Head coach proud of how his Team P.E.I. per­formed un­der tough con­di­tions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY JA­SON MALLOY Ja­son Malloy

Head coach of Canada Games triathlon team proud of how his Team P.E.I. per­formed.

Pi­eter VanLeeuwen and Nick Robert­son came across the fin­ish the line sec­onds apart and then fell to the ground in ex­haus­tion Mon­day at the Canada Games triathlon in St. Clements, Man.

“They went out and did ev­ery­thing they could to­day to do well,” Jamie Why­nacht, a proud head coach, said as the ath­letes re­cov­ered in a nearby tent. “That mo­ment of fall­ing down at the line just per­son­i­fies that. They were killing each other in the last 400 me­tres.”

As the triath­letes were tended to on the ground, one of the par­ents, who wore Tshirts with ‘The Team Be­hind The Team’ printed on the back, yelled, “We’re so proud of you.”

Why­nacht said or­ga­niz­ers did a good job to have wa­ter and ice tow­els on the course, but the heat did play a fac­tor in pre­par­ing strat­egy of the event. He said nor­mally they would tell their ath­letes not to slow down for wa­ter for this type of an event, but it was manda­tory to re­hy­drate on Mon­day with the tem­per­a­ture around 40 C with the hu­midex. The wa­ter tem­per­a­ture was 27C.

There was also some in­ter­nal com­pe­ti­tion as Is­land ath­letes are fight­ing to be on the mixed re­lay team, com­prised of two men and two women, on Fri­day.

“Peter has come so far as a run­ner in the last year and he has so much to be proud of,” said Why­nacht. “Nick is a just a phe­nom­e­nal, nat­u­ral run­ner.”

VanLeeuwen, who holds nu­mer­ous pro­vin­cial swim records and is rel­a­tively new to triathlon, came out of the wa­ter with the top pack of about five swim­mers.

Jeremy Neuf­fer, a top dis­tance run­ner in P.E.I., was pe­nal­ized 10 sec­onds for not hav­ing all of his equip­ment in the box in the tran­si­tion zone from the swim to the cy­cle com­po­nent.

“He dealt with it re­ally well,” Why­nacht said. “That con­cept of hav­ing the ad­ver­sity of run­ning hard in 40-de­gree tem­per­a­tures and then be­ing told you have to take a penalty . . . he dealt with it like a tough young man.”

All three came in around 1:12 to fin­ish 23, 24, 25, re­spec­tively in the 29-man field. Que­bec’s Paul-Alexan­dre Pav­los An­to­ni­ades won the race in 58:13.60.

“There’s a lot to be proud of,” Why­nacht said. “We rep­re­sented our­selves ex­tremely well based on the At­lantic prov­inces.”

Six women and one man didn’t fin­ish the course. Four of the women were in­volved in a crash.

The ath­letes did a 750-me­tre swim, a 20-kilo­me­tre bike and a five-kilo­me­tre run at Birds Hill Pro­vin­cial Park, about 45 min­utes from Win­nipeg, where the ath­letes vil­lage is lo­cated.


Ta­tiana Kelly, Brid­get Keed­well and Siob­han Ber­gin fin­ished 19, 21 and 24, re­spec­tively, out of the 24-women field.

“I was re­ally proud of the girls,” Why­nacht said. “The whole team did ev­ery­thing we ex­pected them to do to­day and I was just very proud of them.”

Their times ranged from 1:17 to 1:26 while Bri­tish Columbia’s De­sirae Ri­de­nour won in 1:04:39.40.

Kelly, a gifted run­ner, ran down seven com­peti­tors in the fi­nal leg of the triathlon.

“She’s tech­ni­cally beau­ti­ful,” the head coach said. “She has in­cred­i­ble run­ning tech­nique and she’s just a tough kid. When you add those two things to­gether and she’s done all the work she’s sup­posed to do, then you see those kind of re­sults.”


Fam­ily mem­bers show their sup­port as Charlottetown’s Nick Robert­son starts his fi­nal lap of the run­ning com­po­nent of the triathlon Mon­day at the Canada Games.


The Team P.E.I. women’s triathlon team, from left, are Siob­han Ber­gin, Ta­tiana Kelly and Brid­get Keed­well.

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