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St. Anthony's Triathlon attracts meek, mighty

By JESSICA FISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2001


Attention in the worldwide triathlon community was focused on St. Petersburg last weekend during the St. Anthony's Triathlon events, which showcased nearly 2,000 athletes ranging from recent Olympic Games medalists to Meek & Mighty rookies.

Red and white maple leaf flags were waving at The Pier in St. Petersburg on Saturday, and crowds of Canadian fans gave loud appreciation after a double victory in the pro races by Olympic triathlon winner Simon Whitfield (1 hour, 48 minutes, 52 seconds) and Carol Montgomery (2:01:57).

Earlier in the morning, other competitors were at nearby North Shore Pool to compete in the Meek & Mighty mini-tri. A competitive group, including near-record numbers of aspiring Olympians and first-timer adults, had spectators on their feet and cheering.

Meek & Mighty local age group winners included St. Petersburg's John Tunstall, 7, 28:09; Zachary MacMath, 9, 23:40; Melanie Stickney, 10, 25:59; Cameron Chambers, 10, 24:50; Stase Michota, 11, 34:07; Kevin Nardozzi, 12, 29:25; Brent Sunnucks, 13, 30:44; Joe Parr, 14, 29:44; Michelle Skofield, 19, 29:31; Ryan Ellingworth, 25, 31:05; Celene Brink, 45, 32:34; Bill Milks, 57, 34:46; Paul Shafer, 69, 44:15; and Roland DeRussy, 71, 40:33.

ther winners were Valrico's Amy Bailey, 7, 28:29; and Casey Enderlein, 8, 28:27; Land O'Lakes' Nicolai Atkinson, 8, 26:07; and Val Thomopalos, 42, 31:37; Palm Harbor's Danielle Gouletas, 9, 28:25; Kayne Dakoski, 18, 25:12; Tierre Verde's Tracy Rorer, 10, 27:30; and Jennifer Frey, 12, 31:46; Tampa's Jennifer Hartley, 29, 33:49; Safety Harbor's Caroline Sondermann, 35, 32:39; and Carole Torreano, 52, 37:28.

Rounding out the Meek & Mighty list were Clearwater's Alexandria Lechner, 13, 29:57; Marlise Davidson, 15, 28:30; Alexander Jones, 16, 28:11; and Nadine Bull, 32, 36:38; Largo's Roman Fish, 54, 35:49; Seminole's Cathy DeHaan, 59, 39:03; and Spring Hill's Michael Jacobs, 9, 26:21.

Last Sunday's St. Anthony's Triathlon amateur race at Straub Park was won by Daniel Domingo, 27, of Jacksonville, in 1:56:57. The top amateur female was Susie Stark, 24, of Jacksonville, N.C., 2:11:15.

Linda Musante of Tampa was the first masters female for the second year in a row with a performance of 2:20:46. The 47-year-old showed her Ironman toughness, riding the windy 40-kilometer bike segment in 1:06:02 and posting a split that was faster than the top overall females half her age.

Stetson Law School graduate Laura Drake was a no-show. Recently married, the 32-year-old, whose name became Drake-Gullett, won the 2000 top amateur female award in 2:08:25. Drake-Gullett decided to skip this year's race to focus on an event in St. Croix next weekend.

"It was a very tough decision to miss my hometown race," said Drake-Gullett, who cut short her Utah skiing honeymoon with Atlanta cyclist Mike Gullett, returning for her three-peat victory in the Gasparilla Distance Classic last February.

"Winning the St. Anthony's amateur title was my last goal as an amateur," she said. "The following week, I turned pro. The fact that St. Croix is now a half-Ironman distance was just too tempting to turn down."

Sunday's division winners in the St. Anthony's included former Bucs defensive end (1982-1990) John Cannon, 40, of Tampa, who won the Clydesdale class in 2:18:40 after coming in second last year.

Other winners were Rebecca Clark, 22, Lakeland, 2:22:47; Jan Thompson, 55, Tampa, 2:54:58; Shirley Taylor, 67, Largo, 3:29:38; and George Smith, 39, Tampa, 2:22:50.

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