Canada’s Next Wave

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Feature Triathlete Of The Year Awards -

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

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