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Laura Bennett was the top-ranked American in the ITU World Championship Series rankings.
Laura Bennett was the top-ranked American in the ITU World Championship Series rankings.
photo: USA Triathlon/Timothy Carlson

USA Triathlon Announces 2010 Elite Athletes of the Year


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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With the top Americans in the 2010 ITU World Championship Series rankings — Laura Bennett and Matt Chrabot — leading the way, USA Triathlon’s 2010 Elite Athletes of the Year were selected by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.

Bennett (Boulder, Colo.) and Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.) were selected as the Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year, while long-distance standouts Amy Marsh (Austin, Texas) and Timothy O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.) claimed Non-Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year accolades.

Rookie of the Year honors went to Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Sean Jefferson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) for their outstanding debut seasons as elites. Lauren Goss (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and Kalen Darling (Honolulu, Hawaii) earned the Under-23 Athlete of the Year awards.

“There were some truly exceptional performances in 2010. With over 20 athletes nominated by their peers, the AAC carefully reviewed race résumés and feedback from the elite athlete pool before voting on the winners. We congratulate all of the athletes on their accomplishments this past year and hope to see even more impressive results in 2011,” said Ryan Bickerstaff, chair of the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.

After being hampered by injuries since the Beijing Games, Bennett returned to form in 2010 by ending the year ranked No. 10 overall in the ITU World Championship Series rankings. She posted four consecutive top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place showing in the WCS Grand Final in Budapest, and captured her second career USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Chrabot continued his rise to the top tier of the draft-legal racing world in 2010 by finishing 12th in the ITU WCS rankings. His fourth-place showing in Kitzbühel, Austria, was the top finish by an American in the series and was one of two top-10 showings by Chrabot. He also captured his second career PATCO Pan American Championship title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Marsh claimed a pair of Ironman titles in 2010, winning Ironman China and Ironman Lake Placid. She also placed 11th at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. Additionally, Marsh was victorious at the ultra-distance Rev3 Cedar Point.

O’Donnell claims the Non-Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year for the second straight year. He placed third and was the top U.S. finisher at the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Fla. Additionally, O’Donnell was the runner-up at the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at the 2010 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Germany.

Jorgensen, who qualified for her elite card in her first-ever triathlon in March 2010, had a breakout season. She posted runner-up finishes at both the PATCO Pan American Championship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and FISU World University Championship in Valencia, Spain. In addition to fifth place showings at Elite Nationals and the Huatulco ITU World Cup, Jorgensen finished in the top five in a trio of ITU Pan American Cup events.

After winning the overall national title at the 2009 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship, Jefferson’s elite debut was highlighted by a first-place finish at the Ixtapa ITU Pan American Cup and an eighth-place showing at the ITU Elite Duathlon World Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Under-23 honors went to the top under-23 finishers at 2010 Elite Nationals — Goss and Darling. After finishing fifth at the 2010 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship, Goss posted a pair of top-12 finishes at ITU Pan American Cup events and was 19th at the ITU Under-23 World Championship in Budapest. Goss was the No. 7 U.S. finisher at Elite Nationals.

A member of the U.S. squad for the ITU Under-23 World Championship in Budapest, Darling was the ninth American at Elite Nationals and also logged a fifth-place finish at the Kelowna Pan American Cup.

2010 USA Triathlon Elite Athletes of the Year

Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year

Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.)
Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Non-Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year

Amy Marsh (Austin, Texas)
Timothy O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.)

Rookies of the Year

Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Sean Jefferson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)

Under-23 Athletes of the Year

Lauren Goss (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Kalen Darling (Honolulu, Hawaii)

About USA Triathlon

Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – one of the fastest growing sports in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions 3,500 races and connects with more than 135,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including ITU World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the International Triathlon Union and the United States Olympic Committee.