COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Triathlon is pleased to announce the 2009 Garmin Age Group Athletes of the Year and Accenture Paratriathletes of the Year, an honor awarded annually by the USAT Age Group Commission and the USAT Duathlon Committee.


Triathlon and duathlon athletes were selected in various categories, including overall, masters, grand masters and juniors.


"These talented athletes displayed fantastic results at various distance races which set them apart from others," said Lee Zohlman, co-chair of the USAT Age Group Commission. "Each year, a panel of USAT member volunteers meet and look at a group of athletes and their results. Based on performances across various race distances, depth of fields and quality of races the panel chooses the AOY. We congratulate these athletes on their hard work and dedication and wish them the best in 2010."


Overall Triathlete of the Year – Women


Cathy Yndestad, 31, Apple Valley, Minn.


Top Performances:

1st elite amateur at Lifetime Fitness Triathlon
1st AG / 3rd overall at USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship

"Wow! Considering all the other outstanding amateur triathletes in contention for this award, I am truly honored and grateful to be named Athlete of the Year. I owe a great deal of thanks to my fellow competitors for keeping each race challenging and more importantly, for keeping it fun!"


Honorable Mention:  Mandy McLane (30, Windermere, Fla.), Lindsey Whalen (28, Chicago, Ill.), Kathleen Calkins (34, Gold River, Calif.), Bethany Handley (28, Oklahoma City, Okla.), Kaitlin Shiver (20, Satellite Beach, Fla.)


Overall Triathlete of the Year – Men


Chris Thomas, 37, Easton, Conn.


Top Performances:

1st overall at St. Anthony's

2nd amateur at 70.3 World Championship


"I am truly honored to receive this award.  I have been competing in triathlon events for 10 years and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.  I feel very fortunate to be able to participate in the sport. I would like to thank my father, who introduced me to endurance sport when I was six years old.  My family has been my foundation throughout.  My wife’s support has allowed me to chase my dreams.  I have three little boys and they inspire me every day to do my best and have fun.  I would also like to thank my coach, Paul Regensburg from Lifesport Coaching.  His guidance has been invaluable over the past two years.  Finally, it has been a privilege to be a member of the Timex Multi-sport team for the past seven years. "


Honorable Mention:  Brian Duffy, Jr. (21, West Chester, Pa.), Tim Hola (35, Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Doug Clark (41, Morristown, N.J.), Mark Harms (34, Madison, Calif.), Nathan White (26, Waukee, Iowa)


Masters Triathlete of the Year – Women


Linda Robb, 45, Juno Beach, Fla.


Top Performances:

1st AG at USAT Age Group National Championship

2nd AG at 70.3 World Championships


"I feel extremely honored to be chosen by USAT for this award.  There are so many incredible masters athletes in our sport which makes this very special. As a long standing member of USAT, it is truly an honor to be recognized.  I'd like to thank my husband, my coach and all of my training buddies for keeping it real and keeping it fun."


Honorable Mention:  Laura Sophiea (54, Atlanta, Ga.), Cassie McWilliam (43, Rye, N.Y.), Peggy Yetman (41, Beaumont, Texas), Ellen Hart (51, Denver, Colo.), Ann Davidson (46, Portland, Ore.)


Masters Triathlete of the Year – Men


Doug Clark, 41, Morristown, N.J.


Top Performances:

1st AG at Hawaii Ironman World Championship

2nd AG / 1st American overall at ITU Short Course World Championships


"It's a real honor to win this title. Having at some point been a middle-of-the-packer in all three disciplines, I hope I can offer some inspiration to others that perseverance and smart training can get you a long way without doing huge hours. Also, being over 40 doesn't stop you from recording PRs. Having a full time job, most of my training last season was carried out during my commute or at lunchtimes and my daughter's nap times. If you get creative you can always find time."


Honorable Mention:  Dean Harper (56, Walnut Creek, Calif.), Kevin Moats (55, Atlanta, Ga.), Tim Sheeper (46, Menlo Park, Calif.), Kim McDonald (55, Del Mar, Calif.), Greg Taylor (55, Mankato, Minn.)


Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year – Women


Lauren Binder, 62, Portland, Ore.


Top Performances:

1st AG / 2nd overall grandmaster at USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship

1st AG at ITU World Championship in Gold Coast


"I am very excited and honored to have been chosen Grand Masters athlete of the year for 2009. It's times like this when all the hard training and discipline pays off, but most of all, I have enjoyed every minute of it!  I am so thankful for all the emotional support from my partner, family, friends and USAT."


Honorable Mention:  Cherie Gruenfeld (65, Cathedral City, Calif.), Diane Ridgway (61, Arvada, Colo.), Elizabeth Brackett (68, Chicago, Ill.)


Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year – Men


Steve Smith, 62, Granger, Ill.


