New format of Tsalteshi Triathlon draws large crowd of competitors

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon took three years to bounce back. Soldotna junior Ari Goldstein took a little less than two days.

Goldstein, who Saturday afternoon competed in the state track and field meet in Anchorage, was the overall women's winner Monday at the Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon. Chugiak's Ron Larsen picked up the victory for the men.

The Tsalteshi Triathlon is back after a three-year hiatus. The event was fast becoming a local tradition when it reached its ninth year at Tsalteshi Trails, located behind Skyview High School, in 1999.

However, the triathlon was not held in 2000 due to road construction, and it took until this year to revive the event.

John Steckel, the race director, brought back the event under a different format. Instead of using road bikes that strayed far from Tsalteshi Trails, Steckel went with mountain bikes that used the trails.

Steckel also went with just one race for adults. The race features a 500-yard swim, 5-mile bike and 3-mile run.

The general reaction to the new format Monday was favorable and the race drew a large number of participants.


James Bennett puts on his shoes for the biking portion of the triathlon while Rebecca McKee runs from the swimming pool to her bike.

Photo by McNair Rivers

The Mini-Triathlon, for those sixth grade and younger, had 19 individual participants and 15 teams of three. The Open Triathlon had 72 finishers and 30 teams of three.

While Steckel said the focus of the race was to get the community involved, the event also crackled with the spirit of competition.

Never was this more apparent than in Goldstein's victory in the women's category. At the state track meet Saturday, Goldstein set a new Soldotna High School record by finishing third in the 800-meter run in a time of 2 minutes, 16.87 seconds.

Goldstein needed every bit of that finishing speed to defeat Carly Reimer, an assistant ski coach at Soldotna High School. Goldstein and Reimer finished the swim at the same time, but Reimer blew Goldstein away on the bike.

"I didn't even see her after the first hill on the bike," Goldstein said. "I had to run up a lot of the hills with my bike."

There were no official splits kept, but Goldstein said she was about 1:35 behind Reimer after the first loop of the three-mile run.

However, by the time Goldstein reached a long downhill that leads to the finish line, she had Reimer in her sights. Using the same kick that served her well in Saturday's 800, Goldstein surged past Reimer at the finish line. Both were credited with times of 54:13.

"At the bottom of the hill, somebody yelled to me, 'Ari's coming,'" Reimer said. "I tried to pick up my speed, but I knew I was in trouble because she is such a great runner."

Emily Rhodes was third overall with a time of 54:35.

So was Goldstein more physically whipped due to competing at the state track meet a few days ago?

"I'm not sure," she said. "I've never done one of these before, so I'm not sure how I should feel."

The men's race also featured a comeback of sorts, although it was not nearly as dramatic.

Larsen, 44, emerged from the pool 49 seconds behind Soldotna graduate Lucas Petersen, a junior on the University of Minnesota swim team.

However, Larsen churned past Petersen in the bike leg and won going away with a time of 44:27. Fred West was second at 45:41, Max Lemons was third at 46:28 and Petersen fell to fourth at 47:14.

"He swam well," Larsen said of Petersen. "He had a 5:20, and I had a 6:09. There's no way I could ever swim a 5:20."

However, when Larsen caught Petersen on the bike leg, he instantly noticed he had a big advantage. The 5-mile bike loop features some monster hills, and Petersen was having trouble hitting them with the correct gears.

"I was using my sister's bike," Petersen said. "I didn't have the gears figured out at the beginning. In fact, I don't think I ever had the gears figured out."

Larsen had been one of the top finishers in the old format for the Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon, although this was his first victory.

He said he likes the new format of the triathlon, although he jested that he'd like to see the bike loop be a little longer because biking is his strength.

Larsen, who plays piano in the Air Force Band, will not be back to defend his title because he is moving to Virginia in August.

In the team competition, Benjamin Lavigne, Justin Moore and Steve Gilles had the top time, coming in at 45:25.

Winners in the Mini-Triathlon are William Faulkner, Kristen Faulkner and the team of Mark Youngren, Dillon Ball and Stryker McLane.

