Erica Hawley (9th) and Tyler Smith’s (6th) performances last weekend in the Central American and Caribbean Junior Elite Triathlon Championships were all the more commendable as they had not only overcome the 30 degree + heat and 100% humidity but also the language barrier. Other than Erica’s high school Spanish and a Trinidadian bi lingual coach they had no way of communicating at the race. However the race was held on good, flat roads on a naval base and was well organized.
Tyler again suffered a mishap in transitition when bumped by a fellow competitor who knocked over his bike and dislodged a shoe from a pedal when he was poised to go out with the lead group after the swim. He then had to work hard with two others to get back up to the leaders at the end of the 3rd of four laps on the bike. A group of 12 exited T2 together and Tyler ran his way into 6th on the flat but slightly long 5km run.
Erica got off to a strong start ( beach start) and swam in a lead pack of 5 girls. She came out of the water 4th with a time of 10:42. These girls formed the first group on the 20km bike with a chase group 20 to 30 seconds behind . Their group of 5 managed to stay away although Erica would have liked them all to work harder. Communicating in the group was difficult as she was the only English speaking one!
The run was tough in the heat and while Erica lost some places she hung on well to finish 9th overall.
Both juniors have another 2 years in this Junior category so their performances were especially encouraging.
RESULTS AT THIS LINK :