Top Performances:

1st AG at USAT Age Group National Championship for the sixth consecutive year

2nd AG at 70.3 World Championship


"This really caught me off guard.  Training with great friends, traveling to great places and competing with great athletes is the multisport lifestyle!  I love every minute of it. 2010! Game on!"


Honorable Mention:  Roger Brockenbrough (75, Pittsburg, Pa.), Jon Adamson (72, Alpharetta, Ga.), Bob Scott (79, Naperville, Ill.)


Junior Age Group Triathlete of the Year – Women


Kailand Cosgrove, 19, Tarpon Springs, Fla.


Top Performances:

1st AG at St. Anthony’s Triathlon

1st AG at the Longhorn 70.3


"For the past seven years I have had a blast racing triathlons from which I leave with unforgettable experiences; Alcatraz, Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada, Longhorn 70.3, and many more. For me, triathlon is not just a sport; it is a lifestyle that has shaped me as a person academically and athletically.  I have made amazing friends and have met some outstanding people in the sport of triathlon. I am so honored and proud to be named USA Triathlon’s Junior Triathlete of the Year and without the support of my family, friends, and my dad (Dean Cosgrove) as my coach, I would not be where I am today."


Junior Age Group Triathlete of the Year – Men


Joseph Welsh, 19, Cordova, Tenn.


Top Performances:

1st AG / 15th overall USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship

12th AG ITU World Championship in Gold Coast


"This past season, I’ve met some amazing people, enjoyed the hard work of brilliant race directors, and had fun every step of the way.  I am honored to receive this award, and I would like to thank a number of people who helped me on my journey: my parents who have supported me emotionally and financially every step of the way; my sisters who have spent dozens of summer days sitting in the southern heat cheering for me; Bert Hull of Alpha Q for keeping me supplied; Walt Rider of Rider Bikes for planting my feet into such an exciting sport; my coaches Eddy Hilger, Brian Sheedy, Dave Smith and Dee Baker for always pushing me to the limit; Los Locos Triathlon Team; Marx and Bensdorf Cycling Team; Lees-McRae cycling team; all those who I have ever raced or trained with; and God, for whom is solely responsible for every step that I take."


Overall Duathlete of the Year – Women


Suzanne Huelster, 35, Riverton, N.J.


Top Performances:

1st overall at USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championship

1st overall amateur at ITU World Duathlon Championship


"Receiving Duathlete of the Year is a delightful and humbling way to top off a whirlwind season.  I want to thank everyone in the duathlon community for providing so much support and encouragement both on and off the course.  I share this award with them."


Honorable Mention:  Gail Kattouf (36, Greenville, S.C.), Alicia Parr (39, Durham, N.C.), Kristine Kuss (41, Newark, Del.)


Overall Duathlete of the Year – Men


Kevin O’Connor, 38, Medina, Minn.


Top Performances:

1st amateur / 6th overall (world's qualifier) at Apple Duathlon

1st amateur / 2nd AG / 9th overall at Duathlon World Championship


"I am not certain I deserve this award as there are a number of talented men who raced well, often, and hard.  I am quite honored and humbled by this recognition.  Thank you to USAT for honoring all of the athletes, both elite and amateur, who work very hard every year to reach their potential.  After 20 years of racing this is my most prized athletic award and for that I thank USAT."


Honorable Mention:  Dirk Heinze (33, High Bridge, N.J.), Matthew Sheeks (26, Woodinville, Wash.), Todd Wiley (39, Pipersville, Pa.)


Masters Duathlete of the Year – Women


Kristine Kuss, 41, Newark, Del.


Top Performances:

1st AG / 7th overall female at USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championship (short course)

1st AG / 6th overall female at ITU Duathlon World Championship (short course)


"I’d like to thank USAT for the recognition, and also thank those who've made me realize how important it is to do what we love, while we can, in the time we're given."


Honorable Mention:  Kristin Villopoto (49, Chapel Hill, N.C.), Janet Howard (48, Clackamas, Ore.), Stacy Creamer (50, New York, N.Y.), Julie Deery (44, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.)


Masters Duathlete of the Year – Men


Jeff Miller, 42, Lewistown, Pa.


Top Performances:

1st master / 12th overall at USA Triathlon National Duathlon Festival (short course)

2nd master / 8th American / 14th overall at ITU World Duathlon Championships (short course)


"It’s an honor to receive this award considering the level of competition in the masters duathlon field along with a season plagued with nagging injuries.  I would like to thank 2008 Masters Duathlete of the Year Casey Williams for his positive encouragement throughout the season and his level of competition.  He makes me strive to be the best that I can be.  I would also like to thank my wife, Shari, and my son, Lance, for all their support and understanding."


Honorable Mention:  Chris Giordanelli (45, Simpsonville, S.C.), Casey Williams (41, Boiling Springs, Pa.), Shane Thread (46, Evansville, Ind.)


Grand Masters Duathlete of the Year – Women


Anne Mitchell, 55, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.


