew Hauser won in 55:54.
“I felt really good about it,” McQueen said. “The goal was just to swim at the front and make sure I was in the lead bike pack and just stay there through the bike and be in contention on the run. It was really nice to go there and execute a good race plan and put everything together and cap the season off in a successful way.”
The World Junior event was the second for McQueen. Two years ago, as a senior in high school, he finished 52nd in Chicago, when it was changed from a triathlon to a duathlon because of weather issues.
A cross-country runner and swimmer at North, McQueen joined the cross-country team at University of Arizona last year, but redshirted. He ran indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.
This fall, McQueen is running cross-country again. He was the Wildcats’ No. 1 runner in a meet at Northern Arizona.
McQueen also swims on a club team and bikes in and around Tuscon, where the school is located.
“The good thing about living in Tuscon is that the biking community is so big,” McQueen said. “There’s lots of resources that I have access to in the community.”
McQueen is majoring in pre-business, but is thinking about changing to finance. He is on partial academic scholarship and hopes to earn a scholarship for cross-country and track.
Arizona’s has a goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships this year. McQueen joined the cross-country team in hopes of building up his mileage and get better for his triathlons.
“Triathlon is a long-term goal for me to make it to the Olympics,” McQueen said. “To do that, I knew I needed to improve on my running. Being on a team with Division I athletes that are better than me pushed me to do better, and it will pay dividends for triathlon in the future.”
Name: Chase McQueen
High school: Columbus North
Family: Parents Matt and Niele, sisters Sam and Caroline McQueen