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Athletes perform well in Sun triathlon

SALISBURY Twenty six-year-old Kevin Bouchard-hall of Shelburne won the Vermont Sun Triathlon last Sunday in 1:02:36 35 seconds ahead of runner, Luke More, age 29, of Stowe. The event, held at Branbury State Park in Salisbury was the first in the four race Vermont Sun Triathlon Series. Over 200 triathletes from a dozen states competed in the 600 yard swim, 14-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run sprint triathlon. Triathlons are categorized by length as sprint, Olympic, long and ultra races. Vermont Sun Fitness Center, in Middlebury, put on their first triathlon in 1986 making this their 23rd season. The series is one of the nations oldest. The womens race wasnt as closely contested as the mens as another Shelburne resident, Maria Cimonetti claimed first in 1:10:38, 1:26 ahead of second place finisher Kerry Litka of Nashua N.H. Cimonetti coaches a team of youth triathletes which she brought to Middlebury two weeks ago to compete in the Vermont Dun Kids Triathlon. Cimonetti was the second women out of the water, but took the lead immediately on the bike. Litka was over three minutes behind after the swim so even though she out rode Cimonetti by 20 seconds and outran her by thirty five seconds, she couldnt overcome the deficit. Bouchard-Hall was only no. 24 overall after the swim but used the days fastest bike time, 32:50, to take the lead. He had a solid run (18:59, eighth best) to cruise to victory. About 20 athletes were from Addison County. They were led by 51 year old Middlebury veteran triathlete, Steve Hare, who won his age group in 1:07:39. Hare was competing with the overall top five men, all considerably younger than him, before finally settling for the sixth best finish of the day. I was very happy with my swim and bike and having fun hanging with the leaders. I struggled on the run to hold my place, said Hare. Cornwalls Barney Hodges placed fifth in the mens 35-39 group with his 1:11:55 time good for no. 19 overall. Twenty four year old Danial Skold of Middlebury took fourth in mens 20-24 with a 1:13:19 finish. Another Cornwall man, David Donahue finished 4th in mens 35-39. Vergennes veteran Milo Schaefer used a strong swim to win the mens 60-64 age group in 1:21:35. Middleburys Stephen Watson was chasing down Schaefer, out running him by 3:20, before falling 35 seconds short to place second in 1:22:07. In the womens 40-44 group, Whittings Michele Thurston claimed third with a 1:23:03 time. Molly Robinson of Middlebury placed seventh in the 30-34 group. She finished just 22 seconds behind Thurston in a tight group of athletes in 1:23:25. Perennial winner Linn Larson of Middlebury took second place in the womens 50-54 group with a 1:24:18 time. John 1220 of Salisbury was fourth in mens 55-59 with a 1:25:44 finish. Mary Stewart, 20-24 years old, of East Middlebury finished 10 seconds in front of 40-44 year old Teri Ames of Middlebury. Stewarts time earned her fourthth in her group while Ames claimed 9th in hers. Cornwalls Ben Rosenbergs 1:28:00 gave him fifth in the 45-49 group while Middleburys Ginger Lambert was third in the 50-54 division in 1:28:17. Team Slugbusters of Shorham, led by Jim Arnold and Chase Lyons won the overall team title in 1:07:39. The womens over 40 team winners were led by two Middlebury grandmothers, Joanne Carrara (bike) and Gail Jette (run) in a time of 2:01:57. Race director Jerrod Rushton had concerns about the race day weather. We knew we had a good chance of getting rained on, we can deal with that, it was the chance of a morning thunderstorm that had us worried. All the rain this week definitely hurt our race day turnout. Hopefully we get a great day for our other sprint said Rushton. The rain and some distant rumbles of thunder held off till after the race concluded. The next series race is the second and final sprint to be held July 13. The series olympic distance triathlon (.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) is Saturday Aug. 2. The long event is the Half Vermont Journey, which is exactly half of a full Iron man triathlon (1.2- mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run). For information on these events, log onto Vermontsun.com or call 388-6888. All three events are staged at Branbury State Park.

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