Kolofer and Finchamp win The Triathlon at Pacific Grove Sprint; roughly 350 first time triathletes of all ages enjoy one of the sport's most beautiful venues.
Scott Kolofer, a 19-year-old Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo freshman from Salinas, and Rae Finchamp, a 15-year-old high school student from Altadena, won The Triathlon at Pacific Grove sprint event Sunday.
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010
Youth was served, but so too were several excellent masters triathletes at the Triathlon at Pacific Grove Sprint Triathlon Sunday at the spectacular seaside course in Monterey County.
Nineteen-year-old Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo freshman Scott Kolofer of nearby Salinas, California won the men's overall crown with a 50:58 time that gave him a 1 minute 38 seconds margin of victory over 25-year-old Kamron Shafai of Aptos.
Perhaps even more impressive for their ages were 16-year-old Kooper Knutson of Gilroy, who finished 3rd in 54:09, and 14-year-old Sam Aleman of Exeter, California, who finished 8th in 55:09. On the other end of the age curve, 52-year-old Kurt Fouts of Capitola, California held up the honor of the masters triathletes with a 10th place finish, just 42 seconds behind Aleman.
Even more spectacular were young women, including one pre-teenager, who dominated the top 10 overall women finishers.
Fifteen-year-old Rae Finchamp of Altadena, California and her 55:39 finish was five minutes faster than runner-up Michelle Laughlin, age 22, of Mountain View. But on an age-graded curve, perhaps 12-year-old Nye Avilla of Wilton, California and her third place finish just two seconds behind Laughlin, was the best performance of the day. Three more teenagers filled out the top 10 -- 16-year-old Sarah Gilbert of San Jose was 4th, 15-year-old Annalise Mariottini of Seaside was 6th, and 15-year-old Gabrielle Scheder-Bieschin of Cotati, California was 8th. Holding up the reputation of the masters women were Melissa Lewis, 44, of San Anselmo, who finished 7th, and Elizabeth Caraker, 46, of Monterey, who finished 9th.
Layla Anderson, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah, won the women's Physically Challenged division with a time of 2:05:15. Travis Fugate, 27, of Monterey, won the men's Physically Challenged division in 1:14:39.
While these top finishers showed the speed of which the best conditioned triathletes are capable, the Pacific Grove Sprint is very much about volunteering to help ordinary mortals, many of them first-timers, meeting the physical and emotional challenge of swim-bike-run.,
Tri-California announcer Nick Tuttle says of the event, which is about one-third of the length of Olympic distance triathlons and one-tenth of the well-known Ironman challenge: "It's all about the first timers," said Tuttle. "When we ask the Olympic-distance triathletes that raced Saturday how many of them were first timers, about 15-20 percent raised their hands. When we asked the sprint entries, about half of them were in it for the first time."
Tuttle explained the attraction of the Pacific Grove sprint. "It's close to the Bay Area and it has more of a laid-back atmosphere than longer, more serious events. It's family oriented -- it's over pretty quickly so people can spend the rest of the day together. It's doable for people of all ages and abilities. And this course is so beautiful you can’t match it anywhere."
But Tuttle says the key of the event's popularity and the way it is embraced is best explained by the way it brings people together.
"Jennifer Brenner volunteered to help out on the swim ramp coming out of the water Saturday," said Tuttle, who went on to explain the strong strands of friendship that create Pacific Grove's tapestry of caring. "Jennifer hadn’t raced for a while, but she has volunteered here for years. Her mother passed away when she was 11, so she was drawn to join a group called Team Trevor, an offshoot of Team In Training. Bob and Angela Kott started their organization after their son Trevor died of leukemia in his first two years of life. They thought the should offer an alternative to more general medical charities in honor of Trevor. Their initiative is designed to pay for and urge people to have their cheeks swabbed to get a better database of people who might be potential tissue and blood donors, Their desire was to provide people with children who suffer from diseases like leukemia a better idea where to go for help."
Tuttle says the bonds Jennifer Brenner and the Kotts have formed have grown stronger through the sport. "Jennifer was a little nervous about the event," said Tuttle. "But Angela and Bob, who raced on Saturday, were cheering her on and Jennifer did the job. She finished strong."
The Triathlon at Pacific Grove Sprint
Pacific Grove, California
September 12, 2010
S 500M/ B 20k/ R 3.3K.
1. Scott Kolofer, 19, (Salinas CA) 50:58
2. Kamron Shafai, 25, (Aptos CA) 52:36
3. Kooper Knutson, 16, (Gilroy CA) 54:09
4. Aaron Patterson, 33, (Morgan Hill CA) 54:25
5.Chris Bridges, 33, (Yuba City CA) 54:28
6. David Baughman, 32, (Salinas CA) 54:32
7. Chris Fortuna, 39, (Morgan Hill CA) 54:45
8. Sam Aleman, 14, (Exeter CAS) 55:09
9. Kyle Deisenroth, 19, (Morgan Hill CA) 55:22
10. Kurt Fouts, 52, (Capitola CA) 55:51
1. Rae Finchamp, 15, (Altadena CA) 55:39
2. Michelle Laughlin, 22, (Mountain View CA) 1:00:39
3. Nye Avilla, 12, (Wilton CA) 1:00:41
4. Sarah Gilbert, 16, (San Jose CA) 1:01:59
5. Robin Soares, 36, (Auburn CA) 1:02:36
6. Annalise Mariottini, 15, (Seaside CA) 1:03:42
7. Melissa Lewis, 44, (San Anselmo CA) 1:04:17
8. Gabrielle Scheder-Bieschin, 15, (Cotati CA) 1:05:02
9. Elizabeth Caraker, 46, (Monterey CA) 1:05:07
10. Lorna Fortuna, 37, (Morgan Hill CA) 1:05:49
TEAM Otters-R-Us 57:56
TEAM Smores 1:05:17
TEAM KenyaIowaCali 1:11:31
TEAM TwoBits 1:12:04
TEAM Education 1:15:43
TEAM Baby Molas 1:17:58
TEAM California Gurls 1:24:17
TEAM 3B's 1:24:27
TEAM Slimdown 2:24:28
1st Female. Layla Anderson, 31, (Salt Lake City UT) 2:05:15
1st Male. Travis Fugate, 27, (Monterey CA) 1:14: 39