COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon announced its 2021 Age Group Triathletes of the Year presented by Wahoo Fitness, as selected by USA Triathlon’s Age Group Committee. Headlining the honorees are Minori Minagawa (Dublin, Ohio) and Dougin Walker (Tampa, Fla.), who were named Women’s and Men’s Overall Age Group Triathletes of the Year, respectively.
Mike Wien of Boulder was named the Men’s Great Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year. Wien also took the same honors in 2019. He excelled in 2021, winning his age group national title in the Sprint-Distance National Championships at Age Group National Championships, while finishing second in the Olympic-Distance. He also won his age group world championship at IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah.
“As a kid, I was not very good at sports I was the guy always picked last. So, having the success I have had this past year and receiving the recognition is very special to me,” Wien said.
Another triathlete with Colorado connections, Carol Gephart (Hamilton, Mich.) earned Celeste Callahan Women’s Great Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year honors. A triathlete since the 80s, Gephart won the national title in her age group in the Olympic-Distance National Championship at Age Group National Championships and won the overall women’s title and her age group in the Olympic distance at Michigan Titanium. The award is named in honor of Callahan, a pioneer in the women’s multisport community, longtime leader within USA Triathlon governance and a frequent member of Team USA for ITU duathlon and triathlon world championships and winner of multiple world championships medals. She was the recipient of the first-ever International Triathlon Union Women’s Committee Award of Excellence, a charter member of the USA Triathlon Women’s Committee, a USA Triathlon Level II Coach and Level II Race Director, and founder and leader of the 500-member Team CWW, which focuses on introducing women to triathlon in Colorado.
“I am honored and sincerely grateful. I am particularly honored because there are so many talented and fast women in my age group. Winning this boosts my dedication and motivation to keep on working hard and it reminds me of how fortunate I have been to have had so many good people supporting my efforts,” Gephart said.
The 2021 USA Triathlon Age Group Triathletes of the Year and honorable mention selections are as follows:
Women’s Overall Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Minori Minagawa (Dublin, Ohio)
Honorable Mentions: Meghan Fillnow, Bridget Foote, Becca Kawaoka, Michelle Stratton, Annamarie Strehlow
Men’s Overall Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Dougin Walker (Tampa, Fla.)
Honorable Mentions: Todd Buckingham, Klodian Mitri, Brian Reynolds, Benjamin Stone, Mike Wien
Women’s Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.)
Honorable Mentions: Caitlin Drap, Jessica Holmes, Deanna Newman, Idalmis Pedrero, Cathy Yndestad
Men’s Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Dougin Walker (Tampa, Fla.)
Honorable Mentions: James Hallberg, James Harrington, Tim Hola, Daniel Stubleski, Peter Valentyik
Women’s Grand Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Donna Smyers (Adamant, VT)
Honorable Mentions: Colleen De Reuck, Kathy Grady, Juliana Nievergelt, Susan Pierson
Men’s Grand Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Greg Taylor (Yankton, S.D.)
Honorable Mentions: James Aust, Philip Friedman, Kim Norman, Kyle Welch
Celeste Callahan Women’s Great Grand Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Carol Gephart (Hamilton, Mich.)
Honorable Mentions: Lorrie Beck, Barbara Matheson, Cande Olsen, Laura Sopheia
Men’s Great Grand Masters Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Mike Wien (Boulder, Colo.)
Honorable Mentions: Michael Orendorff, Robert Plant, Jim Sumara, John Towart
Women’s Junior Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Alexandra Poole (Durham, N.C.)
Honorable Mention: Freya McKinley
Men’s Junior Age Group Triathlete of the Year: Kyle Swenson (Rogers, Minn.)
Honorable Mention: Braxton Bokos