Youth Olympians Claim USA Triathlon Junior Triathlete of the Year Honors Junior and Youth All-Americans, Junior Duathletes of the Year also named

Kelly Whitley, Kevin McDowell Junior Triathletes of the Year Kelly Whitley and Kevin McDowell (Delly Carr/ITU).

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Youth Olympic Games medalists Kevin McDowell and Kelly Whitley, both of Geneva, Ill., have been recognized for their memorable 2010 seasons with USA Triathlon Junior Triathlete of the Year honors.

Later this week, USA Triathlon will announce the USA Paratriathlon Athletes of the Year, presented by Accenture, and the Elite Athletes of the Year.

McDowell is recognized as USA Triathlon's Junior Triathlete of the Year for the second straight year. He earned medals in the world's two most competitive junior events in 2010, capturing silver at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and bronze at the ITU Junior World Championship in Budapest. McDowell also topped the USA Triathlon Junior Elite Rankings for 2010.

Whitley also reached the podium at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games by earning bronze in the individual race and joining McDowell on the bronze-winning squad in the team relay event. Additionally, Whitley placed fourth at the ITU Junior World Championship and finished the year in the No. 1 spot in the USA Triathlon Junior Elite Rankings.

2010 was USA Triathlon's most successful year of junior performances by far. The four medals earned between the Youth Olympic Games and ITU World Championship is a testament to how far the bar has been raised in our junior programs, said USA Triathlon Sport Performance Manager Andy Schmitz. Even more exciting is the fact that the team is young. All six of our world championship team members remain at the junior level in 2011, as do a large majority of the athletes who finished top 10 at the USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship last August.

Additionally, Kate Buss (Blacksburg, Va.) and Ryan Peterson (Richmond, Va.) were selected by the USA Triathlon Duathlon Committee as the Junior Duathletes of the Year on the strength of their victories in the junior 16-19 age group at the 2010 National Duathlon Festival in Richmond, Va. Ryan Steinbach (Ellicott City, Md.), who was fourth in the 18-19 age group at the 2010 ITU Duathlon World Championship, and Ashley Heinlein (Stillwater, Minn.), who won the 18-19 age group national title, earned honorable mention honors.

McDowell and Whitley also headline USA Triathlon's list of Junior Elite and Youth Elite All-Americans. This honor goes to the top up-and-coming triathletes in the United States and is based on their final national ranking and performances in top junior and youth draft-legal events.

2010 USA Triathlon Junior Triathletes of the Year

Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.)

Kelly Whitley (Geneva, Ill.)

2010 USA Triathlon Male Junior Duathlete of the Year

Ryan Peterson (Richmond, Va.)

(HM) Ryan Steinbach (Ellicott City, Md.)

2010 USA Triathlon Female Junior Duathlete of the Year

Kate Buss (Blacksburg, Va.)

(HM) Ashley Heinlein (Stillwater, Minn.)

2010 USA Triathlon Male Junior Elite All-Americans

Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill., No. 1-ranked Junior Elite) Lukas Verzbicas (New Lenox, Ill., No. 2-ranked Junior Elite) Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill., 2010 Junior Elite National Champion) (HM) Hunter Honeycutt (Tifton, Ga., second overall at Junior Elite National Championship) (HM) Luke Farkas (Franklin, Tenn., third overall at Junior Elite National Championship)

2010 USA Triathlon Female Junior Elite All-Americans

Kelly Whitley (Geneva, Ill., No. 1-ranked Junior Elite) Tanelle Berard (Clive, Iowa, 2010 Junior Elite National Champion) (HM) Johanna Gartman (Chattanooga, Tenn., second overall at Junior Elite National Championship) (HM) Abby Levene (Dublin, N.H., third overall at Junior Elite National Championship)

2010 USA Triathlon Male Youth Elite All-Americans

Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo., 2010 Youth Elite National Champion) Spencer Clark (Clive, Iowa, No. 1-ranked Youth Elite) (HM) Max Bennett (Parker, Colo., No. 3-ranked Youth Elite) (HM) Alex Marshall (Alpharetta, Ga., third overall at Youth Elite National Championship) (HM) Carter Dickson (Aurora, Ill., fourth overall at Youth Elite National Championship)

2010 USA Triathlon Female Youth Elite All-Americans

Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D., 2010 Youth Elite National Champion) Katherine Lowrey (Chaska, Minn., No. 1-ranked Youth Elite) Hannah Rea Finchamp (Altadena, Calif., No. 2-ranked Youth Elite) (HM) Rachel Mann (Homer Glen, Ill., second overall at Youth Elite National Championship) (HM) Devon Dabney (Atlanta, Ga., third overall at Youth Elite National Championship)

HM - Honorable Mention