ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen headlines the 13 honorees selected as the 2014 Elite Triathletes of the Year, announced today by USA Triathlon and selected by the National Governing Body’s Athlete Advisory Council (AAC).
“2014 was a year full of great performances by U.S. elite athletes. It seems that each year our athletes turn in better and better performances. From rookies to the top-ranked athletes, there were so many strong performances that selecting winners from the list of nominees was a difficult task,” said Joel Rosinbum, chair of the USA Triathlon AAC. “In the end we selected a group of athletes whose incredible performances make them stand out as the very best our country has to offer. The AAC would like to congratulate all the 2014 Athletes of the Year and wish them and all athletes continued success in 2015.”
Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) is a repeat winner of the Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year award, making history in 2014 as the only woman in the world to win eight career ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) events. Jorgensen logged five consecutive wins in WTS events in 2014, including the series Grand Final in Edmonton, Alberta, to clinch the world title — the first for the U.S. in 10 years.
Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) also claimed back-to-back honors in the Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year category. Shoemaker finished the 2014 season as the top-ranked American man in the ITU standings with eight top-10 finishes in ITU events. He was seventh in the Grand Final in Edmonton and posted second-place finishes at ITU World Cups in Jiayuguan, China, and Cozumel, Mexico.
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Saturday, October 18th
NYAC Men Dominate Tongyeong ITU Triathlon World Cup
NYAC triathletes Ben Kanute and Tommy Zaferes led their teammates with career-best finishes on Saturday, October 18th. Kanute placed second with a time of 1:48:34, with Zaferes close behind with a time of 1:48:40. Joe Maloy came in 7th with a time of 1:49:18, with Greg Billington crossing the finish line in 13th with a time of 1:49:54, Matt Chrabot came in 36th with a time of 1:51:37 with William Huffman close behind with a time of 1:51:39 taking 38th place and Lukas Verbicas took 64th with a time of 1:57:59. To read more, click here.
The Grand Final
By Justin Gaymon
During September, five NYAC triathletes crossed the finish line of the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Canada. The Grand Final marked the culmination of the World Triathlon Series, which consists of eight races, spanning seven months across four different continents. The Grand Final’s finish line was a welcomed site for athletes Gwen Jorgensen, Sarah Groff, Lindsey Jerdonek, Jarrod Shoemaker and Joe Maloy, who gave it there all across the 1,500 meter swim, 43.2 kilometer bike and 10,000 kilometer run portions of the race.
For Jorgensen, crossing the Grand Final finish line meant becoming a world champion. The 2012 Olympian and 2013’s USA triathlete of the year had a stellar year, winning four World Triathlon Series races in a row: London, Yokohama, Chicago and Hamburg. Her fifth win in Edmonton (2:00:05) put her in the record books as the only woman in World Triathlon Series history to win five events in one season.
“I was unsure of how many people were ahead of me when I started the run leg of the triathlon; however, I think this gave me motivation to keep going for my goal, which was to win,” said Jorgensen, who only needed to finish within the top 16 to secure her world champion title. “When I finished in first, it was a strange feeling. I more wanted to find my fiancé Patrick and coach Jamie than celebrate the win. I couldn't think of a better way to end this amazing year.”
Groff was hunting for the world championship title as well and led throughout most of the cycling portion of the race. She recorded her first World Triathlon Series victory in Stockholm a little over a week before the Grand Final. Groff finished fourth at the Grand Final (2:01:20) and secured enough points to finish second in the World Series rankings.
“This year I just wanted to be consistent across the series and have my best race at the final,” said Groff who was a 2012 Olympian. “I really enjoyed the racing aspect of being side by side and battling step for step to see who had the edge.”
Jerdonek finished 36th overall at the Grand Final (2:06:51). She’s an athlete on the rise, recording five top 10 finishes this year and owning three career Pan American Cup podium finishes.
Jarrod Shoemaker had a slow start during the swimming portion the Grand Final, but fought to work his way up the pack. He took seventh (1:49:50), which is tied for the second best finish ever for a US man at an Olympic, World Championships or Grand Final.
“I could not be happier with the race and the build this season,” said Shoemaker. “Having felt great on the swim and bike I knew that I was going to have to leave it on the line on the run. I pushed when I could, felt good and then bad, held on and finished strong for seventh place.”
Maloy finished 17th overall (1:50:43) and recorded one of the Grand Final’s fastest swim splits. Maloy finished last year’s season as the second ranked American and became this year’s national champion after winning the USA Triathlon National Championships in Chicago this past June.
You can follow these athletes and their athletic journeys by checking out their blogs below:
Gwen Jorgensen - http://www.gwenjorgensen.com/
Sarah Groff - http://www.sarahgroff.com/
Lindsey Jerdonek - http://rookiepros.blogspot.com/
Jarrod Shoemaker - http://www.jarrodshoemaker.com/Blog
Joe Maloy - http://joemaloy.blogspot.com/