Annual Awards

2016 Awards

Award Name Bio
MVP (male) Brian Nelsen Longtime Tri-Shark member and current board member. Has helped develop new triathletes through the PUPS program. Has also mentored many other beginners.
MVP (female) Tamara Nelsen 2nd place in age group at Ironman Cozumel.  What else is there to say?
Bite Me Performance (male) Mark Talaski Competed at Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman Louisville just 2 weeks later.  He PR'd by an hour!
Bite Me Performance (female) Tamara Nelsen Second place in her age group at Ironman Cozumel
Most Inspirational Jim Gardner Jim has been battling Crohn's disease for almost 10 years now and has never once let it get in the way of anything that he does. This past year, he attempted to complete Ironman Chattanooga while starting on his 4th experimental drug in 4 years trying to get him into remission.  He not only put in the countless hours of training while battling the disease, but he did it while raising money and awareness for Crohn's and Colitis through Team Challenge.  On the day of the race, the 97 degree heat forced him to stop at mile 13 of the run.  I'd say that completing 131/144 of the IM-CHOO miles is quite inspirational with all things considered.  He can't wait to give it a try again one day!
Best Male Newbie Jeff Walden Finished the shortened Racine race but he did another on Sept 11th in Rev 3 Cedar Pointe which was 70.3.
Best Female Newbie Amy Bailey A 2015 Pup graduate, Amy has taken the Tri world by storm racing every chance she gets.  In 2016 she took in the 70.3 distance in Racine.  After many delays and course changes she pushed thru a really tough run to finish strong and with a smile.  Amy will take on any challenge you present and do her best to kick your butt!
Most Improved (male) Frank Arnolts Dropped big time at Ironman WI. 13:52 in 2014 to 12:29 in 2016.
Female Most Improved Marla Adams Worked her butt off all summer, getting up far earlier than she preferred in order to get in those long IM training rides.  She went t on to PR at the 70.3 distance, and finish strong at IM Wisconsin, her first IM race.
Super Fan The Nelsens Pups mentors, race volunteers, board members, and big supporters of new (and old triathletes)
Sharkbait Award Kevin McCarthy Well known triathlete and coach decided to try his flying dismount a Tri-Shark Triathlon. To which he was unsuccessful, fell over, and popped up to exclaim I'm ok". Or at least it went something like that I was told."
Big Fish Wannabe Eliza and Grayson Talaski Amazing examples of our future.  These 2 work very hard training hard to race hard.  Just like their parents.  Their dedication to the sport and their sportsmanship are second to none.  They make the future of our sport very bright and talented!

2015 Awards

Award Name Bio
MVP (male) Dennis Killian for competing at Kona on a brutal day...
MVP (female) Katie Grojean for putting so much time into being a board member, and almost singlehandedly organizing the Expo
Bite Me Performance (male) Damon Dusin for cramping (badly) at Boulder Ironman, and somehow pulling it back together
Bite Me Performance (female) Aimee Dziekan crashed in the first mile of the bike, and went on to almost finish a half Iron distance race
Most Inspirational Dennis Killian for competing at Kona
Best Male Newbie Paul Swanlund first year triathlon, did an Ironman!
Best Female Newbie Lauri Meins Nominated 3 times, shows so much enthusiasm for the sport: 39% of the vote
Most Improved (male) Rick Vincent with a 40 minute improvement at Steelhead
Female Most Improved Kelly Ruiter just over 12 hours at Louisville in her first Iron distance race
Super Fan Jason and Jill Overholt
Chris Daniels Sharkbait Award Mick Hannah for hitting a squirrel on a training ride and breaking his back, neck, and bike frame
Big Fish Wannabe Katy Clausen with a 1:15 at TriShark, and third fastest swim

2014 Awards

Award Name
MVP (male) Nick Grojean
MVP (female) Aimee Dziekan
Bite Me Performance (male)  Nick Grojean
Bite Me Performance (female) Julie Sibley
Most Inspirational  Dennis Killian
Best Male Newbie Justin Stanek
Best Female Newbie  Cindy Termuende
Most Improved (male) Mark Griffin and Frank Arnolts
Female Most Improved Jill Overholt
Super Fan Kelly Ruiter
Sharkbait Award  Brian Nelson
Big Fish Wannabe  Vivian Grojean

2013 Awards
Award Name
MVP (male) Chris Sweet
MVP (female) Aimee Dziekan
Bite Me Performance (male) David Ford
Bite Me Performance (female) Rachel Matyasse
Most Inspirational Carol Pratt
Best Male Newbie Tom Keller
Best Female Newbie Janet Moore
Most Improved (male) Damon Dusin
Female Most Improved Rachel Matyasse
Super Fan Kelly Ruiter
Chris Daniels Sharkbait Award Dennis Killian
Big Fish Wannabe Grayson Talaski

