By ITU Admin on 29/01/08 at 12:00 am
USA Triathlon announced the recipients of its annual elite athlete awards for 2007 as selected by the USAT Athlete Advisory Council.
Male Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
Male Multisport Non-ITU Athlete of the Year
Andy Potts (Princeton, N.J. / Colorado Springs, Colo.)
It was quite a year for Potts who earned his first USAT Elite National title with a win at the Honolulu Triathlon and followed that with a gold medal at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a silver at the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Cup and an 11th place finish at the BG Triathlon World Championship in Hamburg, Germany. But he also impressed beyond the Olympic distance with wins at Escape from Alcatraz, the California 70.3, and closed the year by claiming the title at the 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Fla.
“It is always an honor to receive awards but it is never my intention when I set my goals for the year. Awards come from others recognizing my efforts,” said Potts. “To be awarded Triathlete of the Year is an honor that comes from my peers as well as people in the know in the sport. To have the respect of the athletes that I race against as well as the coaches and officials in triathlon makes what I’m doing even that much more special.”
Female Olympic/ITU Triathlete of the Year
Laura Bennett (N. Palm Beach, Fla. / Boulder, Colo.)
For Bennett, 2007 was equally impressive, as she captured a World Cup win - and $200,000 prize purse - at the inaugural Hy-Vee BG Triathlon World Cup in Des Moines, Iowa. She earned her fourth podium in five years with a third place finish at the BG Triathlon World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, and closed the campaign in style by securing her slot on the U.S. Olympic Team by placing third at the ITU BG Beijing World Cup. She finished the year ranked 7th in the ITU World Cup rankings.
“Winning Hy-Vee, being on the podium at worlds, and taking the first Olympic spot were the goals I set out for myself at the beginning of the season,” said Bennett. “Honestly to achieve what you planned to do is amazing, and winning 2007 Female Olympic / ITU Triathlete of Year is just icing on the cake.”