USA Triathlete of the Year Awards
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Sarah Haskins and Jarrod Shoemaker were named USA Triathlete Olympic/ITU Triathletes of the Year, an honour awarded annually by the USAT Athlete Advisory Council.
Haskins and Shoemaker had great showings in 2009, each ending the year ranked in the top 10 of the ITU World Championship Rankings. Haskins placed fourth at the ITU World Championship Grand Final. Shoemaker not only won the ITU World Championship Series event in Hamburg, Germany, but had a come-from-behind photo finish victory at the ITU Duathlon World Championships on home soil.
These athletes were nominated by their elite athlete peers, according to Ryan Bickerstaff, the chairman of the council. Across the categories, there were about 17 nominations, and the nominees were asked to supply resumes of their accomplishments. The elite athletes voted in an informal poll, and the seven members of the AAC then voted for the winners.
“The Athletes Advisory Council had a tough job selecting from a lot of outstanding performers in 2009,” said Scott Schnitzspahn, USAT’s director of sport performance. “These athletes came through at big events and had consistent top performances that earned them these honors. It’s exciting to have all of these athletes wearing USA at competitions at home and abroad in many different disciplines within our sport.”
The Non-ITU Athlete of the Year honours went to Rebeccah Wassner and Timothy O’Donnell. For their first year of elite competition, Hayley Piersol and Kyle Leto were named Rookie of the Year. Jennifer Spieldenner and Dustin McLarty earned U23 Athlete of the Year honours. Junior elite athletes also earned Athlete of the Year awards, with Jessica Broderick and Kevin McDowell in triathlon and Kate Buss and Lukas Verzbicas in duathlon.