First Coast Kids Triathlon

... Many thanks to Sara DiPaolo, for this lovely article! Please enjoy ... 

The newly minted North Florida Triathlon team brought it’s renowned energy and team spirit to the 2012 First Coast Kids Triathlon held at UNF on April 29.  Sporting team shirts and an indomitable sense of humor, the more than 25 representatives of North Florida Swimming enjoyed the highs and lows that is youth triathlon.


Demonstrating that many kids can swim but not many kids are SWIMMERS, the NFS team put their technique, conditioning, and competitive spirit on display in powering to an impressive array of awards.  The results achieved by the NFS racers emphasize the cross benefits of high quality swim training for other sports, including triathlon.

Lexi Riley, 1 st Female 13yo XClass
Travis Bloom, 1 st Male 13yo
Molly See, 1 st Female 12yo
Lilly Szymczak, 1 st Female 13yo
Megan Brown, 3 rd Female 15yo
Drew Johnson, 3 rd Male 13yo
Cameron Sistare, 2 nd Male 14yo XClass
Cade Hayford 11yo 14th
Collin Szymczak 11yo 18th
Jackson Skigen 12yo 12th
Jacob Rubin 12yo 22nd (5th in swim, 4th in run)
Ryan Krecji 12yo 41st
Cole Hirapara 13yo 21st
Kaleb Switanek Senior 7th
Carson Roman 11yo 35th
Vivianne Wagner 11yo 111th
Casey Hayford 12yo 15th
Ana D'Agostino 12yo 30th
Morgan Meece Senior 5th
Alastair Jurs 6yo 24th
Gabriel Lamb 8yo 58th
Zach Wagner 9yo 13th
Ander Jurs 9yo 48th
Grayson D'Agostino 9yo 55th
Jake Watson 9yo 57th
Matthew Adams 9yo 92nd

With many of the kids and parents experiencing their first-ever youth triathlon, the patience and ability that we learn as swimming families (to wait interminable lengths of time in sweltering heat for brief moments of actual competition) served the NFS contingent well as the day stretched well past 3p before the awards were completed.

The many entertaining stories of the day included the Wagner sisters, who demonstrated why swimmers need lap counters:

Travis Bloom who, in racing his first triathlon and garnering a 1st place award, rode the entire bike course in what is affectionately termed the “granny gear” as he did not know how to shift his bike:

The uber competitive and always mispronounced Lilly Szymczak, who powered through an outstanding bike split on her way to a 1 st place, in spite of dragging a parachute behind her:

Cole Hirapara picking the perfect time to pop his chain (as he was passing several NFS parents who helped him pop it back…):

Megan Brown looking stylish and relaxed as she cruised along to 3rd in her age group:

Jackson Skigen sprinting faster than in his own race as he exhorted Travis Bloom on to the finish line

Lexi Riley demonstrating flawless cup flicking technique on her way to a 1 st place finish in her XClass age group:

Or one of the ubiquitous NFS Canadian Geese expressing her displeasure with the crowds:

The overall results, team spirit, and experience in general had our NFS kids literally jumping for joy: