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State junior champ thrives at short distances

By JESSICA MUNDIE Cycling/triathlons
Published July 18, 2007


Summer events in the area tend to be short and sweet, providing cyclists and triathletes with the opportunity to race safely in tough conditions without wilting in the heat.

Matt Moss Team Florida Bicycle Sports played host on Thursday at the Team Florida Bicycle Sports Time Trial Series at Fort DeSoto Park, where more than 50 showed up to ride the 15-kilometer (9.2 mile) time trials at 6:30 p.m.

USA Cycling official David Rusnak made sure the riders left the start line in order. In the lineup was state champion junior Steve Rusnak, David's son. Rusnak, 14, of Seminole was looking for a tough time trial close to home, getting out his racing kit that includes a special rear disc wheel for the racing bike.

"Steve loves these short time trials and he is good at focusing his energy," David Rusnak said. "Steve is an honor student at St. Pete Catholic and even on school days he wakes us at daybreak to tell us he's going riding before school."

Steve Rusnak leads the junior point rankings for the Florida Bicycle Sports Time Trial Series, ahead of top state junior riders Alan Glanz, Graham Steele and Brad Andringa.

Future race dates include Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 7. For complete results go to

TRIATHLETES RACE FOR BEACH PATROL: Clearwater Beach was the place to be for local multisport enthusiasts last weekend. On July 14, City of Clearwater lifeguard, coach and open-water swimmer Joe Lain was joined at Pier 60 by Clearwater's Ric Dorrie and Ron Collins at the fourth annual Clearwater Beach Patrol Open Water Swim, which benefits Clearwater lifeguards and beach patrol.

At Pier 60, the water was 89 degrees and choppy, providing a 1-mile challenge to the field of experienced open-water swimmers. Andy Farrell of Orlando won in 22 minutes, 19 seconds, followed by women's winner Ashley Rossi of Clearwater in 22:24.

Triathlete and open-water champion Ron Collins of Clearwater was third overall in 24:57, and there were more competitors waiting in the area for Morton Plant Mease Triathlon's packet pickup.

Some ambitious competitors raced twice, including Collins (Ocean Mile Swim, Morton Plant Mease Triathlon) and Palm Harbor triathlete Patrice Hoffman. The 57-year-old Hoffman actually raced three times last week, winning her swimming event in 36:53 and racing in the FBS time trial, followed by Sunday's Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. Check out complete results at

MORTON PLANT MEASE TRIATHLON: More than 800 triathletes competed in the second annual triathlon at Sand Key Park in Clearwater. Race distances were swim 1/3 mile, bike 13 miles, run 3.1 miles. Professional Marc Bonnett-Eymard of Winter Garden won in 57:06, followed by Spencer Smith, 34, of Palm Harbor, in 59:57 and St. Petersburg's Hank Campbell, 28, in 1:01:17.

Stephanie Liles, 35, of Tallahassee won the women's elite division in 1:09:24; Tracy Parker, 37, of Odessa was second in 1:11:01 followed by Christina Noordstar, 31, of Tierra Verde in 1:11:05.

For further results visit

Jessica Mundie can be reached at

[Last modified July 17, 2007, 21:46:23]

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