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Defending champ, two top athletes to miss race

The defending St. Anthony's men's champion, Denmark's Rasmus Henning, and two of the world's top triathletes, Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper, will not compete in today's St. Anthony's race.

By SCOTT PURKS
Published April 29, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - The defending St. Anthony's men's champion, Denmark's Rasmus Henning, and two of the world's top triathletes, Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper, will not compete in today's St. Anthony's race.

Henning, 32, continues to come back from a year of various injuries, and plans to race for the first time this season May 6 in Lisbon.

Potts, who placed fourth at last year's St. Anthony's and won the California 70.3 Ironman in March, couldn't make the trip because he and his wife, Lisa, are expecting their first child any day.

"If the baby would have come any sooner, I would definitely have been there, " Potts said from Colorado Springs, where he trains. "I love that race, but there is no doubt where I'll be this weekend. I wish everyone else the best."

Kemper, the world's top-ranked triathlete in 2005 and the runnerup finisher at last year's St. Anthony's, is out while nursing injuries, race organizers said.

Kemper and his wife, Valerie, had their first child, Davis Thomas Kemper, on Jan. 3. Hunter Kemper, however, is still in town for the weekend, helping with Saturday's Meek and Mighty race and offering support today.

Kemper, who spends much of his time training in Colorado Springs, has strong ties to the area after attending high school at Lake Brantley in Altamonte Springs and competing in the Meek and Mighty when he was in elementary school.

Two-time defending St. Anthony's women's champion Becky Lavelle and the 2006 runnerup, Sarah Haskins, are entered in today's race.

MEEK AND MIGHTY: Every year before the big-time racers hit the water for the St. Anthony's Triathlon, the Meek and Mighty racers compete the day before in the area around North Shore Pool. The race isn't nearly as long and the athletes are often a lot younger age divisions start at 7, but the competition can be just as fierce coming down to the finish line.

On Saturday, the winners in their respective divisions were, beginning with ages 7-10 (100-yard swim, 3.6-mile bike, 1-mile run): female - Clermont's Ciara Hopkins (10), 22 minutes, 16 seconds; male - Bradenton's Toby Howell (10), 21:33.

Ages 11-14 (200-yard swim, 5.4-mile bike, 1-mile run): female - Atlanta's Devon Dabney (12), 28:11; male - Oldsmar's David Morgan (14), 25:26.

Ages 15-plus (200-yard swim, 5.4-mile bike, 1-mile run): female - Clearwater's Angelica Compton (15), 28:28; male - Largo's Tony Lanzilotta (17), 27:38.

Fast Facts:

 

St. Anthony's Triathlon

What: More than 4, 000 individuals and 100 relay teams in an Olympic-distance event with a 1.5-kilometer (0.93-mile) swim, 40K (24.8-mile) bike and 10K (6.2-mile) run.

When/where: 7 a.m. today at Spa Beach in St. Petersburg with body-marking and transition area opening at 5.

Registration: Closed

Course: Downtown waterfront (swim), downtown and southeast St. Petersburg (bike) and North Shore Drive, Coffee Pot Boulevard and Brightwaters Boulevard (run).