Stefan Daniel, Lionel Sanders and Melanie McQuaid Headline Triathlon Canada’s 2017 Excellence Award Winners

VICTORIA—World Champions in their respective race disciplines, Stefan Daniel, Lionel Sanders and Melanie McQuaid, headline a list of seven Canadian triathletes who were recognized by Triathlon Canada as the top elite performers in 2017 with an Excellence Award.

Stefan Daniel (Alberta) was named the overall Elite Triathlete of the Year thanks to his commanding victory at the Para-triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, NED.

“The goal was to bounce back after Rio last year and get back on the top of the podium.  My coaches and I implemented a new approach to training and it paid off,” said Daniel. “I had my ups and downs in racing, but showed signs of improvement throughout the season and was able to cap it off with a world title. I’ve also come to realize how many people you need to achieve successful results in this sport, namely all of my coaches, Triathlon Canada, the Integrated Support Team, my sponsors, and all those who have supported me along the way.”

Lionel Sanders (Ontario) and Melanie McQuaid (British Columbia) were crowned the King and Queen in the Elite Multisport Athlete of the Year categories for men and women after thrilling the hometown crowd at the inaugural World Multisport Festival in Penticton, B.C.

Sanders won the men’s long-distance race, while McQuaid powered her way to the top of the women’s podium in the cross triathlon race.

Training with junior and U23 athletes in Victoria challenges me to set an example for long term high performance habits.  This opportunity has made me a better athlete and a better coach,” said McQuaid. “To win in Canada where my training partners, friends, and family could see me perform at my best was an incredible moment.  Thanks so much to Mike Brown in Penticton for providing the opportunity, to Kelly Guest for the mentorship, to my Livefit training squad, my family, and my sponsors for their support, and to Triathlon Canada for the recognition.”

National Performance Centre athletes, Joanna Brown (Ontario) and Matt Sharpe (British Columbia), were named Elite Female and Male Triathletes of the Year respectively.

Brown got her season off with a bang, winning her first two career medals on the World Cup circuit. She added a handful of top-10 performances including two fourth-place finishes and a gutsy fifth-place effort at the Grand Final. Brown added one more World Cup podium before the year came to a close.

Matt Sharpe also had a season to remember. The winner of the Aquathlon race at the Multisport World Championships in Penticton, B.C., Sharpe was also a fourth-place finisher at the famed Tiszaujvaros, Hungary World Cup. He added another top-five finish on the World Cup in Spain this fall.

Two baby Canucks also emerged to the top of the Triathlon Canada Nation in 2017. Desirae Ridenour (British Columbia) was named Junior Female Triathlete of the Year after making headlines internationally, while Pavlos Antoniades (Quebec) was named Junior Male Triathlete of the Year.

Building on a podium finish at the Junior Canadian Championships, Ridenour rattled off three straight gold-medal performances at major races around the globe. She won the Junior European Cup race in Hungary and the CAMTRI North American Championships in Magog, Que. just two weeks before capturing three more gold medals at the Canada Games in Winnipeg. The National Performance Centre athlete finished in eighth spot at the Junior World Championships.

The Junior Canadian Men’s Champion, Antoniades (Quebec) was the nation’s top male throughout the summer where he went on to finish 15th at the Junior World Championships.

Canada’s elite athletes who received honourable mentions in 2017 thanks to their medal-winning performances at World Championship events also included:

Penticton Multisport World Championships

Aiden Longcroft-Harris (gold in the junior men’s aquathlon); Brennen Smith (gold in under 23 men’s aquathlon); Holly Henry (gold in junior women’s cross triathlon and silver in the junior women’s aquathlon); John Rasmussen (silver in the elite men’s aquathlon); Michael Milic (silver in the junior men’s aquathlon); Keisha Besler (silver in the under 23 women’s aquathlon); Tate Haugan (silver in the junior men’s cross triathlon); Heather Wurtele (bronze in the elite women’s long distance triathlon); and Aiden Longcroft-Harris (bronze in the elite men’s aquathlon).

Triathlon Canada added all age group athletes who achieved podium performances at the World Championships to its Honourable Mentions List in 2017. Athletes include the following:

ITU World Triathlon Grand Final – Rotterdam, NED

Standard Distance – Bronze

Louise Atkinson Clark – 65-69 Female

Rob Ashburner – 65-69 Male

Sprint Distance – Bronze

Charlie Barnes – 80-84 Male

 

ITU World Multisport Festival – Penticton, B.C.

