Swanton, Ellis Dominate Wall-to-Wall Triathlon

(left to right): Robin Seila (3rd), Esther Ellis (1st), Megan Mault-Lambert (2nd)

In spite of the turbulent sea on Sunday morning at Cane Bay Beach on St. Croix, 23 triathletes took to the water for the first leg of the Wall-to-Wall Sprint Triathlon. The swim/bike/run event was the first race of the season on the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation’s (VITF) schedule.

Relay swimmer Evan Dykstra, 13 years old, seemed unaffected by the water conditions as he glided through the 1000-meter course in 14:20. Esther Ellis and Stephen Swanton, both pushing hard to exit the water, were two minutes behind the leader. Dykstra’s teammate Jerry Remie, an Elite cyclist, held the lead on the 13-mile bike course and posted the fastest bike split overall in a time of 38:19. Swanton and Ellis stayed ahead of the individual racers on the bike and on the run, with finish times of 1:20:58 and 1:22:02, respectively. Robin Seila hammered the bike leg, but Megan Mault-Lambert overtook her on the run for a solid second place finish in 1:24:31. Seila was the third women to finish and the fourth overall. J. Garfoot, of 340 Cross Fit, was the second-place male in a time of 1:34:45. Kevin Moran was third.

Although Jerry Remie established a big lead overall on the bike, his runner, Good Hope Country Day School student Makari Matthew, was so focused on the 3-mile run that he ran past the turnaround. While running an extra 2 miles, Matthew brought the team home in third place. His extra miles gave the team of Nicole Angeli, Kasey Canton and Joe Noonan a shot at first place. With Noonan posting the fastest run of the day (even though he had over run the course too), they crossed the line in first place in 1:19:44. Team Calhoon, consisting of Shannan, Tom and Josie, was the second-place team in a time of 1:25:54.

There were four competitors in the Try-a-Tri, which followed the same course as the Sprint but only half of the distance. Mason Lambert, age 13, wanted to use this race to practice faster transitions at a shorter distance. He succeeded as he held the lead on the 400-meter swim, 6-mile bike and 1.5-mile run. His finish time was 44:09. Candace Felix, Good Hope Country Day School classmate, was second in 58:24. Amber Harhen, who was completing her first-ever triathlon, was third.

The next VITF race on the schedule is the Divi Sprint Tri set for 7 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 13. For more information on triathlons in the Virgin Islands, contact 513-2707.