COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eight top amateur triathletes in the United States, including national and world champions, have been named USA Triathlon’s 2014 Age-Group Triathletes of the Year, an award presented annually by Garmin and selected by USA Triathlon’s Age Group Committee.
“The commitment and dedication of our top athletes paid off in their race results and ultimately in their selection as USA Triathlon Athletes of the Year. Many of the candidates that we considered were literally neck-to-neck in some of the most competitive triathlons we have ever had,” said Steve Sutherland, chair of the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee Athlete of the Year Subcommittee. “The selection committee worked very hard to evaluate our largest pool of candidates to date. The depth and quality of these triathletes impressed every member of the subcommittee. We salute their selection and congratulate them.”
Daniel Stubleski (Washington, Mich.) and Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.) received top billing, winning the overall Age-Group Triathlete of the Year honors. Stubleski, who received the award last year, won the 2014 USA Triathlon Long Course National Championships title, and was the first amateur finisher at IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN 70.3 Racine and IRONMAN 70.3 Steelhead. Lendway defended her overall title at USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals in Milwaukee, and was the first overall finisher among all women at the ITU Standard (Olympic-distance) World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. Lendway also won Life Time Tri Minneapolis and Life Time Tri Trinona with course records.
Christopher Thomas (Easton, Conn.) and Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.) received the Masters Triathlete of the Year awards. Thomas, also a repeat winner for Athlete of the Year recognition, won the 40-44 age group and the Masters title at USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals, and also finished as the first amateur athlete at IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman, IRONMAN 70.3 Syracuse and IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman. Dippold captured titles in the 50-54 age group on back-to-back days at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals (Olympic-distance and sprint events), and was the first Masters finisher at Hy-Vee Triathlon and Kansas 5150.
Grand Masters Triathletes of the Year accolades went to Greg Taylor (Yankton, S.D.) and Cherie Gruenfeld (Cathedral City, Calif.). Taylor was champion of the 60-64 age group at six events, including the IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds and USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals. Gruenfeld won the 70-74 age group at six events, setting new course records for her age group at the IRONMAN World Championship, IRONMAN 70.3 Vineman, IRONMAN 70.3 St. Croix and IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii.
Jack Toland (Kirkland, Wash.) and Emma Langley (Cos Cob, Conn.) received recognition as Junior Triathletes of the Year for 2014. Competing in non-drafting events, Toland raced to the top of his age group at the ITU Standard (Age Group) World Championships and the ITU Sprint World Championships in Edmonton. He also finished third in his age group and 10th overall at USA Triathlon Sprint Nationals. Langley earned titles in the 17-19 age group at USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals and 18-19 age group at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Weihai, China, and was runner-up in the 18-19 age group at ITU Standard (Olympic-Distance) Worlds.
The 2014 USA Triathlon Age-Group Triathletes of the Year and honorable mention selections are as follows:
Men’s Triathlete of the Year: Dan Stubleski (Washington, Mich.)
Honorable Mention: Ian Boggs (Zionsville, Ind.), Mark Harms (Madison, Wis.), Steve Mantell (Fort Collins, Colo.), Matthew Payne (Columbia Heights, Minn.), Mark Tripp (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Women’s Triathlete of the Year: Heather Lendway (St. Paul, Minn.)
Honorable Mention: Amy Farrell (Tupper Lake, N.Y.), Dani Fischer (Wausau, Wis.), Samantha Morrison (Goldsboro, N.C.), Robin Pomeroy (Folsom, Calif.), Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.)
Men’s Masters Triathlete of the Year: Christopher Thomas (Easton, Conn.)
Honorable Mention: Paul Brinkmann (Flagstaff, Ariz.), Doug Clark (Mendham, N.J.), Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Dave Slavinski (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Ritch Viola (Tiburon, Calif.)
Women’s Masters Triathlete of the Year: Kelly Dippold (Overland Park, Kan.)
Honorable Mention: Susanne Davis (Carlsbad, Calif.), Donna Kay-Ness (Enfield, Conn.), Adrienne LeBlanc (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Steph Popelar (Parker, Colo.), Kristin White (Manlius, N.Y.)
Men’s Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year: Greg Taylor (Yankton, S.D.)
Honorable Mention: Jon Adamson (Marietta, Ga.), Don Ardell (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Tony Marshall (Carlsbad, Calif.), Michael Orendorff (Pueblo, Colo.), William Wren (Arlington, Va.)
Women’s Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year: Cherie Gruenfeld (Cathedral City, Calif.)
Honorable Mention: Ellen Hart (Denver, Colo.), Heysoon Lee (Morristown, N.J.), Karen McKeachie (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Laura Sophiea (Atlanta, Ga.), Donna Smyers (Adamant, Vt.)
Men’s Junior Triathlete of the Year: Jack Toland (Kirkland, Wash.)
Honorable Mention: Connor Weaver (Parker, Colo.)
Women’s Junior Triathlete of the Year: Emma Langley (Cos Cob, Conn.)
Honorable Mention: Holland Smith (St. Joseph, Mo.)
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 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 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 International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).