Former Wildwood Crest resident Joe Maloy turned in the best performance of his professional triathlon career Saturday.
Maloy, a 2004 Wildwood Catholic High School graduate hoping to compete in the Olympics this summer, earned a career-best sixth place overall finish and was the top American in the Jewel World Triathlon Gold Coast race at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
“Wow, 6th in the world today!” Maloy wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to the incredible team I have behind me.”
Another local Olympic hopeful, Ocean City native Renee Tomlin, finished 20th overall and fourth among U.S. competitors in the women’s race. She finished in 2:00:05. Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins won in 1:56:05. American Gwen Jorgensen took second in 1:56:44.
Maloy’s previous high finish in a World Triathlon Series race had been 17th.
The 30-year-old, who lives and trains in San Diego, completed the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K bike and 10K run in 1 hour, 47 minutes, 53 seconds.
Spain’s Mario Mola won his second straight WTS race in 1:46:28. Spain’s Fernando Alarza finished second in 1:46:55, followed by Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee in 1:47:09.
Greg Billington also posted a top-10 finish for the U.S., taking 10th in 1:48:16.
Maloy’s performance strengthened his bid to earn a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete in Brazil this year. According to Triathlon Magazine, Maloy now leads USA Triathlon’s Objective Rankings System heading into the final qualification race, scheduled for May 14 in Yokohama, Japan.
Tomlin, 27, a 2006 Ocean City High School graduate, must finish in the top three among Americans in Japan to make the Olympic team.
“(That race) is all or nothing,” Tomlin told The Press last month. “My focus is May 14.”
Maloy said via Twitter he stayed with Tomlin upon arriving in Australia for Saturday’s race. Tomlin lived and trained there the past few weeks.
“Now everyone knows I get off the plane and then figure out where I’m staying,” Maloy wrote. “Thanks @ReneeTomlin #609.”