2012 Awards

Award Name Bio
MVP (male) Chris Sweet He has been involved in the Tri-Sharks forever. He’s always given back to the sport in one way or another, and recently branched out to the cycling community by organizing Bloomington’s first cyclocross race. He decided to do an Ironman at the last minute this summer, two weeks after placing 5th in his AG in a half IM, and finished second overall at the MiTitanium Ironman, finishing in 10:16. Just two weeks later, he raced another Ironman, finishing 7th in his AG, and 11 minutes faster than the MiTitanium! He also qualified to represent Illinois at the Best of the U.S. event in June. ... For placing 2nd place in REV 3 IM, and completing another IM 2 weeks later.....
MVP (female) Aimee Dziekan She is a huge inspiration. Not only is she a HUGE advocate of the sport, but she is always positive and works hard year round for the sport.
Bite Me Performance (male) Mike Mavec Mike fractured his leg just 12 weeks before traveling to Austria to visit with family and compete in the Ironman. Despite his set-back, he still finished the race in under 13 hours the end of June. Just three months later, Mike competed in Ironman Wisconsin, and finished just over 12 hours, 45 min. faster than his prior race.
Bite Me Performance (female) Melissa Jewett Finishing IM Wis after crashing her bike a week before the race and separating her shoulder...
Most Inspirational Martha Stearns Despite having a full time job with crazy hours and 4 boys, she was still able to pull off training for her Ironman. Even when she was too sick to do the miles of smiles, she did it on her own the next day, she also has a running group at the gym she works for and encourages a lot of women to do races and I know that some of them have become triathletes...
Best Male Newbie Bill Diggins He did the Tri-Shark, the Lake Evergreen one, and then went on to several more, and I honestly lost count. Know he was super-enthused, kept track (bragged) about ALL his results, and if you're friends with him on FB, he's got lots of stuff there; think I saw a post recently about how he was now a member of the Wheelers (long-standing; he was already doing 100+ miles), Tri-Sharks, and the Lake Run. Pretty sure he was big into the TNTT's too.
Best Female Newbie Kelly Ruiter The winner completed her first triathlon (I believe) late in the 2012 season. She has been a very welcome asset to the club. Plus anyone who can pull off a Mick Hannah costume for Halloween has my vote. …For 2012 I believe this award should go to this person, a new member who, in one move, has rescued an event that was teetering on the brink of extinction, at risk of disappearing forever from the Tri-Shark (and local cycling) community. Of course I speak of TNTT and its savior and new director,...
Most Improved (male) Jason Sturdyvin Our winner competed in over 10 tri's this summer and placed in his age group in all but one. The one that he did not place in was due to a nasty crash in the olympic distance race at Evergreen. He crashed on the bike, destroyed his tri suit, was bleeding, and even cracked a rib, then got up and finished the race. Still placing high and just barely missing top three in his age group. He also placed overall in three races. Jason has gone from a good to a great triathlete in a matter of a year.
Female Most Improved Martha Stearns and Melissa Jewett Going from any distance to an Ironman is an improvement in itself. Both girls put in many training hours and focus throughout the whole season. Martha’s biking was killer. When we did the spring metric on one of the loops, I told her to stay on my wheel for the last 5 miles to the finish because we were going to hammer it. I thought I could drop her, but she was with me the whole time. I was very impressed. (she needs to do TNTT, she may turn some heads) Melissa could barely swim 2 years ago. Over the summer she logged (or water logged) lots of time in lake Bloomington. There was never a time when she didn’t finish a workout. Going from sprints to IM, the swim is always the pucker factor. She improved her skills over the summer and had a great swim on Madison.....
Super Fan Mick Hannah After ending his four years of leading (organizing, talking with county officials, timing, emailing, you name it) TNTT, you’d think our winner would want a break. But no, he’s back in the mix as the Tri-Shark’s new Communications Officer. I call him superfan, because even as a long-time Tri-Shark, he doesn’t even do triathlons, but is probably one of the bigger supporters of the club and its races. Before I announce the winner, a few quotes about our Superfan:Albert Einstein: I wish he was there to help me with my calculations"Mark Twain: "I can only dream of writing like he."Mother Teresa: "I could never be a humble as him."Cher: "He was my inspiration to use only one name."Lance Armstrong: "I only doped so I could keep up with him!"George Clooney: "I wish his was the face I see when I look in the mirror."(a little artistic license was taken there)"
Chris Daniels Sharkbait Award John Clausen for his epic bike crash the weekend before Tri-Shark.
Big Fish Wannabe Ryan Hospelhorn Yes, he’s 16 now, and USAT deemed him 16 for 2012 because his birthday was in December. But Ryan spent most of 2012 as a 15yo and qualifies! Ryan is dedicated to the sport, competing in all distances this year, including a few off-road and cyclocross events. He did the Cutting Edge half IM, winning his AG and finishing in the top third of the field.