Top Performances:

1st AG at USAT Duathlon National Festival (short course)

1st AG at ITU Duathlon Worlds


"It is an absolute pleasure to be nominated and selected as a Duathlete of the Year! I am sure all will say that I love to play, and competition is just one big giant recess for me!"


Honorable Mention:  Anne Viviani (60, Arlington, Va.), Ann Erickson (67, The Woodlands, Texas), Heysoon Lee (65, Stuart, Fla.), Sharon Roggenbuck (71, Hillsborough, N.C.)


Grand Masters Duathlete of the Year – Men


Steve Ruckert, 60, Woodbine, Md.


Top Performances:

1st AG at Duathlon National Championship

1st AG at ITU Duathlon World Championship


"I've just been informed by USAT that I am the recipient of the award Grandmaster Duathlete of the Year.  In receiving this award I acknowledge that I represent the competivive spirits of thousands of duathletes from around the world.  I am honored and have much to be thankful for.  Thank you." 


Honorable Mention:  Gordon Holt (61, Matthews, N.C.), Tony Marshall (65, Carlsbad, Calif.), Roger Brockenbrough (75, Pittsburgh, Pa.)


Junior Duathlete of the Year – Women


Katie June, 16, Roswell, Ga.


Top Performances:

Junior Duathlon National Champion

8th place at the Junior Duathlon World Championship


"I am really honored to be chosen for this award.  Winning at nationals and then representing the United States at worlds have been the high points of my multisport experience, and I am grateful to many people for their support and guidance along the way. "


Honorable Mention:  Kate Buss (16, Blacksburg, Va.), Erika Gates (19, Vestal, N.Y.), Katherine Shields (16, Salisbury, N.C.)


Junior Duathlete of the Year – Men


Ryan Peterson, 16, Richmond, Va.


Top Performances:

1st overall at USA Triathlon Junior Duathlon National Championship

2nd U.S. finisher / 12th overall at the ITU Junior Duathlon World Championship


"It is a tremendous honor to have been named Junior Duathlete of the Year. I want to thank my family and coaches for all the encouragement and commitment they have provided in support of my multisport activities.  It was a privilege to represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Junior Duathlon Championships, and I hope to have that opportunity again this year at the World Duathlon Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland."


Honorable Mention:  Lukas Verzbicas (16, New Lenox, Ill.), Josh Evans (18, Galt, Calif.), Kody McCracken (15, Wellsboro, Pa.)


Paratriathlete of the Year – Women


Sarah Reinertsen, 34, Mission Viejo, Calif.


Top Performances:

2nd at USAT/Accenture Paratriathlon National Championships (TRI-2)

1st at ITU Triathlon World Championship (TRI-2)


"I am honored to be selected as the 2009 Paratriathlete of the Year, especially amongst such an incredible group of athletes on the team.  I have been racing in triathlon for the past six years, and the paratriathlete division has grown tremendously.  We have the most competitive field of women to date, so it's a true delight to receive this distinction."


Honorable Mention:  Robin Caruso (43, Ridgefield, Conn.), Megan Fisher (26, Missoula, Mont.), Ivonne Mosquera (32, New York, N.Y.)


Paratriathlete of the Year – Men


J.P. Theberge, 37, Carlsbad, Calif.


Top Performances:

1st at USAT/Accenture Paratriathlon National Championships (TRI-5)

1st at ITU Triathlon World Championship (TRI-5)


"It is a great honor to be voted Paratriathlete of the Year by USAT.  It is a honor to me but also a tribute to the burgeoning paratriathlon movement which is making great strides around the world featuring talented disabled athletes around the U.S. and internationally who work hard to promote and to increase awareness of the movement in countries such as Morocco, Hungary, the UK, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Spain, Austria, New Zealand among the many other countries involved.  We all thank you so much for the honor."


Honorable Mention:  Paul Martin (42, Boulder, Colo.), Matt Perkins (35, Boise, Idaho), Aaron Scheidies (27, Seattle, Wash.)


About Garmin
Garmin is a world leader in GPS navigation with products for the automotive, marine, recreation/fitness and aviation markets. Runners, cyclists and triathletes around the world rely on Garmin fitness products to take their training to the next level. The GPS-enabled Forerunner® 310XT is ideally suited for multisport training thanks to a long battery life and other features. In addition to tracking time, distance, pace, heart rate (on some models) and elevation on land, it’s compatible with speed/cadence sensors and ANT+™ power meters. The training never ends after the workout. Athletes can upload their data to our online analysis program, Garmin Connect™, to view in-depth metrics, overlay their activity on a variety of maps and share routes and courses with a worldwide community of fitness enthusiasts.

In addition to sponsoring USAT's Athletes of the Year program, Garmin supports the USAT Trade Team and Coaching Education Program with their renowned GPS-based training and mapping tools.

Find out more at


About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 176,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.  Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009.  Its home page is