Aquabike – Gold

Courtney Milligan – 20-24 Female

Carli Tyson – 40-44 Female

Chris Daniel – 50-59 Male

Bob Hubbard – 75-79 Male

Aquabike – Silver

Ryan Smiley – 35-39 Male

Teresa Melton – 40-44 Female

R James McNaughton – 40-44 Male

Beth Ordman – 50-54 Female

Aquabike – Bronze

Tegan Graham – 20-24 Female

Amanda Beaudin – 40-44 Female

Kendra Mitchell –  55-59 Female

Beverley McNally – 65-69 Female

Carl Peterson – 65-69 Male

Catherine Roberts – 70-74 Female

Long Distance – Gold

Kiah Wheeler – 20-24 Female

Loren Nelson – 20-24 Male

Jenna-Caer Seefried – 25-29 Female

Frank Sorbara – 25-29 Male

Heather Low – 30-34 Female

Maley Joel – 30-34 Male

Martin Caron 40-44 Male

Tanya Salomon – 45-49 Female

David Percy – 55-59 Male

Jill Kirker – 60-64 Female

Lydia Miller – 70-74 Female

Long Distance – Silver

Claire Robinson – 20-24 Female

Dave Van Reeuwyk – 30-34 Male

Alexandre Boule – 40-44 Male

Diane Miller – 50-54 Female

Marie-Josee Cossette – 55-59 Female

Stephen Marshall – 55-59 Male

Kate Okany – 60-64 Female

Ray P. Baker – 70-74 Male

Long Distance – Bronze

Mike McMillan – 30-34 Male

Johanna Hudson – 35-39 Female

Sharon Styles – 40-44 Female

Tedd Girouard – 45-49 Male

Nadia Leach – 50-54 Female

Wietske Eikelenboom – 55-59 Female

Angela Cullen Spooner – 60-64 Female

Fred Lambright – 70-74 Male

Aquathlon – Gold

Chelsea Raymond – 30-34 Female

Petr Schmidt – 55-59 Male

Kate Okany – 60-64 Female

Brian Martin – PTWC Male

Aquathlon – Silver

Kevin Pickard – 40-44 Male

Amanda Kosmerly – 45-49 Female

Rick Hunter – 55-59 Male

Aquathlon – Bronze

Alicia Slade – 30-34 Female

Jason Britton – 35-39 Male

Sheryl Ross – 40-44 Female

Cross Triathlon – Gold

Melissa Lavigne – 18-19 Female

Emanuela Bandol – 35-39 Female

Sarah McMillan – 45-49 Female

Carl Peterson – 65-69 Male

Darren Smith – PTS5 Male

Cross Triathlon – Silver

Lindsay Glassford – 25-29 Female

Derek Vinge – 35-39 Male

Linda Pellicano – 45-49 Female

Calvin Zaryski – 45-49 Male

Debbie Finnie – 55-59 Female

Scott Forrest – 60-64 Male

Cross Triathlon – Bronze

Laura Emms – 20-24 Female

Evan Girard – 20-24 Male

Jeff Van Rosmalen – 25-29 Male

Geoff M. Waterman – 35-39 Male

Lisa Helmer – 40-44 Female

Duane Ashley Myers – 40-44 Male

John Monk – 55-59 Male

Standard Duathlon – Gold

Jasmin Aggarwal – 20-24 Female

Matt Straatman – 20-24 Male

Melissa Paauwe – 30-34 Female

Jeremy Hopwood – 35-39 Male

Paul Huyer – 55-59 Male

David Field – 60-64 Male

Allan McCallister – 65-69 Male

Sharryn Oleskiw – 70-74 Female

Bob J. Wild – 85-89 Male

Standard Duathlon – Silver

Kim McMullen – 45-49 Female

Dennis Colburn – 50-54 Male

Murray Macpherson – 65-69 Male

Standard Duathlon – Bronze

Samuel Seshadri – 18-19 Male

Morgan Cabot – 25-29 Female

Lynda Gingras – 35-39 Female

Andrew Mcleod – 40-44 Male

Martin Vaillancourt – 45-49 Male

Sean O’Mahony – 55-59 Male

Bruce Butcher – 80-84 Male

Sprint Duathlon – Gold

Maureen Teixeira – 75-79 Female

Brian Parkinson – 75-79 Male

Robert Wild – 85-89 Male

Jessica Tuomela – PTVI Female

Sprint Duathlon – Silver

Diane Eller – 70-74 Female

Sprint Duathlon – Bronze

Laurence St-Cyr – 20-24 Female

Jennifer Souter – 30-34 Female

Dennis Colburn – 50-54 Male

Triathlon Canada is the governing body of the sport in the country. Triathlon Canada’s more than 22,000 members include athletes, coaches and officials from the grassroots to elite levels. With the support of its valued corporate partners – 94 FORWARD, Project, Training Peaks, Garneau, Zone3, Zizu Optics, and Polar – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Own the Podium, Triathlon Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world Champions in all race disciplines. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.

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