Familiar faces were recognized by Triathlon Canada as the national body doled out its annual awards to recognize exceptional performances in 2011 as Canadian athletes begin to kick the new season into full gear.
The 23-year-old Findlay got off to a blistering start in 2011 where she became the number-one ranked triathlete in the world after winning the first three World Triathlon Series races of the season in Sydney, Australia, Kitzbuhel, Austria and Madrid, Spain.
Two-time Olympic medallist, Simon Whitfield, was recognized as the top men’s triathlete once again – just weeks away from representing the country for the fourth time at the Olympic Summer Games. The 37-year-old Whitfield had a fourth-place finish at the season-ending World Triathlon Series event in addition to claiming his 10th national title in a hard fought battle.
Triathlon Canada also recognized four athletes in the Under-23 and Junior race categories. Andrew York, of Caledon, Ont., earned top honours in the Under-23 male category, while Winnipeg’s Sarah-Anne Brault was the top female in the women’s Under-23 thanks to taking down Paula Findlay to win her first national title. Francis Lefebvre, of Laval, Que., was the top junior male, while Joanna Brown, of Carp, Ont., was a repeat winner in the junior women’s division.
“Triathlon Canada had one of its most successful seasons in the history of the program and that is a testament to the hard work and commitment to excellence demonstrated by each of these athletes,” said Alan Trivett, executive director, Triathlon Canada. “Success stimulates success and participation. With Paula and Simon leading the way, each of these award winners have helped inspire each other to do great things while encouraging more Canadians to get active by participating in triathlons at all levels.”
“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors at Triathlon Canada, I applaud every one of them for their efforts and helping to make 2011 a season to remember.”
Athletes in all age group race distance categories were also recognized on Monday. The following is a list of award winners in each age group of the various race disciplines.
Age Group 18-39 Male – Jason Britton (Edmonton)
Age Group 18-39 Female – Rebecca Sherlock (Vancouver)
Age Group 40-59 Male – Martin Malo (Montreal)
Age Group 40-59 Female – Stephanie Kieffer (Vancouver), Margaret Ritchie (Edmonton)
Long Distance Triathlon
Elite Female – Heather Wurtele (Vernon, B.C.)
Age Group 18-39 Male – Andrew Imrie (Toronto)
Age Group 18-39 Female – Laura Keefe (Halifax)
Age Group 40-59 Male – Anthony Frost (London, Ont.)
Age Group 40-59 Female – Ann Barnes (New Westminister, B.C.)
Age Group 18-39 Male – Jonathan Tremblay (Alma, Que.)
Age Group 18-39 Female – Tatjana Zaharova (Etobicoke, Ont.)
Age Group 40-59 Male – David Field (Barrie’s Bay, Ont);
Age Group 40-59 Female – Carolyn Silvey (Toronto)
Elite Female – Melanie McQuaid (Victoria)
Age Group 18-39 Male – Mike Cabigon (Edmonton)
Age Group 18-39 Female – Kate Button (Stouffville, Ont.)
Age Group 40-59 Male – Calvin Zaryski (Calgary)
Age Group 40-59 Female – Sue Lambert (Edmonton)
Male – Carl Peterson (Summerland, B.C.), Milos Kostic (Regina)
Female – Carol Peters (Delta, B.C.)
Female – Jennifer Hopkins (Ottawa)
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.