The Junior Tri VI Committee, a subgroup of the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation, held its final event of the season, the Grand Finale Junior Triathlon, on Sunday, May 7. While saving the toughest event for last, the committee has held other multi-sport events throughout the year, including a triathlon clinic and an aquathlon.
The Grand Finale Junior Triathlon was held at Cramer’s Park, the most ideal location on St. Croix for a junior event, and it included a segment each of swimming, biking and running. The event attracted first-timers as well as “regulars” and included kids from ages 5 to 15 from eight different schools.
The small 5-6 category began with a 25-meter swim, followed by a .5-mile bike and finished with a .25-mile run. Hadley Whitworth, age 6, was the overall winner, followed closely by Emmitt Moore of Pearl B. Larsen.
Dane Whitworth, a student at Good Hope Country Day, lead the 7-8 group right from the start of the race. Schoolmates Wyatt Jarrin and Ian Bouzianis were trailing Whitworth’s lead on the 50-meter swim by just a few seconds. Tuf Donohoo, a resident of Water Island, overtook Bouzianis on the .5-mile bike and secured a third-place position. The three boys remained in the same order on the .5-mile run, putting Whitworth, Jarrin and Donohoo, respectively, on the podium. Caitlin Kuczynski was the first female finisher; Reagan Johnson was second.
The largest group to race was the 9-11 category. Eva Whitworth, a 5th grade student at GHCDS, outswam the field in the 100-meter swim in a time of 1:35. Lexi Hookfin, of the Church of God Holiness School, was just 11 seconds behind, followed by Drew Sommer, of GHCDS.
Things changed drastically on the 1-mile, out-and-back bike course when Sage Weiss came from behind and rode to the front. Weiss, Whitworth and Sommer flew into the transition area to rack their bikes within 10 seconds from each other. Weiss maintained his lead on the .5-mile run and finished the race in a time of 13:09.
In his first multi-sport race, Zavier Saleem ran into second place for the male category, pushing Sommer into third. Whitworth, who was the second-place overall finisher, was the first-place female, in a time of 13:27. Her sister, Emma, was second, followed by classmate Olivia Jarrin.
The smallest group, 12-15, competed on the longest courses. Although visibility was not very clear, the sea remained somewhat calm for the 200-meter swim. Weston Wagner, a 6th-grade student at GHCDS, had an active weekend, as he also played in the tennis tournament to benefit the Coral Reef Academy. In spite his level of activity, Wagner remained in the lead on the swim, the 3-mile bike ride and the 1-mile run and finished the race in 30:04.
Tristan Samuel, an 8th-grade student at GHCDS, lost a little time on the bike when his chain fell off. He put in a solid run and finished second in a time of 36:54. Fiona Gilbert, the lone female in the category, remained consistent throughout the race and finished in 42:31.
For more information about multi-sport events in the USVI, call 277-4771 and follow the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vitriathlon