Best of 2017: Top Moments

By USA Triathlon | Dec. 15, 2017, 5:45 p.m. (ET)

Throughout 2017, the multisport community made history on and off the race course. From Penticton to Leeds to Rotterdam, U.S. athletes scored podium performances time and time again while representing the red, white and blue. At the same time, the community came together around celebrations like National Triathlon Week and outreach initiatives like the Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. Relive some of the best moments here, and check out the entire Best of 2017 series at usatriathlon.org.

May 31 — USA Triathlon Announces Inaugural High School State Championships Calendar

USA Triathlon announced its first-ever calendar of High School State Championships, enabling young triathletes to showcase their talent against high-school peers while taking part in a larger age-group triathlon. The 2017 season featured championship events in 20 states. 

April 22 — University of Colorado Earns Eighth Straight Team Title at Collegiate Club Nationals
The University of Colorado earned its eighth consecutive overall team title at the USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Colorado also earned the women’s team title, and the U.S. Naval Academy took home the men’s team title. Colorado has won the overall team title since 2010, and has not failed to finish in the top three for the last 15 years.

June 9 — Triathlon Mixed Relays Added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced that Triathlon Mixed Team Relays would be added to the event program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In the Mixed Team Relay race format, four athletes – two men and two women – compete on each team, each covering a 300-meter swim, 9-kilometer bike and 2-kilometer run before tagging off to the next teammate.

June 11 — Taylor Spivey Earns First World Triathlon Series Medal with Silver in Leeds

U.S. triathlete Taylor Spivey won a silver medal and earned her first career ITU World Triathlon Series podium at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, becoming the seventh U.S. woman to earn a WTS podium just a week after claiming her first World Cup medal in Madrid.

June 17-18 — Danielle Dingman Sweeps Duathlon National Championship Titles
After claiming the Long Course Duathlon national title in in Cary, North Carolina, in April, Danielle Dingman successfully completed her Duathlon National Championships sweep by earning both sprint and standard-distance titles in Bend, Oregon.

July 16 — U.S. Earns Silver at ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships
The U.S. team of Kirsten Kasper, Ben Kanute, Katie Zaferes and Matt McElroy earned a silver medal at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships on Sunday in Hamburg, Germany, the first elite Mixed Team Relay competition since the IOC announced the event would be added to the program of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

July 20 — USA Triathlon Foundation Announces Nearly $100,000 in Grant Funding for Youth Triathletes, Paratriathletes and Olympic Hopefuls

The USA Triathlon Foundation announced the recipients of $86,000 in grant funding to support underserved youth, Olympic-inspired youth and athletes with disabilities. In addition, the foundation announced the awardees of $12,000 in total grant funding for first-year professional triathletes through the Jesse Thomas Scholarship.

July 17-23 — Triathletes Around the World Participate in First-Ever National Triathlon Week
The first-ever National Triathlon Week, an initiative launched by USA Triathlon to celebrate the multisport community and all its constituents, was held in July with thousands of multisport athletes participating both on social media and in communities across the country. #TriWeek was a social media-based initiative designed to bring the multisport community together and expand the awareness and appeal of triathlon to mainstream audiences. 

July 29 — Knibb Becomes Youngest Woman Ever to Win a World Triathlon Series Medal
Nineteen-year-old Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) became the youngest woman ever to reach a WTS podium, taking silver in just the third WTS showing of her career in Edmonton, Alberta. She shared the podium with gold medalist Flora Duffy of Bermuda and bronze medalist and U.S. teammate Katie Zaferes.

Aug. 5-6 — More Than 1,000 Young Triathletes Compete at USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships
Rising triathlon stars Kyleigh Spearing, Darr Smith, Maryhelen Albright and Andrew Shellenberger captured junior elite and youth elite national titles on Saturday at Voice of America Park, kicking off the first of two days of racing featuring 1,000 young athletes for the 2017 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships. Day two featured the mixed relay event, won by the Z3 Junior Triathlon Team, and the Youth Age Group National Championships.

Aug. 10 — Rocky Harris Named as USA Triathlon Chief Executive Officer
Rocky Harris was announced by USA Triathlon President Barry Siff as USA Triathlon's new Chief Executive Officer. Harris spent the past five-plus years as an athletics administrator at his alma mater, Arizona State University, and comes to Colorado Springs with two decades of experience across professional and collegiate sports, as well as the corporate sector. An age-group triathlete, Harris has been instrumental in helping grow triathlon at the collegiate level.

Aug. 12-13 — Kirsten Sass Sweeps Sprint and Olympic-Distance Titles as Age Group National Championships

Kirsten Sass earned her first Olympic-distance overall national title at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska, and the following day, successfully defended her sprint-distance overall title. She earned the victories with margins of 40 seconds (Olympic-distance) and 34 seconds (sprint) on her closest competitors. 

