Canada’s Next Wave
Ellen Pennock, Amelie Kretz and Joanna Brown
With400 m to go at the U23 World Championship in London last September one might have been forgiven to think that Canada was on track for a podium sweep. A group of nine women were charging for the line, led by Joanna Brown, whose pace throughout the 10 km run had strung the group out.
When it came to the sprint, though, Brown, who has been part of University of Gueph’s dominant national championship cross- country team for three years, found herself missing a gear. Pennock came to the line just one second behind Australia’s Charlotte Mcshane to take the silver medal, while Amelie Kretz finished two seconds later for the bronze. Brown made Canada the dominant team of the race with her fifth place finish.
Earlier in the day Pennock had come out of the water in third place, only to crash on the first corner of the bike course. She charged back to the large chase group that included her two teammates that eventually caught the frontrunner, England’s Lucy Hall, on the final lap of the seven-loop course. Brown put her stamp on the run course almost from the start, but couldn’t break the group of nine that sprinted towards the line. That task was left to Pennock, who began the charge.
It’s been quite a rookie year for Pennock and Kretz. In her first world cup start in Edmonton earlier in 2013, Kretz led a Canadian sweep of the podium, finishing ahead of Pennock and Kirsten Sweetland. Kretz followed up her world championship bronze
with a silver medal at the itu event in Mazatlan and a win at the itu sprint in Bridgetown, Barbados.
This made our choice for Triathlete of the Year a tough one. Throughout the history of these awards our top overall pick has always shone on the world stage. Samantha McGlone won the Ironman 70.3 title when she won her first title, then finished second at the Ironman World Championship a year later to take her second. Simon Whitfield won a silver medal at the Olympics in Beijing when we named him our Triathlete of the Year. Tereza Macel won three Ironman races and took fourth in Kona the year we handed the prize to her.
Which is why Pennock gets the nod as our 2013 Triathlete of the Year. That sliver medal sprint in London proved that the Calgary native can truly shine on the world stage. The race also proves that she’s got some fast Canadian company at the top.– KM