USA Triathlon Military and First Responders National Champions Crowned at Leon’s Triathlon

by USA Triathlon

— The inaugural USA Triathlon Military and First Responders National Championships were held Sunday, June 6, as part of Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond, Indiana, to honor the service and sacrifice of members of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as police, fire and EMS personnel in the multisport community. 

Leon’s Triathlon, dubbed “America’s Race,” has a long legacy of honoring and empowering U.S. service men and women, especially injured military veterans. Leon’s Triathlon partners with a variety of other local, state and national initiatives and organizations throughout the year to recognize and give back to military and first responders. On Sunday, competitors from 25 states toed the line, representing all branches of the U.S. military and various divisions of police, EMS and fire response. 

Sunday’s event was held on the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, at Wolf Lake Memorial Park. The opening ceremony featured remarks from World War II veteran Willard Heili, as well as a flyover from a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter. The pageantry also included the dedication of Indiana’s first Gold Star Memorial Highway by Indiana State Police and Governor Eric Holcomb. Hammond, Indiana, Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. also competed Sunday in the age-group Olympic-distance event, his first triathlon.

The Military and First Responders National Championships included sprint-distance (500-meter swim, 11.6-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) and Olympic-distance (1,500-meter swim, 23.2-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) events. In both distances, the following categories were eligible for national titles: Overall Military - Active Duty; Overall Military - Retired/Veteran; Overall First Responder - Police/Law Enforcement; Overall First Responder - Fire/EMS. The sprint-distance event also featured categories for Paratriathlon Military and Paratriathlon First Responders.

The following athletes won Military and First Responders National Championship titles:

USA Triathlon Military and First Responders National Champions
Sprint-Distance (500-meter swim, 11.6-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) — Overall Results


  • Active-Duty/Reserves Female: Kimee Armour (Auburn, Ill.), U.S. Navy, 1:49:50
  • Retired/Veteran Male: Don Cain (Westerville, Ohio), U.S. Marine Corps, 1:06:09
  • Retired/Veteran Female Para, Ambulatory: Lee Kuxhaus (San Antonio, Texas), U.S. Air Force, 2:46:54
  • Retired/Veteran Female Para, Wheelchair: Jataya Taylor (Aurora, Colo.), U.S. Marine Corps, 1:37:54

First Responders:

  • Police/Law Enforcement Female: Theresa Hickey (Chicago, Ill.), 1:49:16
  • Police/Law Enforcement Male: Joseph Giunta (Algonquin, Ill.), 1:41:42
  • Fire/EMS Female: Donna Wrenn (Chicago, Ill.), 2:15:48

USA Triathlon Military and First Responders National Champions
Olympic-Distance (1,500m swim, 23.2-mile bike, 5.2-mile run) — Overall Results


  • Active-Duty/Reserves Female: Katie Cullingford (Jacksonville, Fla.), U.S. Navy, 2:10:40
  • Active-Duty/Reserves Male: Ian King (Shepherdstown, W.V.), U.S. Coast Guard, 2:01:39
  • Retired/Veteran Female: Nancy Lyon-Stadler (Shaker Heights, Ohio), U.S. Air Force, 2:39:52
  • Retired/Veteran Male: Douglas Marocco (Montclair, Va.), U.S. Marine Corps, 2:17:12

First Responders

  • Police/Law Enforcement Female: Katie Negley (Aurora, Ill.), 2:49:58
  • Police/Law Enforcement Male: Jeffrey Zwit (Chicago, Ill.), 2:21:21
  • Fire/EMS Male: Jesse Oostema (Shorewood, Ill.), 2:28:40

For complete age-group and paratriathlon results from Leon’s Triathlon, visit Leon’s Triathlon also served as the 2021 USA Triathlon Indiana State Championships and the third of four events in USA Triathlon’s 2021 Paratriathlon Development Race Series. For paratriathletes, it served as a qualifier for the 2021 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships, which are scheduled for July 18 in Long Beach, California. In addition, the Dare2Tri Paratriathlon Club hosted its Injured Military Camp in conjunction with race weekend.

Founded in 1983 by Leon Wolek, Leon’s Triathlon has a long history of military multisport competition. In 1995, Leon’s Triathlon hosted the world’s first Military Championship, which was a qualifier for the inaugural 1995 Military World Games in Rome. Leon’s Triathlon also hosted the 2015 U.S. Armed Forces Triathlon Championship and continues to work closely with Armed Forces Sports. In addition, the race served as the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships — USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event — in 1992 and 1993.

Next up on USA Triathlon’s National Championships calendar are the Clydesdale & Athena National Championships, set for June 27 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).

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