Beverly Enslow ties Steve Cole for most regional titles of all-time with 18.
The last race on the 30-stop 2019 XTERRA America Tour regular season schedule was held over the weekend, final points were tallied, and the regional champions list is out.
Click here to view the 11x17 PDF listing all 130 athletes who won their region this year.
Winners earned a free commemorative racing jersey, a qualifying slot to race at the XTERRA World Championship, and will be recognized in an awards presentation on the eve of the XTERRA Pan Am/USA Championship race in downtown Ogden, Utah on Friday, Sept. 6.
The biggest news this year is not who’s on the list, but who’s not, as the legendary Steve Cole –who won a title every year for 18 straight years since the inception of the America Tour in 2001 – did not win one this year. Instead, the 60-64 XTERRA Southeast Region went to Anthony Benedict from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, who tallied 225 points by virtue of a second-place finish and two wins, including one in a head-to-head against Cole, who ended up with 209 points, 17 shy of his 19th title.
“It was going to happen sometime,” said Cole, the 2011 Mr. XTERRA award winner, former national champ, and one of the original racers from the first-ever XTERRA back in 1996. “Congrats to Antonio, he did everything he had to do, and maybe I’ll get back on the horse again next year.”
While Cole’s reign has come to an end, Beverly Enslow’s legacy continues to grow. This season the XTERRA pioneer (pictured above) from Metamora, Illinois tied Cole’s record of 18 regional titles - and 18 in a row - by winning the Midwest 60-64 crown yet again. The only year Enslow didn’t win a regional title was the inaugural season in 2001.
"I just love to stay active and challenge myself - not thinking of being the best in my age - but the best that I can be against all Ladies," said Enslow. "I've tried to figure it out- and come up with simply saying - I love moving through space on my own power."
Other top performers on this year’s women’s champions list include Linda Usher, in the Northeast Region, who won her 16th, and Lucia Colbert (pictured) who won her 12th.
Prolific winners on the men’s side include a pair of all-stars from the South Central Region; Mike Carter in the 55-59 division, and Kyle Grieser in the 35-39 division, each of whom won their 13th regional championship this year. Marc Hawley from Mount Vernon, Indiana became the newest member of the double-digit wins club, picking up his 10th title in the Midwest 65-69 age group.
Other athletes who have collected 10 or more regional championship crowns over the years include GL Brown, Russel Clark, and Cindi Toepel who have 14 titles; Errol Lassiter with 12; Casey Fannin, Kathy Frank, Hans Dieben, Ron Hill, and Ken Robins with 11, and Charlotte Mahan with 10.
2019 featured a new point scoring system where just the top three scores counted. The max points were 275, which could be achieved if an athlete won both championship events at XTERRA Oak Mountain and XTERRA Beaver Creek (worth 100pts), plus one more (worth 75). Nobody accomplished that feat, but Patricia Smaldone, who won the Northwest 50-54 division for the fourth time this year, came close by winning at XTERRA Beaver Creek (100pts), and XTERRA Portland (75pts), and finishing second at XTERRA Oak Mountain (90pts). She scored the most points of anyone on tour with 265.
Cliff Millemann had the high score among men with 257 points by virtue of winning XTERRA Oak Mountain (100pts) and finishing second at XTERRA Beaver Creek (90pts), and XTERRA Lake Tahoe (67pts). Also of note were Cale Baity from North Carolina and Dan Ellerkamp from Wisconsin, who both won all five races they entered, and Jessica White from South Carolina who won five of six.
Find the final standings here (use the filter tab and header buttons to sort by points, division, region, etc…).