Hawley and Smith finish in top ten

  • Hawley impressed against tough competition (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Junior triathletes Erica Hawley and Tyler Smith clinched top-ten finishes in the North American Junior Elite Championships in Sarasota, Florida, last weekend.

Hawley, fresh off a second-place finish at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Elite Championships the previous weekend, had perhaps an even more impressive performance in placing fourth on Saturday against a field that included athletes from three of the top junior triathlon countries in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Hawley, a freshman at the University of Colorado, executed a near perfect race and only missed out on a podium finish in a sprint with Canadian Kyla Roy as they both recorded the same time of 59 min 29 sec.

Hawley was also only 20 seconds behind winner Hye Rim Jeong, of South Korea, her training partner in Boulder.

Hawley emerged from the 750-metre swim with the lead group in 10:38 and established herself in the lead group of cyclists over the 20km bike, which she completed in 29:14 to exit the transition with the leaders.

She then recorded a time of 18:46 for the 5km run while Jeong ran an 18:20 time as second place went to Hannah Henry, also from Canada, in 59:13.

Jeong was the bronze medal-winner at last yearís Junior Elite World Championships where Henry finished twelfth.

Smith was left ruing what might have been in the junior menís race after a poor swim by his standards left him trailing the leaders by almost a minute.

Smith then found himself in the fourth group of cyclists with a lot of work to do going into the run.

He did make a big break on the run, recording a time of 16:40, one of the fastest times of the day, to finish in ninth place in 56:11. The race was won by Darr Smith, of the US, in 53:28.

Another Bermudian, Lyndsey Palmer, placed 51st out of 58 competitors in the 16-19 age group where she was competing for the first time.

She finished in 1:09:11 after splits of 12:05 for the swim, 34:59 for the bike and 21:13 in the run.

Nick Pilgrim and Caleb Ingham, two of Bermudaís elite youth triathletes in the 13-15 age group, produced strong finishes at the Camtri Youth Elite Triathlon in Sarasota last weekend.

Pilgrim finished eighth in 34:45 while Ingham also produced a solid performance, placing in the top half of the field with an overall time of 36:42.