COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The nation's best age-group, junior and elite run-bike-run athletes were announced today as USA Triathlon's Duathletes of the Year for accomplishments in 2015. The award is presented annually by Garmin and selected by the USA Triathlon Age Group Committee, following nominations by the Duathlon Committee.
"Our duathletes continued to turn in amazing race results at the local, national and international level and the selection process this year was as challenging as any year in recent memory," said Steve Sutherland, chair of the Age Group Committee Athlete of the Year subcommittee. "Our committee worked very hard analyzing race results and, combined with inputs from the Duathlon Committee, we are honored to award the Duathlete of the Year awards to these accomplished athletes."
Matthew Payne (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Triathlon)
Matthew Payne (Columbia Heights, Minn.) and Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) lead the way as overall Duathletes of the Year for outstanding performances in 2015. Payne, who was also the overall award winner for 2014, won the standard-distance race at USA Triathlon Duathlon Nationals, and broke the amateur course record when he won the Apple Duathlon. He was also the top amateur finisher at the Gear West Duathlon. Sass, who was also named Triathlete of the Year for 2015, won overall sprint and standard titles at Duathlon Nationals - back-to-back in one day of competition. Sass also won the overall title at Long Course Duathlon Nationals and the first-ever Draft-Legal Duathlon World Championships Qualifier, and was the overall women's winner and second overall (among men and women) at Los Locos Duathlon.
Fred Bunn (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Kirsten Chapman (Edmond, Okla.) were the best in the country among 40-to-54-year-olds to become Masters Duathletes of the Year. Bunn was the 50-54 champion for the standard-distance race at USA Triathlon Duathlon Nationals and the standard-distance race at ITU Duathlon World Championships, and he was also the overall winner of the Bear Lake Duathlon by more than 3 minutes. Chapman, a repeat winner in the category, was the 50-54 silver medalist at sprint ITU Duathlon Worlds, Masters champion at Long Course Duathlon Nationals and Masters and 50-54 champion for the standard-distance race at USA Triathlon Duathlon Nationals.
Kirsten Sass (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Triathlon)
Grand Masters Duathletes of the Year for 2015 are Wolf Hillesheim (El Sobrante, Calif.) and Patty Peoples-Resh (Redlands, Calif.). Hillesheim picked up wins at three duathlons, becoming the 70-74 champion for the standard-distance race at ITU Duathlon World Championships, the Long Course Duathlon National Championships and the standard-distance race at Duathlon Nationals. A multiple-time Duathlete of the Year award winner, Peoples-Resh was the Grand Masters and 55-59 champion at sprint Duathlon Nationals, finishing third overall, and was also the overall winner of the Esprit de She San Diego Duathlon and the Pacific Coast Duathlon.
Timothy Winslow (Elk Grove, Calif.) is a repeat winner of the Junior Duathlete of the Year award, joined by last year's runner-up Kaytlynn Welsch (Alvin, Texas). Winslow was the 15-19 champion and seventh overall for the sprint race at Duathlon Nationals, and he was also the overall winner of the Du the Bears Short Duathlon. Welsch was the 15-19 champion at the Sylvan Beach Duathlon and TriGirl Super Sprint Duathlon, and she also picked up bronze in 15-19 age group in the sprint race at Duathlon Nationals and was second overall at Powerman Florida Duathlon Sprint Nationals.
Patrick Parish (Bloomington, Minn.) and Dani Fischer (Wausau, Wis.) earned Elite Duathlete of the Year accolades. Parish raced to a national title at the USA Triathlon Elite Duathlon National Championship and was also the elite winner of the Apple Duathlon and Gear West Duathlon. Fischer won Powerman Michigan and was the runner-up of USA Triathlon Elite Duathlon Nationals in her first full year as an elite athlete.
The 2015 USA Triathlon Duathletes of the Year and honorable mention selections are as follows:
Men's Duathlete of the Year: Matthew Payne (Columbia Heights, Minn.)
Honorable Mention: Nate Hoffman (West Haven, Minn.), Bennett Isabella (Burnsville, Minn.), Jeff Wilson (Copley, Ohio)
Women's Duathlete of the Year: Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.)
Honorable Mention: Suzie Fox (Chaska, Minn.), Laura Kline (New Paltz, N.Y.), Jennifer Scudiero (Eagan, Minn.)
Men's Masters Duathlete of the Year: Fred Bunn (East Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Honorable Mention: James Hannon (Rochester, Minn.), Kevin Konczak (Boulder, Colo.), Kevin O'Connor (Medina, Minn.)
Women's Masters Duathlete of the Year: Kirsten Chapman (Edmond, Okla.)
Honorable Mention: Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), Manuela Knispel (Shorewood, Minn.), Geraldine Lupini (Milford, Mich.)
Men's Grand Masters Duathlete of the Year: Wolf Hillesheim (El Sobrante, Calif.)
Honorable Mention: David Burkhart (Brighton, Mich.), Jean-Pierre Bacle (Alexandria, Va.), Mike McCarty (Marana, Ariz.)
Women's Grand Masters Duathlete of the Year: Patty Peoples-Resh (Redlands, Calif.)
Honorable Mention: Kristin Allyne (Chapel Hills, N.C.), Ellen Hart (Denver, Colo.), Diane Travis (Clermont, Fla.)
Men's Junior Duathlete of the Year: Timothy Winslow (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Honorable Mention: Nick Amato (Suttons Bay, Mich.)
Women's Junior Duathlete of the Year: Kaytlynn Welsch (Alvin, Texas)
Honorable Mention: Lauren Garriques (Lake Forest, Ill.)
Men's Elite Duathlete of the Year: Patrick Parish (Bloomington, Minn.)
Honorable Mention: Ryan Rau (Brighton, Mich.)
Women's Elite Duathlete of the Year: Dani Fischer (Wausau, Wis.)
Honorable Mention: Lauren Olson (Mesa, Ariz.)
||About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).