SEBRING — The Heartland Kids Triathlon got off to a rollicking start Saturday morning, as throngs of youngsters swam, cycled, and ran through a course situated in downtown Sebring.
This year’s triathlon drew nearly 400 athletes from all across Florida, with some coming from as far away as Miami, Gainesville, and even Panama City. The USA Triathlon sanctioned event was divided into two groups. Competitors between ages 6-15 were allowed to compete in the kids triathlon, with 6-10 year olds swimming 100 yards, biking 3 miles, and running half a mile. Meanwhile, those between 11-15 swam 200 yards, cycled 6 miles, and ran one mile. Both events were Florida Regional Championship Races.
Highlands County had a myriad of athletes finish in the top 10, but Sebring’s Kinsley White was the only local competitor to finish in first place. The plucky 9-year-old completed the course in 18 minutes, 34 seconds, which was also good for 15th overall.
Other impressive times from county athletes came from Avon Park’s Katelyn Van Rooyen, who finished fourth (21:26) in the 9-year-old class behind White. Sebring’s Hannah Andrews placed eighth in the 8-year-old category, finishing in 26:48.
In the female 10-year-old group, Sebring’s Kassidy Caputo placed ninth in 20:28.
Sebring’s Shayla Cox was seventh in the 11-year-old competition with a time of 33:26. In the 13-year-old class, Sebring’s Katelyn Van Fleet placed eighth in 39:42.
On the boys side, the top time belonged to Lake Placid’s Mika Lonsdale. The 7-year-old finished second in his age group in 19:52. He and Fleming Island’s Turner Glenn were the only competitors in the group to finish the course in under 20 minutes.
Sebring’s Cale Delaney and Brooker Revell finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 7-year-old class. Delaney trotted in at 24:12 while Revell finished in 26:31.
Lake Placid’s Kaleb Zahller was the lone Heartland representative in the 8-year-old class. He placed 10th with a time of 24:05. In the 12-year-old age group, Sebring’s Keegan White and Matthew Andrews placed sixth and eighth, respectively, as White finished in 32:02 and Andrews finished in 32:46.
Four Sebring athletes finished among the top 10 in the 9-year-old class, which was one of the closest competitions. Bud Cox finished third in 16:55, just five seconds behind the group’s overall winner. Cox was followed by Zachary Van Fleet in sixth at 18:06, Reeve Moulds in ninth at 19:17, while Luke Swaine rounded out to the quintet in 10th at 19:53.
Sebring’s Chase Doty finished third in the 13-year-old class in 29:39, and was one of only three athletes in the group to finish in under 30 minutes. Sebring’s Trevor Doty capped the local list of competitors, finishing fifth in the 15-year-old category at 28:07.
The top three times for each age group is listed below. Male 7 class: In first at 19:16, Turner Glenn, Fleming Island; in second at 19:52, Mikea Lonsdale, Lake Placid; In third at 22:17, Phoenix Marsiglio, Gainesville. Male 8 class: Jack Diemar, 18:54, Jupiter; Ethan Huet, 19:56, Winter Springs; Jack Matthews, 19:58, Belleair. Male 9 class: Colin Kruger, 16:50, Trinity; Colton Cardwell, 16:54, Minneola; Bud Cox, 16:55, Sebring. Male 10 class: Lawson McLeod, 16:23, Lutz; William Stone, 16:34, Largo; Trey Henson, 17:22, Orlando. Male 11 class: Jackson Babington, 28:46, Tavares; Nicholas Raffinengo, 29:03, Boynton Beach; Mason Mook, 29:37, Jupiter. Male 12 class: Colin Wilson, 27:39, Miami; Reed Legg, 28:29, Tampa; Carson Kruger, 28:38, Trinity. Male 13 class: Lachlan Hovius, 25:25, Groveland; Josue Reyes, 25:34, Tampa; Chase Doty, 29:39, Sebring. Male 14 class: Luis Ortiz, 25:04, Orlando; Matthew Wohlwend, 26:26, Saint Petersburg; Cavan Wilson, 26:31, Miami. Male 15 class: Ricardo Reyes, 25:02, Tampa; Ricardo Roche, 27:13, Miramar; Ryan Van Middlesworth, 27:53, Seminole.
Times on the girls side were just as impressive.
In the female 7-year-old age group, Reddington Beach’s Reese McClellan was first in 25:26. Wellington’s Gianna Apicella finished second in 25:07, while Ponte Vedra’s Nelle Murphy finished third in 25:35. In the female 8 class: Ryann McLeod, 21:22, Lutz; Abigail Hite, 22:03, Bradenton; Payton Meyers, 22:24, San Antonio. Female 9 class: Kinsley White, 18:34, Sebring; Katherine McClellan, 19:55, Redington Beach; Haydn Hasselbach, 20:07, Tampa. Female 10 class: Courtney Diemar, 17:27, Jupiter; Ella Mickler, 18:50, Jacksonville; Kali Garcia, 19:29, Altamonte Springs. Female 11 class: Hannah Fowler, 30:15, Parkland; Mackenzie Gale, 30:36, Jupiter; Shannon Ross, 31:11, St. Petersburg. Female 12 class: Megan Buchanan, 28:24, Windermere; Ava Sykes, 28:39, Seminole; Hayley Diemar, 29:13, Jupiter. Female 13 class: Paige Van Middlesworth, 32:13, Seminole; Sophie Davis, 32:48, Clermont; Alexandra Iglesias, 33:57, Sanibel. Female 14 class: Reagan Quilty, 27:50, St. Petersburg; Stephanie Hernandez, 28:45, Clearwater; Coral Brockman, 33:27, Palm Beach Gardens. Female 15 class: Emma Stock, 29:32, Bradenton; Kelli Deja, 32:51, Largo; Lauren Chen, 34:45, Tequesta.
There were only three total competitors between the male and female 6-year-old brackets. Orando’s Connie Curti finished first in 26:31 on the girls side, while Stuart’s Madison Heath was second at 36:36. Lithia’s Blake Huff was the lone male 6-year-old, and he finished in 32:37.