Aug. 19-27 — U.S. Age-Group Athletes Earn 61 World Titles at Inaugural Multisport World Championships Festival

At the first-ever ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Penticton, B.C., U.S. amateur athletes earned 151 total medals – including 61 golds, 50 silvers and 40 bronzes. U.S. athletes battled for world championship crowns in sprint and standard-distance duathlon, cross triathlon, aquathlon, long-distance triathlon and aquabike events. 

Sept. 13 — Barb Lindquist Inducted into ITU Hall of Fame, Carl Thomas Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

2004 U.S. Olympian and current USA Triathlon staff member Barb Lindquist was inducted into the ITU Hall of Fame, while Carl Thomas, creator of the U.S. Triathlon Series and the first ITU treasurer, was honored with the ITU Lifetime Achievement Award. Lindquist and Thomas were recognized at an induction ceremony in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ahead of the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.

Sept. 3-15 — USA Triathlon Supports Those Affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation collaborated with the IRONMAN Foundation to help raise funds for its Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort, combining to match the first $10,000 in donations made in the name of USA Triathlon. USA Triathlon also waived the registration fee for its age-group open sprint race at the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival on Oct. 8 to give back to the Florida triathlon community after Hurricane Irma. Participants were encouraged, if able, to donate their registration fees to Hand in Hand’s Hurricane Relief Fund.

Sept. 15 — Norman Grabs Gold as U.S. Athletes Capture Seven Medals at ITU Paratriathlon World Championships
Grace Norman (PTS5) successfully defended her world title at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, leading the U.S. contingent in a seven-medal haul on the day. Allysa Seely (PTS2), Mark Barr (PTS2) and Aaron Scheidies (PTVI), while Patty Collins (PTS4), Jamie Brown (PTS4) and Chris Hammer (PTS5) earned bronzes.

Sept. 15 — Taylor Knibb Defends ITU Junior World Championship Title

Taylor Knibb stole the show at the ITU Junior World Championships in Rotterdam, breaking away on the bike and never looking back to successfully defend her 2016 world title. The 19-year-old has now reached the podium at three consecutive ITU Junior World Championships, as she earned silver in Chicago in 2015 along with her gold in Cozumel, Mexico, in 2016.

Sept. 16 — Tamara Gorman Earns Under-23 World Championship Title

Tamara Gorman races to gold at the ITU Under-23 World Championships in Rotterdam, claiming the victory on a cold and wet Olympic-distance course. Gorman earned the accolade after taking a year off triathlon to run collegiately for the University of Minnesota.

Sept. 16 — Katie Zaferes Earns Silver at ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and Claims Bronze in Overall WTS Standings

Katie Zaferes executed the race she needed at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, earning silver on the day and finishing third in the season-long ITU World Triathlon Series. It was a successful day overall for the American women, as Kirsten Kasper placed fourth, Summer Cook ninth and Taylor Spivey 16th. All four women also finished the season in the top-15 of the overall WTS rankings (third, fourth, 10th and 12th respectively). 

Sept. 17 — Team USA Wins 11 World Titles, 33 Medals at ITU Standard and Sprint Triathlon World Championships
U.S. athletes raced to 11 world titles and 33 medals overall at the ITU Age Group Standard and Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, with the sun welcoming finishers after several rain-filled days in the city. More than 500 amateur athletes represented Team USA in either the sprint or standard-distance competition.

Oct. 11 — USA Triathlon Honored with U.S. Olympic Committee’s Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award

The U.S. Olympic Committee presented USA Triathlon with its annual Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award, which recognizes the National Governing Body with the highest annual growth percentage of underrepresented individuals based on diversity data for women and racial and ethnic minorities. 

Oct. 14 — Jackson Places Fourth, Potts Seventh at IRONMAN World Championship in Kona
Heather Jackson led all Americans at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona on Saturday, placing fourth in the women’s race, while Andy Potts led the U.S. men in seventh. Four U.S. amateur athletes also won world titles in their respective age divisions. 

Oct. 20 — USA Triathlon Announces Paratriathlon Resident Athlete Program at U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
USA Triathlon announced that it will open its first-ever Paratriathlon Resident Athlete Program at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs starting in April of 2018. Eight athletes will be selected to train as part of the program, which will remain in operation through the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Nov. 9 — USA Triathlon Launches Project Podium Men’s Elite Development Program at Arizona State University
USA Triathlon announced the formation of Project Podium, a men’s elite development program to be based at Arizona State University beginning in August 2018. The program is designed to develop top young male triathletes in the United States and achieve medal performances in major international competition and, ultimately, in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games. 

Nov. 14 — Triathlon Reaches Halfway Point to Full-Fledged NCAA Championship Sport Status as the University of South Dakota Adds Women’s Varsity Program

The University of South Dakota became the 20th school — and third NCAA Division I program — in the nation to add varsity triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women. The commitment of the 20th school is a milestone in triathlon’s journey to becoming an NCAA Championship sport, marking the halfway point of a goal to reach 40 schools by 2024. Two days later, Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, was announced as the 21st school and fourth at the D-I level to add the sport.