2010 MMTT Highlights

a overview of the year

MMTT’s performances in 2010 set new watermarks for our team and for any Youth/Junior Development team in the history of USA triathlon.

Youth Development Team (ages 7+)

Our Youth Development Team earned their sixth consecutive USAT National Championship with several individual podium finishes – all while introducing several new 7-12 year old triathletes to the sport.

The team kicked off the season in April with the J-Hawk Early Bird Triathlon in Whitewater, Wisconsin.  By May, even our youngest triathletes were blazing the Multisport Madness Kid’s Triathlon in Geneva, Illinois.  In June, the youth team spent three days at Camp Dickson in Galena, Illinois, learning how to bike and run up steep hills, building team work, creating campfire skits and dodging the annual round of severe thunderstorms.  In July, the youth competed strongly at the Ironkids Carmel, Indiana race – winning the team competition and qualifying each MMTT racer for the Ironkids National Championships.  In August, a small but determined group of youth flew to San Diego, California to compete in the USAT Youth National Championships.  Our team was small in comparison to the local, competitive California teams, yet with several top podium finishes, MMTT won its sixth consecutive USAT National Championship Team award.  In October, MMTT topped off its successful season by traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida for the Ironkids National Championships.  MMTT raced hard with more podium and top 10 finishers.

In 2011, the MMTT Youth Development Team will grow.  We are expanding our group to welcome older kids (up to age 15) who want to race triathlon, but might also be involved in other sports and activities.  Our mission is to inspire kids to love triathlon, to learn the required skills, to pursue goals, to work hard, to become excellent citizens and to race to their abilities.  Our team will deliver excellent training to prepare athletes for the challenges of racing at the Ironkids and USAT National Championships, as well as for a future with the elite team if so desired.

Youth Elite and Junior Elite Team (13+ years)

The Youth and Junior Elites won their sixth consecutive USAT Elite National Championship title with thrilling races from all athletes and another individual National Championship from Kanute.  McDowell and Whitley won silver and bronze at the Youth Olympics and McDowell a bronze at the Junior World Championships.

The Youth and Junior Elite Team showed their world class talent and determination at every 2010 race.  At the USAT Junior National Championships, the team won Elite Team Championship honors with five top-five place finishes highlighted by Ben Kanute’s 1st Place as Junior Elite National Champion.

Kevin McDowell and Kelly Whitley earned the USA slots to participate at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August.  There, McDowell sped to a silver medal, Whitley fought for a bronze medal and their relay earned bronze all amongst the best junior triathletes in the world.  In September, the team sent five of USA’s six athletes to Budapest, Hungary for the ITU World Championships (Howland, Whitley, Verzbicas, Kanute and McDowell).   There, McDowell earned a bronze medal and Lucas Verzbicas and Kelly Whitley both finished in fourth place to cap off the year.  Three MMTT members have already qualified for the 2011 Junior World Championships in Beijing, China.  Finally, Coaches Keith Dickson and Romas Bertulis were awarded USAT Coach of the Year honors.

MMTT Elite Team hopes to continue to race at a world class level in 2011.  Some of the Elite Team graduates will be MMTT’s first U23 and Pro ITU triathletes.  Plans are in the works for a college elite program to provide a continuous path for improvement at the collegiate level.