Tsalteshi Trails Triathlon


at Tsalteshi Trails

Open Triathlon Course

5-mile bike, 3-mile run, 500-yard swim


Ages 13-16 1. Ari Goldstein, 54 minutes, 13 seconds; 2. Katie Franzmann, 56:38; 3. Katy Pankoski, 58:07; 4. Jenny Smola, 1:11:00; 5. Rachel McCartan, 1:11:51; 6. Madison Moe, 1:17:41.

Ages 17-21 1. Kristi Knudsen, 59:34; 2. Rachel Goldstein, 1:01:18; 3. Audrey Smith, 1:02:16; 4. Cory Hershberger, 1:11:39.

Ages 22-30 1. Carly Reimer, 54:13; 2. Anne Dubber, 58:13; 3. Johanna Kohl, 1:02:59; 4. Martha Dennis, 1:03:05; 5. Julie Laker, 1:04:26; 6. Rachel Duffy, 1:04:43; 7. Tamra Wear, 1:11:34; 8. Amie Wagner, 1:20:25; 9. Kasey Drath, 1:20:29; 10. Megen Van Dusen, 1:21:59; 11. Heather McCarthy, 1:32:15.

Ages 31-40 1. Emily Rhodes, 54:35; 2. Rebecca McKee, 1:00:53; 3. D'Anna Gibson, 1:03:45; 4. Anne Gore, 1:04:39; 5. Tammy Bolen, 1:05:42; 6. Margaret Griffin, 1:06:16; 7. Wendy Brown-Bjornton, 1:08:10; 8. Jill Rife, 1:17:35; 9. Kimberly Lanier, 1:18:04; 10. Diane Duncan, 1:30:45; 11. Tracy McBee, 1:32:06.

Ages 41-50 1. Kathi Crane, 1:00:15; 2. Cathy Janigo, 1:02:49; 3. Melissa Anderson, 1:03:03; 4. Connie Tobin, 1:06:03; 5. Lynda Ford, 1:08:12; 6. Ruth Dickerson, 1:09:36; 7. Jane Faulkner, 1:14:39; 8. Jane Eveland, 1:16:21; 9. Debbie Tressler, 1:18:50; 10. Annette Pankoski, 1:19:27; 11. Denise Harro, 1:21:18; 12. Gail Moore, 1:22:47.

Ages 13-16 1. Kipp Dixon, 54:14; 2. Andrew Faulkner, 55:54; 3. Caleb Chase, 1:00:30.

Ages 17-21 1. Lucas Petersen, 47:15; 2. Adam Tressler, 49:22; 3. Ben Histand, 58:00; 4. Mark McCartan, 1:06:22.

Ages 22-30 1. Shad Barnett, 52:42; 2. Darin Van Dusen, 1:07:04.

Ages 31-40 1. Fred West, 45:41; 2. Max Lemons, 46:28; 3. Michael Wirschem, 56:50; 4. Allan Miller, 58:14; 5. Ben Praker, 1:02:48; 6. John Pothast, 1:04:02; 7. Mark Laker, 1:06:27; 8. Shawn Horning, 1:18:12.

Ages 41-50 1. Ron Larsen, 44:27; 2. Alan Holt, 1:00:15; 3. James Bennett, 1:00:52; 4. Michael Chase, 1:03:16; 5. Michael Fillingim, 1:07:37; 6. Peter McKay, 1:08:41; 7. Kelly Perkins, 1:11:12; 8. George Stein, 1:12:48.

Ages 51-60 1. Pete Ehrhardt, 1:04:05; 2. Jay Holtan, 1:11:35; 3. Donald Hansen, 1:29:47.

Relay race

Total ages 100-129 1. Benjamin Lavigne, Justin Moore, Steve Gilles, 45:25; 2. Kristine Moerlein, Tracy Foister, Darrel Foister, 55:58; 3. Lisa Kent, Heidi Biggs, Janet Arneson, 1:02:17; 4. Terri Cowart, Ben McGarry, Ludy Link, 1:04:31; 5. Karli Knudsen, Liz Burck, David Knudsen, 1:07:00; 6. Tammy Strausbaugh, Pamela Russell, Claire Caldes, 1:07:09; 7. Katie Pault, Angie Nelson, Mary Rhyner, 1:10:28; 8. Debbie Allen, Elizabeth Hayes, Donna Lester, 1:18:20.

