(February 4, 2009) For the fifth consecutive year, Best of the US Management is pleased to welcome the venerable Lavaman Triathlon as the official Best of the US Hawaii Qualifier. The fastest amateur male and female Hawaiian to finish at the 12th edition of this classic Olympic distance race at Waikoloa Beach on March 29, will earn invitations to represent themselves and their home state at the Best of the US National Championship in Mission Viejo, California on September 27.
Hawaiians have been successful at BOUS Championship in years past. In 2005, Kailua-Kona's Bree Wee finished 7th. Interestingly, she was disappointed in her performance, knowing deep inside that only a victory, or at least a podium (top 3 overall) finish would truly satisfy her. Sidelined by pregnancy in 2006, Wee bounced back in 2007 with a runner-up effort at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals and a new amateur course record at Triathlon's Super Bowl, the Hawaii Ironman World Championship. At season's end, Wee was named US Athlete of the Year.
In 2008, former amateur World Champion Luis De La Torre, then age 40, placed 8th at the BOUS Championship, an effort that helped him earn USAT Master of the Year Honorable Mention status.
Don't be surprised if the best effort ever by a Hawaiian is turned in at this year's National Championship. In fact, if everything goes according to plan for 33-year-old Honolulu resident Rachel Ross, she will become the Hawaii's first BOUS National Champion. Ross, who due to a mid-season injury, just missed earning her 3rd straight USAT Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention in 2008, and many feel that she could become the second Aloha state resident to be named US AOY in the last three years.
Though earning her invitation to advance to the BOUS Championship is not a done deal, she will enter the Lavaman Qualifier as the clear women's favorite. Here are some of Ross's competitive highlights:
2008 - 1st amateur at Ironman Arizona (10:03)
2007 - 1st @ Chicago Elite
1st 30-34 @ 2007 USAT Age Group Nationals (7th overall)
2nd amateur @ 2007 Hawaiian Ironman World Championships (9:56:21!)
2nd amateur @ 2007 Honolulu Triathlon and Honolulu 70.3
The Best of the U.S. Amateur Triathlete Competition is produced by Midwest Events, LLC of Saint Paul, Minnesota.