Taylor Knibb, Darr Smith Dubbed 2017 Junior Elite Triathletes of the Year

By USA Triathlon | March 01, 2018, 1:41 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.) and Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) were today named the 2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite Athletes of the Year, presented by Garmin. Knibb earns the title for the third consecutive year, while Smith is a first-time honoree.

The selections, made by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council, were based on outstanding performances in national and international competitions during the 2017 season. 

Knibb had a standout year not only in the junior ranks, but also at the under-23 and senior elite levels. She successfully defended her title at the ITU Junior World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in September, edging Great Britain’s Kate Waugh by 16 seconds. 

She also earned a victory at the USA Triathlon U23 National Championships, held as part of the West Des Moines CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in July. Later that month, Knibb showed she is a breakout star on the ITU World Triathlon Series circuit, finishing second to world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda at WTS Edmonton. She also reached the podium with a third-place finish at the Sarasota CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Championships in March, and placed fourth at the Cagliari ITU Triathlon World Cup.

“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition,” Knibb said. “Thank you to my family, my coaches, my friends and USA Triathlon for making this possible.”

Smith had a strong 2017, taking the win at the USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championships in West Chester, Ohio, in August. He also claimed victories at the Sarasota CAMTRI Triathlon Junior North American Championships and the Magog CAMTRI Triathlon Junior American Championships. 

Smith represented the U.S. at the ITU Junior World Championships in September, placing 19th, and recorded a seventh-place finish in the elite men’s field at the Richmond CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup in May.

“It is a huge honor and blessing to receive this award,” Smith said. “A huge thanks to my coaches — my dad and Jenny (Weber) — and to USA Triathlon for their support over the years.”

Smith also headlines the 2017 USA Triathlon Men’s Junior Elite All-Americans list, while Knibb ranks second among the Junior Elite All-American women. All-American honors go to the top up-and-coming triathletes in the United States and are based on their final national ranking and performance in top junior and draft-legal events. 

2017 Junior Elite Triathletes of the Year
Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.)
Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.)

2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite All-Americans — Men (ages 16-19)
Darr Smith (Atlanta, Ga.)
Chase McQueen (Columbus, Ind.)
Nicholas Johnson (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Eli Pugh (Rochester, Ind.)
(HM) Luis Ortiz (Orlando, Fla.)
(HM) Will Cornish (Naperville, Ill.)
(HM) Britt Kaukeinen (Rochester, N.Y.)
(HM) Fielding Fischer (Chevy Chase, Md.)

2017 USA Triathlon Junior Elite All-Americans — Women (ages 16-19)

Paige Horner (Johnston, Iowa)
Taylor Knibb (Washington, D.C.)
Kyleigh Spearing (Frankfort, Ill.)
Kira Stanley (Acworth, Ga.)
(HM) Gillian Cridge (Indianapolis, Ind.)
(HM) Liberty Ricca (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
(HM) Maia Austin (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
(HM) Amelia Larkin (Lebanon, N.H.)

2017 USA Triathlon Youth Elite All-Americans — Boys (ages 13-15)
Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Nicholas Holmes (Glendale, Wis.)
Reed Legg (Odessa, Fla.)
Lane Hollis (Dalton, Ga.)
(HM) William Locascio (Denver, Colo.)
(HM) Eli Hoppenfeld (Atlanta, Ga.)
(HM) Rodrigo Garza (The Woodlands, Texas)
(HM) Sam Tullis (South Bend, Ind.)

2017 USA Triathlon Youth Elite All-Americans — Girls (ages 13-15)
Maryhelen Albright (Roanoke, Va.)
Makena Gates (Canton, Ga.)
MJ Lopez-Aguirre (The Woodlands, Texas)
Camille Buchanan (Bartlett, Ill.)
(HM) Hannah Ye (Leesburg, Va.)
(HM) Abigail Church (South Riding, Va.)
(HM) Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.)
(HM) Monica Lopez-Aguirre (The Woodlands, Texas)

HM – Honorable Mention

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 more than 400,000 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).