High Performance Team

In its first season as a USA Triathlon High Performance Team, MC Elite placed an athlete atop the podium at the 2014 USA Triathlon Youth Elite Female Championship and by the end of 2015 was ranked 10th among 62 Junior Elite teams.

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 1998–2004) 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 5–6.

MC Elite has two coach-led practice groups in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Athletes outside these areas are welcome to 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 2017 swim and run benchmark qualification times (see below), or
  • have finished in the top 35 at a 2016 Youth Elite Cup or Junior Elite Cup qualifying race, or
  • have qualified for the 2016 USA Triathlon Youth Elite or Junior Elite National Championship.

Benchmark Qualification Times

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 active participants on a separate club-based 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 Maryland based Competition Team until they do so. 

Youth Elite Male 13–15
Born in 2004, 2003 or 2002
Swim: 2:35/200 yards (1:18/100)
Run: 6:20/1 mile

Youth Elite Female 13–15
Born in 2004, 2003 or 2002
Swim: 2:45 /200 yards (1:22/100)
Run: 6:45/1 mile

Junior Elite Male 16–19
Born in 2001, 2000, 1999 or 1998
Swim: 6:10/500 yards (1:14/100)
Run: 12:15/2 miles (6:07 pace)

Junior Elite Female 16–19
Born in 2001, 2000, 1999 or 1998
Swim: 6:25/500 yards (1:17/100)
Run: 13:30/2 miles (6:30 pace)

2017 USAT Junior Elite Series

The USAT Junior Elite Series consists of the 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 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.

March 12 Sarasota Youth Elite Cup, Sarasota, Florida (Female Youth Elite only)
May 7 Richmond Elite Cup, Richmond, Virginia * 
June 4 Pleasant Prairie Elite Cup, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin *
June 24 Monroe Elite Cup, Monroe, Washington
July 19 Flatland Elite Cup, West Des Moines, Iowa *
August 5–6 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.

Athlete and Parent Commitment

Athletes and parents will commit to participate in at least two qualifying Cups in the USAT Junior Elite Series (participation in an invite-only ITU CAMTRI may be used towards meeting this commitment) with a goal of qualifying for and racing in the USAT Youth Elite and Junior Elite National Championship in West Chester, Ohio.

Practice Schedule

MC Elite practice groups in Maryland and Washington, D.C. will practice at least once per week January through August. Additional practices will be added during the Spring and Summer leading into key qualifying Cups. Athletes will be provided with a standard training plan. Athlete-specific, custom training plans are available for an additional monthly fee.

  • January through August: In-person, coach-led practice Sunday morning or afternoon depending on practice group.
  • January through August: Virtual, coach-led cycle training via Zwift one week night per week (time and day TBD based on athletes' schedules). See more information about Zwift below.

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 (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
  • Zwift membership (additional fee)
  • Running specific shoes
  • Wetsuit
  • Heart rate monitor (optional)

2017 Membership Fee

High Performance Team membership is $700 and includes

  • Access to USAT Certified Level 1 and Youth and Junior Coaches
  • Access to USA Cycling Level 3 Coaches
  • Standard training plan
  • Weekly coach-led practices including Zwift sessions
  • Overall season planning and race-specific strategy development
  • Race weekend support including team logistics and onsite coaching
  • Team shirt and other MC Elite branded swag
  • Team sponsor discounts

Additional Costs

  • USA Triathlon membership valid through at least August 31, 2017 is required. USAT youth membership, purchased separately, is just $10 per 12 months for triathletes 13–17 years old and $50 per 12 months for triathletes 18+.
  • One-piece, ITU-style team uniform (several options ranging from $140 to $250).
  • Zwift membership (Optional, $10 per month).
  • Race registration fees and triathlete travel costs are not included and are the responsibility of the athlete/parent/guardian.

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 $10 per month. Athletes may need some additional equipment to set up their trainer. See our Zwift Setup Comparison.


Email Coach Christy at christy@minicowtriclub.com.