High Performance Team is by invitation only. To learn more about benchmark qualifications, commitments and costs please email Coach Christy.

High Performance Team

In just its first season as a USA Triathlon High Performance Team, MC Elite placed an athlete at the top of the podium at the 2014 USA Triathlon Youth Elite Female Championship, and by the end of 2015 was ranked tenth among more than 60 High Performance Teams. Since that time—and even as the number of High Performance Teams and level of competition has increased—MC Elite has consistently qualified triathletes for the National Championship, coached triathletes to Championship podiums and Worlds qualifications, and placed among the top ten High Performance Teams in the country.

About USAT High Performance Teams

High Performance Teams play an integral role in the identification, recruitment, development, and age-appropriate competitive preparation of emerging youth elite and junior elite athletes, with the goal of developing well-rounded athletes capable of success at the highest levels of competition and progression within the USAT High Performance Program.

MC Elite High Performance Team

High Performance Team is for triathletes ages 13–19 (born in 2000–2006) committed to training for and racing in draft-legal Junior Elite Cup triathlons across the country. Triathletes will practice twice per week January to May and up to three times per week June, July and August. Triathletes will commit to participate in at least two qualifying Cups in the USAT Junior Elite Series with a goal of qualifying for and racing in the USAT Youth Elite and Junior Elite National Championship in West Chester, Ohio August 3–4.

MC Elite hosts all coach-led practice groups in Central Maryland. Athletes outside the area may join the team provided they follow a coach-approved training plan, participate in virtual training sessions, and attend key group practices.

To be considered for MC Elite, athletes must

  • meet the 2019 swim and run benchmark qualification times (see below), or

  • have finished in the top 35 at a 2018 Youth Elite Cup or Junior Elite Cup qualifying race, or

  • have qualified for the 2018 USA Triathlon Youth Elite or Junior Elite National Championship.

Benchmark Qualification Times

Benchmark qualification times provide coaches with an estimate of an athlete's ability to not only complete a draft-legal triathlon but also qualify for the National Championship. Benchmark qualification times place emphasis on the swim as it is a key to success in draft-legal triathlon—starting the bike with the lead group(s) minimizes the chances of being lapped out. All athletes are expected to be enrolled in a separate competitive swim program.

It should be noted that meeting benchmark times alone may not be enough to prepare an athlete for draft-legal triathlon. Coaches will set realistic expectations and suggest appropriate training and racing opportunities. Athletes who have not yet met the benchmark qualification times may practice with the Competition Team until they do so. 

Youth Elite Female 13–15
Born in 2006, 2005 or 2004
Swim five 100 yard repeats at an average pace of 1:22 or faster
Run 1 mile at 6:30 or faster

Youth Elite Male 13–15
Born in 2006, 2005 or 2004
Swim five 100 yard repeats at an average pace of 1:18 or faster
Run 1 mile at 6:10 or faster

Junior Elite Female 16–19
Born in 2003, 2002, 2001 or 2000
Swim five 100 yard repeats at an average pace of 1:17 or faster
Run 1 mile at 6:20 or faster

Junior Elite Male 16–19
Born in 2003, 2002, 2001 or 2000
Swim five 100 yard repeats at an average pace of 1:14 or faster
Run 1 mile at 6:00 or faster

2019 USAT Junior Elite Series

The USAT Junior Elite Series consists of four Youth Elite Cups and four Junior Elite Cups plus the USAT Youth Elite and Junior Elite National Championship. Each Cup serves as a qualifier for the National Championship. Series events are scheduled to take place approximately three to six weeks apart and are spread across the three geographic zones: East, West and Central. Athletes may compete in any and all qualifiers regardless of where they reside. Athletes score points at each event to determine draft-legal rankings, team rankings, and a Series Champion.

Youth Elite athletes compete in a super-sprint triathlon consisting of a 375 meter swim, 10 kilometer bike, and 2.5 kilometer run. Junior Elite athletes compete in a sprint triathlon consisting of a 750 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike, and 5 kilometer run.

May TBD (typically first weekend in May) Richmond Elite Cup, Richmond, Virginia *
June TBD (typically first weekend in June) Pleasant Prairie Elite Cup, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin *
June TBD (typically third weekend in June) Monroe Elite Cup, Monroe, Washington
July TBD (typically second weekend in July) Flatland Elite Cup, West Des Moines, Iowa *
August 3–4 National Championship West Chester, Ohio *

Registration for the Elite Cups will open beginning in early January and sell out immediately. An asterisk (*) indicates a coach-supported race. Athletes are encouraged to talk with Coach Christy to determine the best race schedule for them.

Athlete and Parent Commitment

Athletes and parents will commit to participate in at least two qualifying Cups in the 2019 USAT Junior Elite Series with a goal of qualifying for and racing in the 2019 USAT Youth Elite and Junior Elite National Championship in West Chester, Ohio or the 2019 USAT Sprint Age Group National Championship in Cleveland, Ohio August 11.

Practice Schedule

MC Elite will practice twice per week January through August. Additional practices may be added during the Spring and Summer leading into key qualifying Cups. Athletes will be provided with a standard training plan through Training Peaks.

  • January through mid-June: In person, coach led practice Sunday morning or afternoon.

  • January through mid-June: Virtual, coach led practice (cycle training) via Skype one day per week. Day and time to be determined (in 2018 these practices were held on Wednesday mornings at 5:15 a.m.).

  • Mid-June through August: In person, coach led practices Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Athletic and Equipment Prerequisites

  • Active within a separate, club-based swim program

  • Attendance at a USA Triathlon Skills Camp or Select Camp is strongly encouraged (additional fee)

  • Road ID or similar emergency identification band

  • Road bike with drop style handlebars (traditional aero bars are not allowed)

  • Bicycle-style helmet with a working chin strap (aero helmets are not allowed)

  • Clip-in bike pedals

  • Bike flat repair kit including spare tubes and CO2 cartridges

  • Bike computer with cadence output (power output optional)

  • Bike trainer

  • Running specific shoes

  • Wetsuit

  • Skype account (no fee required)

  • Heart rate monitor (optional)

  • Zwift membership (optional, see below)

2019 Membership Fee

High Performance Team membership is $850 and includes

  • 34 week season

  • Weekly coach led practices including Skype sessions

  • Overall season planning and race-specific strategy development

  • Access to and communication through Training Peaks training plan

  • Access to USA Triathlon Level 1, Level 2, and Youth and Junior certified coaches

  • Access to USA Cycling Level 3 certified coach

  • Race weekend support including team logistics, onsite coaching, and team tent

  • There are no additional coaching fees at the coach-supported races indicated above

Additional Costs

  • USA Triathlon membership valid through August 31, 2019 is required. USAT membership, purchased separately, is just $10 per 12 months for triathletes 13–17 years old and $50 per 12 months for triathletes 18+.

  • A one piece, ITU-style team uniform is required for competition. There are several options ranging from $150 to $250.

  • Race registration fees and travel costs are the responsibility of the athlete/parent/guardian.

  • A Zwift membership is optional and is just $15 per month.

About Zwift

Zwift places you and your bike into immersive, detailed, 3D landscapes with other cyclists from around the world. Now you can ride with anyone at anytime. Packed with real-time stats, stunning lifelike graphics, and the latest in massive multiplayer online gaming, Zwift has kicked up the indoor cycling experience.

Zwift membership is $15 per month. Athletes may need some additional equipment to set up their trainer. See Zwift's Getting Started.


Email Coach Christy at christy@minicowtriclub.com.