October 5, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
After another successful kids triathlon, the sport of triathlon is taking off at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.
Several South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers of all ages took turns competing in the second SOFLO Kids Triathlon on Saturday, Oct. 1.
With parents, coaches and friends watching the event, organized by SOFLO triathlon coach Steve Mlujeak, the triathlon was a nice change from early morning swim workouts.
Nicholas Perera, 12, and Julia Montgomery, 13, turned in the fastest times in the first two waves. Perera edged Marc Rojas, 17, 40:31-40:38. Montgomery finished in 41:24.
It was definitely a family affair.
Christopher Perera, 7, was the top boys finisher in the third wave in 15:28 and Emma Perera, 7, was the top girls finisher in 18:10.
Mlujeak, an elite cyclist and race director, is hoping to hold a bike and transition clinic to help athletes improve their triathlon skills for the next triathlon.
Mlujeak and SOFLO CEO and Coach Chris Anderson created the kids’ triathlon to encourage health, fitness and camaraderie.
The event was designed for any child, ages 10-and-under and 11-and up age groups, regardless of athletic ability or previous triathlon experience.
The fun and safe event, that ended in less than two hours, was held on the Academic Village campus that included a track, pool and trail, and observed USAT rules (USA Triathlon, the sport’s governing body).
Youth triathlons (swim-bike-run event) are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. because they are easy to stage at any distance and don’t necessarily have to be held at a beach, lake or busy public streets.
The venue was one of the safest since it was held on the Academic Village campus.
The well-organized triathlon featured three waves.
The first wave was for SOFLO boys in the bronze, senior, silver, gold and national groups. The second wave was for girls in the bronze, senior, silver, gold and national groups. The third wave combined the boys and girls from the asteroids, meteorites and dippers.
The opening swim event simulated an open water course in the pool without lane lines with the distance of 1,200 yards for the first and second waves and 500 yards for the third wave.
The bike portion was held on the school’s running track. Waves one and two biked 2.5 miles or ten laps on the track. The third wave was 3.1 miles or four laps.
The run portion was two miles or two laps around the water tank for the first and second waves and half-mile or two laps for wave three.
Every athlete received a free t-shirt. Second and third place finishers received Nike merchandise provided by Nike, one of SOFLO’s major sponsors. The winners were awarded medals provided by the booster club and a cycling computer donated by Bike America bike shops.
SOFLO hopes to host at least two each year and may have its swimmers compete in other triathlons around the county the more the proficient they become in the sport.
SOFLO KIDS TRIATHLON RESULTS
BOYS BRONZE AND SENIOR
Wave 1: 12-and-under, 1. Nicholas Perera, Bronze, 12, 40:31, 2. Matthew Menocal, Bronze, 12, 41:58, 3. Ricardo Roche, Bronze, 12, 42:14; 13-and-over, 1. Marc Rojas, National, 17, 40:38, 2. Jordan Colon, Gold, 14, 41:27, 3. Jose Miguel Fernandez, Silver, 15, 45:26.
GIRLS BRONZE AND SENIOR
Wave 2: 12-and-under, 1. Kelly Heron, Bronze, 12, 41:45, 2. Stephanie Mlujeak, Bronze, 12, 43:19, 3. Jessica Rodriguez, Bronze, 12, 45.50; 13-and-over, 1. Julia Montgomery, S.D., 13, 41:24, 2. Lilli Calero, Bronze, 13, 48:39, 3. Christina Villegas, Silver, 13, 49:35.
BOYS WAVE 3
1.Tie, Raphael Rodriguez, Asteroid, 9, 16:21 and Matthew Liang, Asteroid, 10, 16:21, 3. CJ Kopecki, Asteroid, 12, 18:09, 4. Brandon Moran, Asteroid, 10, 19:04.
1.Tomas Pelaez, Meteorites, 10, 19:35, 2. Lorenzo Lanaro, Meteorites, 11, 19:38, 3. Brandon Currasco, Meteorites, 11, 20:45.
1.Christopher Perera, Dipper, 7, 15:28, 2. Ryan Heron, Dipper, 7, 16:01, 3. Akira Huang, Dipper, 8, 18:05.
GIRLS WAVE 3
1.Anna Montgomery, Asteroid, 11, 19:41, 2. Katherine DeBarros, Asteroid, 11, 22:32, 3. Anita Huang, Asteroid, 10, 26.50, 4. Valentina Diaz, Asteroid, 12, 27:25.
1.Emma Perera, Dipper, 7, 18:10, 2. Sara Quintero, Dipper, 7, 18.30, 3. Gretchen Montgomery, Dipper, 8, 18:55.
1.Nathalia Rossi, Meteorite, 10, 22:42. 2. Catalina Lizarazo, Meteorite, 11, 22:53, 3. Nathalie Simms, Meteorite, 9, 25:00, 4. Brittany Parra, Meteorite, 10, 25.40.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.