Ages 130-149 (assisted) 1. Lyla Marey, Kathy Nikolas, Amy McVee, 1:04:37.

Ages 130-149 1. Patti Berkhahn, Bob Hempstead, Jayne Hempstead, 56:51; 2. Lucy Mahan, Marcia Boone, Chris Szymoniak, 1:01:43; 3. Carolann Barum, Kelli Stroh, Eileen Bryson, 1:02:08; 4. Tina Williamson, Forrest Nelson, 1:17:14.

Ages 49 and under 1. Marci Mohler, Quinn Bennett, Keegan Birchfield, 47:13; 2. Carissa Arnold, Patrick Parker, Lucus Thein, 51:33; 3. Michaela Shirnberg, Jamie Duke, Eli Waldrip, 52:29; 4. Laura Harro, Lauren Olendorff, Mara Mohler, 55:37; 5. Kendra Merkes, Ariel Barker, Hannah Haupt, 56:29; 6. Marit Hartvigson, Jacob Franzmann, Eddie French, 57:17; 7. Josh Carlon, Brendon Dockery, Josh Lansing, 57:47; 8. Allie Schoessler, Anthony Augusto, Sara Jensen, 59:15; 9. Tess Caswell, Sarah Youngren, Ali Wykis, 59:59; 10. Jennifer Stenga, Annie Gardner, Shelly Barker, 1:04:07.

Ages 50-74 1. Dan Harbison, Catie Coursen, Alex Hundertmark, 46:43; 2. Clayton Harrison, David Hernandez, Ryan Walton, 46:51; 3. Kelsie Remsen, Trevor Baldwin, Gregory Hampton, 51:07; 4. Linda Ulrich, Carl Ulrich, Candance Cartwright, 59:05.

Ages 75-99 1. Nathan Grabowski, Richard Byrd, Leon Alsworth, 46:04; 2. Jenae Saltzgiver, Nate Saltzgiver, Kelly Saltzgiver, 55:30; 3. Jennifer Gastrock, Brendan McKee, Brian Gastrock, 57:47.

Mini-Triathlon Course

1-mile run, 3-mile bike, 200-yard swim

Girls assisted 1. Jessica Duke, 26:50.

Boys assisted 1. Bud Sparks, 31:00.

Girls unassisted 1. Kristen Faulkner, 24:04; 2. Molly Watkins, 29:15; 3. Holly Perkins, 30:19; 4. Shelby Dykstra, 30:51; 5. McKenzie Mahan, 36:40; 6. Sarah Rife, 1:02:02.

Boys unassisted 1. William Faulkner, 23:32; 2. Travis Price, 25:04; 3. Matthew Byars, 25:52; 4. Brady Perkins, 26:28; 5. Pyper Dixon, 27:03; 6. Brayden Holt, 27:34; 7. Drew Alkire, 29:56; 8. Tyler Best, 30:02; 9. Aaron Chase, 34:45; 10. Gerald McBee, 42:16; 11. Leif Danielson, 51:00.

Team assisted 1. Tanner Gibbons, Kyle Scarlett, Kenley Scarlett, 26:26.

Team unassisted 1. Mark Youngren, Dillon Ball, Stryker McLane, 24:16; 2. Jessica Stenga, Karen Senette, Emily Rohloff, 24:32; 3. Lillie Barrett, Jacob Pass, Peter McKay Jr., 26:29; 4. Cameron Foister, Michael Moerlein, 26:42; 5. Brett Meyer, Jake Darrow, Mariah Darrow, 27:06; 6. Lisa Evans, Shelleen Leritz, Theresa Ramponi, 27:54; 7. Kendra Ashwell, Trevor Wagoner, Noah Carter, 27:54; 8. Dylan Wannamaker, Lincoln Wensley, Morgan Wensley, 27:56; 9. Chanta Spain, Kristina Taylor, Samantha Little, 29:05; 10. April Heffner, Melissa Massey, Brittany Meyer, 29:08; 11. Makenzie Moore, Brandi Wagoner, Taylor Ostrander, 31:28; 12. Freya Chay, Maya Chay, Maya Johnson, 34:40; 13. Joy Wannamaker, Olivia Fair, Kelty Fair, 34:43; 14. Keir Johnson, Caitlin Steinbeck, Courtney Stroh, 47:40.

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