Dan Feeney, 21, Wilmington, Del.
This time last year, Feeney was a star runner on the University of Delaware’s track team. But when the school eliminated the men’s running programs, Feeney turned to triathlon—and has hardly looked back. He earned his pro license upon placing third place among all age-groupers at the Nickel City Triathlon in September despite suffering a broken wrist after being hit by a car just days before. In 2012, he’ll stick mostly to draft-legal racing while working towards his goals of winning Collegiate Nationals and U23 Nationals. “Until last May, I did not put in a lot of time on the bike or in the pool,” says Feeney. “I am very excited to race this with a full winter of cycling and swimming. It has made me a lot stronger.”