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Tierra Verde man shines at Venice YMCA Triathlon

Local triathlete Chris Pyhel of Tierra Verde continued his string of strong performances at area triathlons this summer.

Pyhel, 39, was the top Pinellas triathlete at the Venice YMCA Triathlon on Saturday.

Pyhel placed fourth overall after completing the quarter-mile swim, 8-mile bike and 3.1-mile run in 50:01. He was the top triathlete in the 35- to 39-year-old division.

Pyhel was less than a minute off the winning pace set by Shawn Johnson of North Port, who finished in 49:13.

Arthur Halttunen of St. Petersburg came in first in the 60-64 division after crossing the finish line in 57:08. Halttunen, 60, placed 17th overall.

ST. PETE ROAD RUNNERS: Ginger Herring will be the guest speaker at tonight's St. Pete Road Runners monthly meeting.

Herring, a St. Pete Road Runners board member, is an avid runner and has an article in the recent version of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Service Center, located at 3050 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg.

HAMMERHEAD OLYMPIC TRIATHLON: Kevin Danielson, 49 of Oldsmar, won the Clydesdale 40-99 division at the Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon in Camp Blanding on Aug. 29.

Danielson completed the triathlon in 2:33:05. He was 56th overall.

Pat Brighton, 61 of St. Petersburg, was the fastest female triathlete in the 60-64 group. Brighton crossed the finish line in four hours, 10 minutes.

The Olympic triathlon distance consisted of a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run.

FITNICHE 5K: Michael Weiss, 47 of Oldsmar, was the top runner in the men's 45-49 group at the Fitniche 5K in Lakeland on Saturday.

Weiss ran 17:55 to win his age division.

USA SWIMMING: A number of local swimmers made the cut on the initial list of qualifiers for the 2012 Olympic Trials, which will be held in Omaha, Neb., from June 25-July 2, 2012.

Qualifying from St. Petersburg Aquatics are Summer Finke (800 freestyle), Melanie Margalis (200 IM), Megan Romano (50, 100, 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Tommy Wyher (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly).

The Clearwater Aquatic Team had three swimmers qualify: Nicholas Alexiou (400 freestyle), Matthew Ellis (100, 200 butterfly, 100 freestyle) and Cameron Martin (200 butterfly).

Nicholas Caldwell (200, 400, 1500 freestyle, 400 IM), Derek Pridemore (1500 freestyle), Taylor Katz (400 freestyle, 200 butterfly) and Danielle Valley (400, 800 freestyle), all of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks swim team, made the list, as did Jason Taylor (400, 1500 freestyle) and Merrill Wilson (200 butterfly) of the Brandon Sports and Aquatics Center.

Also, Jeb Halfacre (100 backstroke) of Lakeland Area Swimming and Claire Thompson (200, 400 freestyle) of West Florida Lightning Aquatics were selected as well.

The 2012 Olympic swim team will be selected at these trials.

MORE SWIM NEWS: Team Florida was the overall winner at the Southern Zone Age Group Championships held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta from July 27-31.

Of the 47 swimmers on Team Florida, 11 were from Pinellas County.

Representing St. Petersburg Aquatics were Macy Marshburn, Jessica Piper and Ashley Reid.

From the Clearwater Aquatic Team, Sydney Pickrem, Matthew Hirschberger, Grant Sanders and Nazareno Boscaino represented Team Florida.

Michelle Turek and Rasmus Skaerpe from Tampa Bay Aquatics as well as Andrew Belcik from Piranhas YMCA of the Suncoast Swim Team and Zach Metka of West Florida Lightning Aquatics were also key members of Team Florida's victory.

upcoming events


• Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs, Family 5K, "Run to the Sun," 6:30 p.m., Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, or call (727) 945-8069


• Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs, 21st Sprint Triathlon, 8 a.m., Fred Howard Park, Tarpon Springs, or call (727) 945-8069

• Morton Plant Prostate Cancer Awareness 5K, 7:30 a.m., Cheek Powell Wellness Center, Clearwater, (727) 580-1896


• Aces are Wild Runs (5K, 10K, 15K, half-marathon), 7:30 a.m., Del Oro Park, Clearwater, (727) 736-8232

Sept. 18

• One Step Closer to the Cure 5K and 1-mile Run/Walk, 7:30 a.m. 5K, 8:30 a.m. 1-mile, Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg, 480 Bayshore Drive SE, or David Moran at

Sept. 19

• The Crusher (8-hour) and The Crumbler (2-3 hours) Adventure Races. Crusher: paddle, mountain bike, run, hike, map/compass navigation, no GPS allowed. Crumbler: bike, paddle, run. Solo or two- or three-person teams, Chassohowitzka,

Sept. 25

• Miles for Hope 5K and 1-mile, 8 a.m., Coachman Park, Clearwater, (727) 781-4673

• Zoo Run Run 5K and 1-mile, 8 a.m., Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, (813) 935-8552, ext. 239

• Miles for Hope Bike Rides (25K/50K/100K), 7:15 a.m., Coachman Park, Clearwater. or (727) 781-4673

Tierra Verde man shines at Venice YMCA Triathlon 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 4:30am]
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