By Paula Kim on 31/01/11 at 6:50 pm
As the top Americans in the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series rankings, Laura Bennett and Matt Chrabot were named USA Triathlon’s Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year, selected by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.
Hampered by injuries since the Beijing Olympic Games, Bennett returned to form in 2010 by ending the year ranked 10th overall in the ITU World Championship Series rankings. She posted four consecutive top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place showing in the Grand Final in Budapest. She also captured her second career USA Triathlon Elite National Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Chrabot continued his rise to the top tier of in 2010 by finishing 12th in the Series rankings. His fourth-place showing in Kitzbühel, Austria, was the top finish by an American and was one of Chrabot’s two top-10 showings. He also captured his second career PATCO Pan American Championship title in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and took bronze at the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup, also in Mexico.
“There were some truly exceptional performances in 2010. With over 20 athletes nominated by their peers, the AAC carefully reviewed race résumés and feedback from the elite athlete pool before voting on the winners. We congratulate all of the athletes on their accomplishments this past year and hope to see even more impressive results in 2011,” said Ryan Bickerstaff, chair of the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.
O’Donnell claims the Non-Olympic/ITU Athlete of the Year for the second straight year. He was the runner-up at the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at the 2010 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Germany.
Jorgensen, who qualified for her elite card in her first-ever triathlon in March 2010, had a breakout season. She posted runner-up finishes at both the PATCO Pan American Championship in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and FISU World University Championship in Valencia, Spain. In addition to fifth place showings at Elite Nationals and the Huatulco ITU Triathlon World Cup, Jorgensen finished in the top-five in a trio of ITU Pan American Cup events.
After winning the overall national title at the 2009 USA Triathlon Age-Group National Championship, Jefferson’s elite debut was highlighted by a first-place finish at the Ixtapa ITU Pan American Cup and an eighth-place showing at the ITU Elite Duathlon World Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Under23 honours went to the top Under23 finishers at 2010 Elite Nationals — Goss and Darling. After finishing fifth at the 2010 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship, Goss posted a pair of top-12 finishes at ITU Pan American Cup events and was 19th at the ITU Under23 World Championships in Budapest. Goss was the 7th U.S. finisher at Elite Nationals.
A member of the U.S. squad for the ITU Under23 World Championships in Budapest, Darling was the ninth American at Elite Nationals and also logged a fifth-place finish at the Kelowna ITU Pan American Cup.
2010 USA Triathlon Elite Athletes of the Year
Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year:
Laura Bennett (Boulder, Colo.)
Matt Chrabot (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Non-Olympic/ITU Athletes of the Year:
Amy Marsh (Austin, Texas)
Timothy O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.)
Rookies of the Year:
Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Sean Jefferson (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.)
Under23 Athletes of the Year:
Lauren Goss (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
Kalen Darling (Honolulu, Hawaii)