PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Tri-Aroostook has seen a few changes during its three years of existence, but what has stayed consistent are the names of the champions.
Sarah Gahagan and Shawn Berry earned titles once again at this year’s event, held June 28 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. They have been victorious every year since its inception in 2012.
The local triathlon consists of a 525-yard swim at the Gentile Hall pool, a 10.25-mile bike ride from UMPI, south on the Houlton Road to the Spragueville Road and onto the Chapman Road and back to campus; followed by a 3.1-mile run through fields and trails adjacent to the university.
Southern Aroostook area competitors included Tom Zimmerman of Smyrna; Zach Abbotoni of Houlton and Brian Bell of Houlton, who participated on a relay team.
Zimmerman finished 24th in the event with a time of 11:15.79 in the swim; 40:22.19 in the bike; and 28:25.81 in the run for an overall time of 1:20:03.79. He was second in his age division, 60-69, following Eugene Loring of Old Town, who finished 1:19:21.06
Abbotoni was 33rd overall in the event, with a time of 12:52.88 in the swim; 44:07.06 in the bike; and 30:42.63 in the run for a finishing time of 1:27:42.67. He was fourth in his age division, 20-29.
The overall top 10 also included: second, Trevor Levesque of Presque Isle, 1:00:08.54; third, Justin Fereshetian of Mars Hill, 1:01:10.48; fourth, John Hebert of Van Buren, 1:03:41.52; fifth, Dustin Drabek of Presque Isle, 1:05:06.53; seventh, Justin Perry of Presque Isle, 1:08:04.51; eighth, Von Perry of Easton, 1:09:03.53; ninth, Jean-Francois Daigle of Edmundston, New Brunswick, 1:10:28.51; and 10th, Kyle Washington of Presque Isle, 1:11:03.83.
Berry had the fastest times in the swimming (7:02.13) and cycling (28:11.24) legs, while Fereshetian was the fastest on the run (20:09.05).
Kate Parsons of Presque Isle was the second-place female, finishing in 1:12:48.17 and Anja Whittington placed third in 1:14:24.44. Denise Landry-Nadeau of Edmundston, N.B. was fourth in 1:18:14.54 and Stephanie Fields-Beaulieu of Fort Fairfield fifth in 1:18:27.86.
Age division winners were: 15-19 female, Meredith Stewart of Presque Isle; 15-19 male, Drabek; 20-29 female, Parsons; 20-29 male, Fereshetian; 30-39 female, Gahagan; 30-39 male, Berry; 40-49 female, Fields-Beaulieu; 40-49 male, Hebert; 50-59 female, Landry-Nadeau; 50-59 male, V. Perry; 60-69 female, Diane Fleming of Carlisle, Pa.; 60-69 male, Eugene Loring of Old Town; and 70-79 male, Jim Nesbitt of Presque Isle.
Six relay teams took part, with “XTreme Pace,” made up of Brad Barbarula, Levesque and Brian Bell, finishing in 1:00:08.54. Placing second was “2 Chicks & A Rooster,” consisting of Bonnie Wood, Anja Whittington and Stephen Wood, with a time of 1:14:24.44.
Tri-Aroostook Kids was held in conjunction with the regular triathlon, offering shorter distances for youth. Jonathan Kelley, who directed both events, said timing complications prevented winners from being named among youths, but he said that approximately 70 competed.
The overall field of athletes competing in the two was 135 and ranged in age from 6 to 72.