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Kids of Steel flex their muscles

Four Whistler racers earn gold medals in youth triathlon

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Kids as young as eight and as old as 17 took part in the second annual Whistler Kids of Steel Triathlon, as volunteers were rewarded with a stronger than expected turnout of more than 80 participants.

All of the transitions, the swim event, and the finish line were based at Meadow Park Sports Centre, with cyclists tackling the ups and downs of Alta Lake Road on their bikes and running on the Valley Trail towards Rainbow Park.

Although there was a strong local showing with Whistler kids on every podium, several of the top racers were from the Lower Mainland and Seattle area.

One notable exception to the rule was Whistler’s Toria Whitney, 17. Not that long ago she was one of the few Whistler youths to participate in triathlons, and she easily won the women’s 16-18 race (500 metre swim, 14 km bike and 4 km run) in 1:01:28 – more than 20 minutes ahead of the next-fastest girl, and less than two minutes back of the fastest racers in the men’s 16-18 group.

Still, she says it wasn’t one of her best efforts.

"I’d say it went all right," she said. "My swim wasn’t very good, probably because I haven’t been in a pool since November. My bike section was great, I passed everyone out there, and the run was the run – it wasn’t good or bad, just kind of neutral."

Whitney ski races through the winter months and has been skiing almost daily the past two weeks.

"I was on the hill yesterday," she said. "It’s been good, but tiring."

Whitney’s day didn’t end with the Kids of Steel. After the awards she had to rush over to Spruce Grove where she competed in the B.C. High School Mountain Bike Championships.

The other Whistler gold medals went to Stephen Chilli in the 14-15 age category, Bronwyn Lawrie in the girl’s 14-15 category, and Tyler Welsh in the boys 8-9 group.

The Kids of Steel triathlon was hosted by the Whistler Triathlon Club, with the help of dozens of volunteers and local sponsors.

Results:

Girls 8-9 (100m swim, 4.5km bike, 1.5km run)

1. Anna Midori Yamaoka, West Van – 34:00

2. Gabrielle Smith, Whistler – 36:38

3. Noelle Krasny, Whistler – 36:49

Boys 8-9

1. Tyler Welsh, Whistler – 24:50

2. Rhys Verner, Garibaldi Highlands – 26:29

3. Christopher Jackson, Whistler – 27:14

Girls 10-11

1. Sarah Look, Burnaby – 26:14

2. Kerry-Anne Hamilton – 26:44

3. Natassja Marc, Victoria – 28:24

Boys 10-11

1. Sam Morris, West Van – 21:21

2. Curtis Shard, Garibaldi Highlands – 25:58

3. Benjamin Flynn, Whistler – 26:24

Girls 12-13 (300m, 10 km, 3km)

1. Jenna Bergen, Surrey – 57:10

2. Yuki Tsubota, Pemberton – 58:50

3. Jocelyn Ramsden, West Vancouver – 1:00:13

Boys 12-13

1. Kai Riess, Pemberton – 44:38

2. Josh Robertson, Whistler – 52:29

3. Xavier Lemaire, Squamish – 53:27

Girls 14-15 (500m, 14km, 4km)

1. Bronwyn Lawrie, Whistler – 1:13:06

2. Bria Darlington, Whistler – 1:25:35

3. Catriona Blair, Burnaby – 1:25:45

Boys 14-15

1. Stephen Chilli, Whistler – 1:02:59

2. Daniel Hasle, Seattle – 1:06:27

3. Frazer McGaw, Whistler – 1:14:45

Girls 16-18

1. Toria Whitney, Whistler – 1:01:28

2. Chantelle Grills, Whistler – 1:24:28

3. Amanda Bailey, Whistler – 1:44:02

Boys 16-18

1. Nicholas Hasle, Seattle – 59:54

2. Brett Kelly, Whistler – 1:05:57

3. Nick Spence, Whistler – 1:07:22

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