With the excitement of the final Ironman 70.3 St. Croix just a few weeks away, the Junior Tri VI committee held a shorter version of the race for junior athletes at Cramer’s Park, Sunday, April 9. After last month’s Junior Tri VI clinic, led by several local triathlon coaches, the kids were excited to put into action the skills they learned that afternoon. Thirty-two kids toed the line for Sunday’s swim/bike/run event, the only junior triathlon of the year on St. Croix.
The youngest athletes were the first to dash into the water. Dolphin swimmer Ainsley Fauquher led the 5 to 6-year-old group on the 25-meter swim. Once on the bike, Kai Tanguay took the lead and never gave it up. He finished first overall in 8:39. St. Croix Montessori student Henry Collins was second and GHCDS student Beckett Archambault was third. Diella Maynard was challenged by Emma D’Amour on the .5-mile bike, but held D’Amour off on the .25-mile run for first place in the girls’ division. Ainsley Fauquher was third.
The largest group, the 7 to 8-year-old athletes, took on a longer swim (50 meters) but completed the same distances on the bike and run as the previous group had. Joseph Freeman glided through the water and came out over 10 seconds ahead of second place Aden Rojas. The two leaders maintained that same pace and distance between them for the rest of the race and finished in first and second, respectively. Connor Bass was third. Helen Collins was in the mix with the boys and finished first in the girls’ division. Madelyn Donnelly was second and Bella Davis-McCarthy was third.
The most diverse group took to the line next, the 9 to 11-year-old athletes, which included Dolphin swimmers, cross-country runners, experienced triathletes as well as first-timers. Mason Lambert had Lydia Wilson on her toes in the 100-meter swim. By the end of the 1-mile bike ride, Kaeden Gleason had moved into second place overall. Lydia finished the .5-mile run as the first-place female and third overall. Joey Croney was the third-place male finisher. Kirra Lambert was second in the girls’ division and Kina Wilkins was third.
Brice Richards was the lone competitor in the 12-15 category. The race timekeeper started Brice with the 9-11 group, but he completed more than double the distances. Brice finished the 200-meter swim, 3-mile bike and 1-mile run in 25:02.
After the race, the GHCDS Interact Club decorated the kids with triathlon-specific face-painting. The volunteer service organization has been instrumental in the success of the Junior Tri VI series. Besides face painting and raffle drawings, the participants received an event T-shirt and goodie bags with extra gifts and snacks.
The final race of the season will be the Splash ‘n Dash (swim/run) at 8 a.m. on April 23 at Chenay Bay, and it will feature a special parent/child category.
For more information, contact Theresa at 513-2707.