Diffley, Mitchum claim youth triathlon titles
A forecast for rain didn’t dampen the spirits of 225 kids looking to compete.
The Summerville YMCA held its 2013 Youth Triathlon Saturday at The Ponds and everyone who registered showed up for the race. Now in its fifth year, the event attracts athletes age 7-14 from across the state.
One of the big lures of the triathlon is it gives children the opportunity to participate in an endurance race designed just for them. The only adults at the event were race volunteers and a large group of spectators that included parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and friends. They swarmed The Ponds Farmhouse pool to cheer on the young athletes.
This year’s event included a nice mix of first-time participants and regulars returning for another shot at the course.
“I’ve done triathlons before, including three YMCA Youth Triathlons at The Ponds,” Ben Diffley, the first-place finisher for the 11-12 age group, said. “I was confident that I could finish strongly.”
The 12-year-old Ridgeville resident finished the triathlon in 31 minutes and 48 seconds to win both his age group and the Top Overall Male award for the 11-14 division.
Danielle Lodge of Summerville placed second in the division. The 14-year-old finished in 31:55 to claim the Top Overall Female award for the division as well as the first-place award for the 13-14 age group.
“It was a great experience and a lot of fun,” Lodge said. “Finishing was the most exciting part.”
The triathlon kicked off at 7:30 a.m. with the swimming portion. Participants in the younger age division (age 7-10) swam four lengths of the pool at The Ponds Farmhouse and participants in the older age division (age 11-14) swam eight lengths of the pool.
After finishing the swimming portion, participants exited the pool and proceeded to the transition area. There they donned their bike helmets, shirts and shoes and begun the biking stage of the event. The younger participants completed a 2.5-mile lap throughout The Ponds community, and the older participants completed a pair of 2.5-mile laps.
The third and final leg of the event was the run. The younger triathletes ran a half of a mile through The Ponds Nature Conservancy and the older triathletes ran a full mile on the trail.
“My favorite part of the triathlon was the running,” said Andrew Mitchum, the winner of the 9-10 age group. “I felt like I had to keep going and push myself because I was getting tired and wanted to finish strong.”
The Charleston 10-year-old finished the race in 15:43 to also claim the Top Overall Male award for the younger division. Ellie Sineath, 9, of Goose Creek claimed the Top Overall Female award for the division with an 18:10 finish.
“My experience as a participant in the YMCA Youth Triathlon makes me want to do more of them each year,” Mitchum said. “It is a fun way to end the summer.”
The YMCA Youth Triathlon began with a brainstorm from Dr. Hal Hatchett, a YMCA Board Member, an avid triathlete and Summerville podiatrist. In 2009, he approached the YMCA to see if the YMCA would be interested in coordinating a youth triathlon.
For more information on the event, race results and photos visit www.summervilleymca.org/youthtriathlon. Photo galleries from the triathlon can be accessed through www.journalscene.com.
2013 Y Youth Triathlon Age-Group Results
FEMALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 7 - 8
1 Sydney Greer 8 Summerville SC 20:31
2 Ava Kabealo 8 Summerville SC 20:44
3 LEAH BARNHILL 7 22:30
MALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 7 - 8
1 Heath Soho 7 Mt. Pleasant SC 17:34
2 Rhett Norris 8 Mt. Pleasant SC 18:43
3 Henry Goldsmith 7 Mount Pleasant SC 19:07
FEMALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 9 - 10
1 Ellie Sineath 9 Goose Creek SC 18:10
2 Mary Adam 10 Chamblee GA 19:07
3 Julia Beebe 10 Charleston SC 19:49
MALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 9 - 10
1 Andrew Mitchum 10 charleston SC 15:43
2 Nicholas DeFazio 10 Daniel Island SC 16:25
3 Nicholas DeMarco 9 Daniel Island SC 16:40
FEMALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 11 - 12
1 Caroline Mathisen 12 Mt. Pleasant SC 32:44
2 Abbey Martichenko 11 Summerville SC 34:01
3 Natalia Thomas-Sarmi 11 Summerville SC 34:32
MALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 11 - 12
1 Benjamin Diffley 12 Ridgeville SC 31:48
2 Logan Palma 12 Summerville SC 33:10
3 Aaron Wheat 11 North Charleston SC 35:20
FEMALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 13 - 14
1 DANIELLE LODGE 14 SUMMERVILLE SC 31:55
2 Katie McNeese 14 Summerville SC 38:29
3 Samantha Martino 14 Summerville SC 41:02
MALE INDIVIDUAL AGE GROUP: 13 - 14
1 Cole Kiser 13 Summerville SC 32:16
2 Christian England 13 Ladson SC 36:01
3 Christopher Bodkin 14 Summerville SC 40:56