Defending men's champion Scott Tinley and Scott Molina, ranked No. 1 in the world, will be among more than 1,200 competitors expected Sunday for the second annual Orange County Performing Arts Center Triathlon at Mission Viejo.
Colleen Cannon, who won the women's competition last year, will defend her title. Janet Greenleaf of Laguna Hills is expected to be Cannon's main competition. Cannon, the 1984 Triathlete of the Year, is coming to Mission Viejo fresh off a victory in a triathlon in Redding, Calif., last week.
Also competing in the women's field is former Olympic swimmer Cynthia (Sippy) Woodhead. She won a silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle in the 1984 Olympics and recently completed her collegiate eligibility at USC.
Woodhead, 23, competed as an amateur in last year's race and finished second in her age group, eight minutes behind Cannon.
Woodhead, making her professional debut Sunday, has declined to grant interviews this week.
"She just wants to concentrate on her first race," said Ron Rogers, a spokesman for Woodhead's management group. "Hopefully, she can make a career out of it."
Molina's presence is expected to turn the men's competition into a two-man race. He and Tinley have shared the No. 1 ranking the past two years.
Molina won seven of the 13 U.S. Triathlon Series sponsored races last year, including Dana Point last June. He did not compete in Mission Viejo last year, when Tinley easily won with a time of 1 hour 45 minutes 30 seconds.
The race will begin at 7 a.m. with a 1.5-kilometer swim in Lake Mission Viejo. From there, competitors will ride 32 kilometers along much of the course used for the 1984 Olympic road race and then conclude with a 10-kilometer run. Winners in the men's and women's competition will each receive $2,000. The next six finishers in each division will split $3,000.