USA Triathlon announced Josiah Middaugh and Julie Baker as its 2018 Elite Off-Road Triathletes of the Year and Cliff Millemann and Deanna McCurdy as it’s Age Group Off-Roaders of the Year this week.
Selections were determined by the USA Triathlon Athlete Advisory Council.
Middaugh, who has been the top American in XTERRA for more than a decade, won the USAT honors for the eighth straight year. In 2018 he won five races on the XTERRA World Tour, including his third career Pan American Championship and his 13th national title. He placed fifth at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui where he was the top American for the 11th time.
“To win this honor late in my career gives me a great sense of gratitude,” said Middaugh in the USAT Press Release. “Endurance sport has allowed me to pursue my dreams. I have met the most interesting people, traveled to amazing places, and learned so much about myself. Every failure has been an opportunity to learn and grow. Finding the optimum challenge with tough races and tough competition has kept me motivated to become the best possible version of myself.”
Baker, who lives in Sonora, California, won races at XTERRA REAL in California and XTERRA Victoria in British Columbia; posted runner-up finishes at XTERRA Oak Mountain in Alabama and XTERRA Beaver Creek in Colorado; and was seventh at the XTERRA World Championship (all while holding down a full-time job as a soil scientist).
Millemann, a powerhouse in the men’s 60-64 division, won titles at both the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship in Waco, Texas, and the XTERRA Pan Am/USA Championship in Ogden, Utah. He went on to finish a career-best second in his age group at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
McCurdy, who won the USAT honors for the second straight year, was the overall women’s age group champion at both the USAT Off-Road Nationals and the XTERRA Pan Am/USA Championship. Then, on her fourth career attempt, she won her age group at the XTERRA World Championship, finishing fourth overall as the top amateur American.
“I am truly honored to win this award for the second year," said McCurdy to USAT, who will race as an elite in 2019. “It represents the cumulative results of a year of hard work and dedication, competing not only against women in my age group, but all women who race off-road triathlon in the United States. We age-group amateur athletes juggle family, work, and training just to do what we do. This award is as much for my husband, my two daughters, and my coach, Yaro Middaugh, as it is for me.”
Chuck Olinger from Lewisville, Texas and Sharon McDowell-Larsen from Colorado Springs, Colorado received honorable mentions.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).