Reese Vannerson Earns Bronze At World U20 Triathlon Champs

Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo/Sports Photo

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There is little doubt that Reese Vannerson had the best track and field season of his career in 2022. 

But that would be burying the lede. 

Because that fact paled in comparison to what the native Texan accomplished on June 24 when he secured a bronze medal at the World Junior Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships in Montreal, Canada last week. 

The Houston Strake Jesuit (TX) junior, who was a runner-up in the 3,200m at the UIL Class 6A Track and Field Championships in May, finished the 2,500m swim, the 19.3k bike and 5K run in a time of 52 minutes, finishing 20 seconds off the overall winner, France's Thomas Hansmaennel, who closed in 51:40. 

Vannerson, a Houston native, was the youngest finisher in the top three and excelled in the 5K, where he ran a time of 15:49 -- third best in the field. 

Hansmaennel was first in 51:40, while Australia's Toby Powers was second in 51:57. Vannerson was one of three Americans in the field. Luke Anthony was 17th in 53:19 while Eli Mcward was 51st in 58:32. 

A total of 72 athletes were on hand for the Junior Championships, but interestingly enough, Vannerson took a fortuitous path to even get there. According to Vannerson, he needed a"roll down slot" just to get into his first European Cup, then won a race the very next weekend before earning a spot on the line at the U20 Championships. 

As for that track season? 

Vannerson clocked three PRs over the season, producing times of 1:56.82 for 800m, 4:00.70 for 1,500m and 9:01.17 for 3,200m. 

Of course, the Houston native isn't the first American to make a mark on the world triathlon stage. 

Back in 2016, Missouri athlete Austin Hindman won the ITU Triathlon World Junior Championships in Mexico. He later would make a run at sub-4 before graduating high school and later signed with Missouri before turning pro in the triathlon. 

Vannerson in the UIL Class 6A 3,200m