Meadville Tribune

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June 28, 2014

Youngsters shine at annual triathlon

SAEGERTOWN — There’s a lot of love in a triathlon, according to 15-year-old Washington, Pa., resident Stephen Day.

Asked why he’s made the two-and-a-half hour trek from Washington to Woodcock Creek Dam each of the past four years to compete in the Dam Tri Jr., he answered:

“I love it. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Asked why he competes in triathlons in general, he answered in a similar fashion:

“I do it because I love it. Nothing else to it.”

Well, apparently, the love you put in is equal to the love you get out of it, because Day has made himself the young man to beat in the Dam Tri Jr., winning the Male 14-15 division for the second straight year after completing the event’s 300-yard swim, 6-mile bike and 2-mile run in 49:51 during Saturday’s race.

Day finished just 15 seconds ahead of second-place runner Andrew Weis, and a little more than two minutes ahead of third-place finisher Zach Leachman.

It was a win that was all about the details for Day.

“Well, this race I tried something new,” he said. “I used bike shoes instead of regular shoes. I had to take my time and clip in. I spent two and a half hours (Friday) practicing. It went all right. It took me (about 80 yards) and I was clipped in on both of them.”

Two and half hours spent on a Friday clipping new shoes into bike pedals? It’s just gotta be love.

Clark, Kavanaugh win 12-13’s

Two years ago, Meadville’s Wade Clark was the third-place finisher in the Dam Tri Jr.’s 11-12 Male race. Then last year, Clark bumped up to the 12-13 division, and ended up second, finishing a couple seconds behind the division’s winner, Chris Fuller or Conneaut, Ohio.

This year, finally, Clark made it to the top rung of the ladder, winning the Male 12-13 division at this year’s Dam Tri Jr., completing the 200-yard swim, 3-mile bike and 1-mile run in 23:36.

“It drove me to do better this time,” said Clark about his close calls the previous two years. “Yeah, it feels good to win it.”

Clark said he wasn’t certain that yesterday’s effort would be good enough.

“You never know,” he said. “There could be some other kid that comes in with a better time.”

Clark didn’t need to worry, though. He finished faster then second-place runner Noah Phillips, also of Meadville, by nearly three seconds (26:12), and was more than four seconds faster than third-place runner, and another Meadville resident, Hayden Parks (27:54).

There was also some redemption for the Female 12-13 winner, Emily Kavanaugh of Cranberry Township. She was second in the same division last year, and was sixth in her division two years ago. But she finally broke through for her first victory, finishing the circuit in 26:45.

In second place was Erie’s Bella Agresti in 29:08. In third was Alaina Hicks in 30:13.

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