Past Winners

Award Year Winner
MVP (Female) 2012 Aimee Dziekan
MVP (Male) 2012 Chris Sweet
Female Newbie 2012 Kelly Ruiter
Male Newbie 2012 Bill Diggins
Most Inspirational 2012 Martha Stearns
Most Improved Female 2012 Martha Stearns & Melissa Jewett
IronShark Female 2012 Melissa Jewett
IronShark Male 2012 Mike Mavec
Superfan(s) 2012 Mick Hannah
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2012 John Claussen
Big Fish Wannabe 2012 Ryan Hospelhorn
Most Improved Male 2012 Jason Sturdyvin
MVP (Female) 2011 Laura Wheatley
MVP (Male) 2011 Dennis Killian
Female Newbie 2011 Abby Myers
Male Newbie 2011 Jeremy Maichuk / Mark Mikel
Most Inspirational 2011 Scott Richardson
Most Improved Female 2011 Becky Franks
IronShark Female 2011 Laura Wheatley
IronShark Male 2011 Curt Zell
Superfan(s) 2011 Tamara & Brian Nelsen
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2011 Ross Monks
Big Fish Wannabe 2011 Kyle Kiper
Good Samaritan 2011 Mike Hannah
Most Improved Male 2011 Erik Rankin
MVP (Female) 2010 Emily Shoopman
MVP (Male) 2010 Dave Quinn
Female Newbie 2010 Lana Bernico
Male Newbie 2010 Tim Wheeler
Most Inspirational 2010 Laura Vedeen
Most Improved Female 2010 Jessica Gieson
IronShark Female 2010 Julie Howell
IronShark Male 2010 Brian Nelsen
Superfan(s) 2010 Tamara White
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2010 Ron Greene
Big Fish Wannabe 2010 Justin Sharp
Good Samaritan 2010 Dave Quinn & Keith Adams
Most Improved Male 2010 Mike Bernico
MVP (Female) 2009 Emily Shoopman
MVP (Male) 2009 Ross Monks
Female Newbie 2009 Sara Bernabei
Male Newbie 2009 Mark Griffin
Most Inspirational 2009 Dennis Killian
Most Improved Female 2009 Jessica Gieson
IronShark Female 2009 Tamara White
IronShark Male 2009 Dave Quinn
Superfan(s) 2009 Mike Hannah & Phil Warlow
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2009 Seth Gieson
Big Fish Wannabe 2009 Sophie Carus
Good Samaritan 2009 Mike Hannah
Most Improved Male 2009 Ryan Case
MVP (Female) 2008 Tamara White
MVP (Male) 2008 Andy Sweet
Female Newbie 2008 Jessica Gieson
Male Newbie 2008 Van Miller
Most Inspirational 2008 John Brown
Most Improved Female 2008 Laura Vedeen
IronShark Female 2008 Laura Vedeen
IronShark Male 2008 Dave Quinn
Superfan(s) 2008 Mike Hannah & Phil Warlow
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2008 Heather Sweet
Big Fish Wannabe 2008 Allison Klein
Most Improved Male 2008 Tom Weber
MVP (Female) 2007 Aimee Dziekan
MVP (Male) 2007 Chris Sweet
Female Newbie 2007 Suzy Dees
Male Newbie 2007 Tom Weber
Most Inspirational 2007 Phil Warlow
Most Improved Female 2007 Heather Sweet
IronShark Female 2007 Laura Vedeen
IronShark Male 2007 Chris Daniels
Superfan(s) 2007 Dawn Peters
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2007 Chris Daniels
Big Fish Wannabe 2007 Sean Hyser
Most Improved Male 2007 Dave Quinn
MVP (Female) 2006 Tricia Madey
MVP (Male) 2006 Chris Sweet
Female Newbie 2006 Heather Johnson
Male Newbie 2006 N.K. Martin
Most Inspirational 2006 Dennis Killian / Mark Temple
Most Improved Female 2006 Stephanie Roberts
IronShark Female 2006 Tamara White
IronShark Male 2006 Nigel Keen
Superfan(s) 2006 Eric Arndt
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2006 Chris Daniels
Big Fish Wannabe 2006 David Keen
Most Improved Male 2006 Mike Donahue
MVP (Female) 2005 Tricia Madey
MVP (Male) 2005 Chris Sweet
Female Newbie 2005 Stephanie Roberts
Male Newbie 2005 Dennis Killian
Most Inspirational 2005 Bob Clary
Most Improved Female 2005 Cara Sweet
IronShark Female 2005 Bonnie Sanders
IronShark Male 2005 Drew Hartman
Superfan(s) 2005 Colleen & Scott Klein
Chris Daniels Shark Bait Award 2005 Chris Daniels
Big Fish Wannabe 2005 Trevor Arbogast
Most Improved Male 2005 Andy Sweet

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