Triathlete training with U.S. Olympians in Arizona

He’s graduated from high school, made his college decision, competed for Team USA in Europe and is now training with triathletes who will represent the country in the upcoming Rio Olympics.

All in all, it’s been a summer to remember for Chase McQueen.

The Columbus North graduate is in Flagstaff, Arizona, this week helping prepare triathletes Ben Kanute and Sarah True for the Olympic games. He’ll be there until Aug. 20, when he moves into his new digs at the University of Arizona.

McQueen will compete for the triathlon team for the Wildcats, who finished fourth in last year’s NCAA championships. He had earlier visited North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and Arizona State and also was considering California.

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At Arizona, McQueen was accepted into the honors college and plans to major in business.

“It was the perfect mix of everything I was looking for — good weather and great academics,” McQueen said. “I want to focus on getting a good education and going the triathlon route, so that was the best option for me.”

On Saturday, McQueen capped his summer competition schedule with a second-place finish in the junior elite men’s division of the 2016 USA Triathlon national championships in West Chester, Ohio. He completed the 750-meter swim, 20K bike, 5K run in 57 minutes, 23 seconds.

McQueen and one other triathlete broke away on the bike portion and had a 38-second lead going into the run. McQueen ran a personal-best 15:50, but Texan Grant Jarvis ran 15:15 to beat him by three seconds.

“This year was a lot different tactically because I was in a little bit of a breakaway on the bike,” said McQueen, who finished third last year. “I was hoping I could hold on on the bike, but one guy caught me. I was still happy to get second.”

On Sunday, McQueen had the fastest split on his relay team that finished second. The relay featured two girls and two guys who took turns swimming 300 meters, biking 5,000 meters and running 1,200 meters.

USA Triathlon took three junior men, including McQueen, and three junior women to an international competition in June in Kitzbuhel, Austria. McQueen was the second American finisher and took 10th overall, just 10 seconds out of first.

The trip was McQueen’s first to Europe. The American contingent flew into Munich, stayed in a house in Austria, and also visited Germany, The Netherlands and France the week leading up to the event.

“It was pretty amazing,” McQueen said. “We enjoyed hanging out with each other and just the whole experience. It was a lot of fun.”

Earlier in the summer, McQueen won a pair of triathlons, taking first in Richmond, Virginia, and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

“It was a great summer,” McQueen said.

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Name: Chase McQueen

Age: 18

High school: Columbus North

College: Arizona

Year: Will be a freshman

Family: Parents Matt and Niele; sisters Sam and Caroline McQueen