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Libby Larson / Forum News Service, Published August 17 2013

Triathlon received well by Detroit Lakes area

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A cheerful and relaxed race atmosphere more than compensated for what began as a cool and windy morning for the ninth annual Young Life Triathlon on Saturday.

Numbers were slightly down from previous years, as 384 athletes competed in the fundraising event.

“This is the first year we didn’t have an increase,” said Peter Paulson, area director for Lakes Area Young Life.

However, Paulson didn’t appear concerned, noting that registration has decreased around 10 percent in triathlon registration across the Midwest, partially as a result of the growing emergence of similar events.

Smaller registration numbers couldn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the volunteers.

“The race entrants were down, but our volunteers came out in droves,” Paulson said. “We’ve just been so blessed by our volunteers this year,” he added.

Especially praising the efforts of fellow event coordinators Jason Loney and Greg Johnson, Paulson said, “They’ve really taken it to the next level, leading on a team of incredible people.”

The morning of competition got underway with the first wave of men tackling the Olympic Course, plunging into the wavy waters of Detroit Lake for the 1.5-kilometer swim. The women, relay, and Sprint Course competitors followed closely behind.

The flowering rush that has plagued swimmers in past years has declined this summer, and race coordinators reported a sharp decrease in complaints about weedy conditions.

Detroit Lake also served as the backdrop for the biking and running portions of the event, as the road circling the body of water marked the routes.

City officials have been supportive of the event since it moved from the Castaway Club near Audubon, Minn., to the heart of Detroit Lakes in 2007, and Paulson said, “the Chamber and Tourism Bureau have been spectacular.”

“The whole community has just opened the doors to make that happen,” he added.

Sean Cooley of Grand Forks returned to the Young Life Triathlon this summer, winning the Olympic Course race for the third year in a row.

“I guess the main reason I come back is the low-key atmosphere,” Cooley said. “Everyone is having a good time, and there’s not a lot of pressure.”

Cooley’s winning time was 1 hour, 58 minutes, 57 seconds.

Melanie Carvell of Bismarck won the women’s division of the Olympic Course, finishing in 2:21.33.

Jay Jorgenson from Ogema, Minn., claimed first place in the sprint division with a time of 1:00.30.

Karin Gardner of Mandan, N.D., was the winning sprinter for the women, taking first with a time of 1:06.42.

Olympic Course

Men

1, Sean Cooley, Grand Forks, 1:58.57. 2, David Lewis, Nevis, Minn., 2:07.23. 3, Billy Brenden, Flagstaff, Ariz., 2:08.01. 4, Luke Nelson, Ramsey, Minn., 2:08.48. 5, Tyler Zima, Fargo, 2:11.09. 6, Jason Beckermann, Eau Claire, Wis., 2:12.39. 7, Jamerson Perry, Bismarck, 2:13.35. 8, Jeff Juntti, Negaunee, Mich., 2:15.17. 9, Shane Jacobs, Tampa, Fla., 2:15.27. 10, Casey Miller, Baxter, Minn., 2:16.24.

Women

1, Melanie Carvell, Bismarck, 2:21.33. 23, Heather Harris, Grand Forks, 2:29.13. 28, Jody Mullet, Chaska, Minn., 2:31.59. 4, Deb Hess, St. Paul, 2:37.17. 5, Amy Miller, Fargo, 2:39.06. 6, Cassie Jensen, Moorhead, 2:43.07. 7, Marie Moeckel, Moorhead, 2:45.34. 8, Lindsey Leker, Moorhead, 2:45.58. 9, Macey Boseck, Minot, N.D., 2:46.56. 10, Lisa Knudson, Portland, N.D., 2:47.09.

Sprints

Men

1, Jay Jorgenson, Osage, Minn., 1:00.30. 2, Justin Domogalla, Staples, Minn., 1:03.52. 3, Mike Johnson, Shakopee, Minn., 1:04.56. 4, Philip Imholte, Grand Rapids, Minn., 1:05.05. 5, Greg Mathern, Bismarck, 1:06.45. 6, Greg Vetter, Hendrum, Minn., 1:06.58. 7, Brian Sitz, Hazen, N.D., 1:07.41. 8, Cory Bellefeiulle, Ogema, Minn., 1:07.44. 9, Tony Schwan, Aberdeen, S.D., 1:07.57. 10, Thomas Schauer, West Fargo, 1:08.07.

Women

1, Karin Gardner, Mandan, N.D., 1:06.42. 2, Tara Makinen, Grand Rapids, Minn., 1:07.06. 3, Kimberly Ault, Mound, Minn., 1:07.39. 4, Kelly Heltemes, Eden Prairie, Minn., 1:11.33. 5, Taryn Brenna, Fargo, 1:11.37. 6, Shelly Howe, Edina, Minn., 1:12.11. 7, Tanya Holte, Fargo, 1:13.20. 8, Sara Pfau, Bismarck, 1:13.38. 9, Linda Belanger, International Falls, Minn., 1:14.09. 10, Tracy Lind, Fargo, 1:14.15.

Larson writes for the Detroit Lakes Tribune