Youth Excel and i-tri Shines at Hamptons Youth Triathlon

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By Gavin Menu

A pair of 13-year-old, soon-to-be eighth graders stole the show Thursday, July 14, at Long Beach in the second annual Hamptons Youth Triathlon, in which nearly 100 children under the age of 16 competed, including 65 girls from the i-tri program, which helps build confidence and self-esteem through training for the event.

Tyler Pawlowski, 13, was the first overall finisher with a time of 41:48, overtaking Southampton’s Maggie Purcell during the 1.5-mile run. Purcell, 15, an elite-level swimmer with the East Hampton YMCA Hurricanes program, finished second in 42:39 and led after both the swim and bike portion of the race.

Keegan Guyer (43:48), Isabella Tarbet (44:40), Hadley Clayton (45:38), Caelan Clayton (47:02), Evie Purcell (48:07), Hank Sweeney (48:21), Craig Sheehan (48:55) and Olivia Duca (49:15) rounded out the top 10.

Complete results are available at just-in-time-racing.com.

Jessica Guallpa was the first i-tri girl to finish the race.

Jessica Guallpa was the first i-tri girl to finish the race.

Jessica Guallpa, 14, was the first i-tri girl to finish the race with a time of 49:45, good for 12th place overall. This was her second triathlon, having competed last year, and said after the race that she had made great improvement over the last 12 months

“I biked faster,” said Guallpa, a rising Montauk eighth-grader who also plays soccer, volleyball, and basketball. “I really like i-tri. Ever since I was in i-tri I met new friends. It helps me be positive.”

For Pawlowski, last week’s triathlon was not even on the radar until the morning of the event.

“Earlier today my dad said, ‘Hey Tyler, there’s a triathlon today, you want to do it?” And that’s the whole story,” said Pawlowski, who attends private school in Hicksville and, like Purcell and many of the other top athletes who competed last Thursday, is a member of a swim club. “[The course] was challenging, but it’s all about keeping a good state of mind.”

Theresa Roden, i-tri’s founder who started the program in 2010 with just five girls, said all 65 girls in the program this year finished the race last Thursday. She estimated that 45 of the girls competed in a triathlon for the first time.

“Every single one of them did phenomenal,” said Roden. “They’ve been training for this since the end of February. They train mind, body and spirit. We had five or six girls who came to us who were unable to ride a bike. We had a young girl, a sixth grader, she was not a swimmer at all. When you think about how far some of these kids have come and the personal fears they’ve had to overcome, it’s something they will keep with them forever.”

The i-tri girls gathered for fun and photos prior to last week's Hamptons Youth Triathlon.

The i-tri girls gathered for fun and photos prior to last week’s Hamptons Youth Triathlon.

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