Jo Beth Southard closed the triathlon season with a pair of national titles.
The 36-year-old from Decatur won her division in the olympic distance U.S. Triathlon Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Sept. 25.
She followed that victory by winning her division in the 2010 Halfmax Championships in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Oct. 2.
“It was quite an experience to see the caliber of talent that’s out there,” Southard said.
Southard finished the olympic-distance event in two hours, 44 minutes and 14 seconds.
Southard finished the 1.5K swim in 38:37. She got through the 40K bike ride in 1:10.47. She closed the race by completing the 10K in 51:38.
“For me, the time was good,” she said. “It was my first time on that course. It was a challenging course. It was really hot and windy.”
She added that she had to fight a strong current during the swim.
The Decatur mother finished the halfmax in four hours, 41 minutes and 31 seconds.
She finished the 1.2-mile swim in an hour and 33 minutes. The 56-mile bike ride took 2:40.39. She closed the event by completing the 13.1-mile run in 1:57.35.
“I was going to Myrtle Beach to try to qualify for the world championship since they are in the United States in 2011,” Southard said. “I wasn’t for sure if I could reach them. I’ll know in about a month.”
Local athletes compete at U.S. triathlon championships
Along with Southard, four other area athletes competed at the U.S. triathlon championships in Tuscaloosa.
Mike Bowers, 52, of Decatur finished the race in 2:32.15.
Laurie McCreary, 39, of Azle crossed the finish line in 2:32.27.
Josh Foreman, 32, of Decatur completed the course in 2:45.09. Shannon Puphal, 34, of Justin took 3:09.2 to finish the race.
Bowers qualifies for world championships
Susie Bowers, 51, of Decatur qualified for the 2011 World Championships by finishing the Halfmax Championships in Myrtle Beach in four hours, 54 minutes and 25 seconds.