Pawlowski Returns To Win Third Annual Hamptons Youth Triathlon
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By Drew Budd
Tyler Pawlowski came, he saw, and he conquered—again.
The 14-year-old Garden City resident, who is about to enter his sophomore year at Long Island Lutheran, repeated as champion of the third annual Hamptons Youth Triathlon at Long Beach in Sag Harbor on Thursday, July 20, beating out the 114 competitors comprised of mostly teenagers. It was Pawlowski’s third consecutive triathlon victory, as he won the Tobay Triathlon a month after winning last year’s Hamptons Youth Triathlon.
Pawlowski crossed the finish line in a new course record of 35:19.60, besting the previous record of 38:23.90 set by Chasen Dubs in 2015. He let out a huge celebratory roar that pumped up the large crowd on hand at the finish line.
“I had a feeling of relief, a feeling of happiness,” he said of his win. “It was also rewarding because of how hard I worked with my training. My training in swimming helped get me to where I am.”
Pawlowski swims for the Long Island Aquatic Club based out of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. He recently made it onto the podium at a swim event in Maryland. Pawlowski credited his two coaches, Alexis Skelos and David Pette, for training him.
Since it’s a youth triathlon, the course distances were shorter than that of a typical triathlon. It began with a 300-yard open water swim just off the shore of Long Beach and was monitored East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue members. The swim was followed by a 7-mile bike ride and a 1.5-mile run to the finish line.
Kal Lewis, 15, of Shelter Island, placed second overall in 41:47.87 while Bella Tarbet, 14, of Springs, placed third overall and was the first girl to finish in 43:35.49. Hadley Clayton, 15, and Victoria Grosskoff, 13, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 44:45.51 and 44:46.66.
Full results can be found on just-in-time-racing.com by clicking on “Road Races” in the top right-hand corner of the page.
The main beneficiary of the Hamptons Youth Triathlon is I-Tri, a group that promotes confidence and self-esteem for young girls through various initiatives, including a several weeks long training regimen that begins in February specifically in preparation for the triathlon. First-time participant Tahnie Sullivan, a 12-year-old Sag Harbor resident and seventh grader at Pierson Middle School, was the first I-Tri girl to cross the finish line, 11th overall, in 47:19.64.
Theresa Roden, founder of I-Tri, said that it’s also important to give credit to the last girl who crossed the finish line, because finishing the race is a huge endeavor in and of itself for many of the girls involved. Jasmine Reardon, 12, of Shirley, could not swim when she started with I-Tri in February. Roden addded that Jasmine, who also suffers from asthma, was quite scared of getting in the water at first. But last week, Reardon put all of her nerves behind her and finish her first triathlon.
“The fact that she learned to swim in open water is incredible and a true testament to her and all of our coaches and staff,” Roden said. “She’s already started thinking about coming back next year.”
The youth triathlon was originally scheduled for July 15 but thunderstorms came in and forced a postponement of the event. That following Friday, Roden let all parties involved, including the Southampton Town Parks Department and Southampton Town Police, know of the postponement, and by Monday she had an answer that everything was on for Thursday, July 20.
“The Town of Southampton has been incredible ever since we moved the race to Long Beach,” Roden said. “The fact that we were able to turn that all around was incredible and members of Southampton Town and everyone else involved truly support the growth of our youth in the community.”