Friday, 19 Aug, 2022

Zaferes and McDowell named elite athletes of the year by USA Triathlon

Last week we reported on the USA Triathlon Age Group triathletes of the year, now we can fill in the names to go along with USA Triathlon’s elite, U23, rookie and junior triathletes of the year. Katie Zaferes earned the Olympic/ World Triathlon Triathlete of the Year for the fourth time, while Kevin McDowell earned the title for the first time. (They are pictured above on the right alongside mixed relay teammates Morgan Pearson and Taylor Knibb.)

Zaferes won the individual bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer, and also helped the American team earn the silver medal.

“I am very honored to receive this award considering how many of the USA women had great achievements last year,” Zaferes said. “It’s extra special for me because this year was so challenging. I’m proud of being able to regroup and refocus with the assistance of the team of people that surrounds me in order to achieve one of my biggest goals, which was to win a medal at the Olympics.”

McDowell was also part of the mixed relay team in Tokyo, where he appeared in his first Olympics. He was sixth in the individual race.

“It’s a huge honour to receive this award after so many great performances on the U.S. men’s side, which has been really exciting,” McDowell said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the entire team behind me, my family, coach Nate Wilson, physio/medical, friends, community, and USA Triathlon. It truly takes a village to do what we do and perform at the highest level. I’m thankful for the one I’ve got.”

Here’s a full list of the titles:

Women’s Olympic/World Triathlon Triathlete of the Year:  Katie Zaferes (Cary, NC)
Men’s Olympic/World Triathlon Triathlete of the Year:  Kevin McDowell (Colorado Springs, CO)

Women’s Elite Non-Drafting Triathlete of the Year: Taylor Knibb (Boulder, CO)
Men’s Elite Non-Drafting Triathlete of the Year: Sam Long (Boulder, CO)

Women’s Elite Off-Road Triathlete of the Year: Suzie Snyder (Boulder, CO)
Men’s Elite Off-Road Triathlete of the Year: Seth Rider (Germantown, TN)

Women’s Rookie of the Year: Maddie Lavin (Vermillion, SD)
Men’s Rookie of the Year: John Reed (Virginia Beach. VA)

Women’s U23 Triathlete of the Year: Grace Walther (Indianapolis, IN)
Men’s U23 Triathlete of the Year: Chase McQueen (Columbus, IN)

Women’s Junior Triathlete of the Year: Naomi Ruff (West Chicago, IL)
Men’s Junior Triathlete of the Year: Drew Shellenberger (Indianapolis, IN)

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