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Okanagan athlete races to first at Triathlon American Championships

A West Kelowna athlete captured gold at a junior men's triathlon race in Mexico on Friday.
A West Kelowna athlete captured gold at a junior men's triathlon race in Mexico on Friday. Global News

An Okanagan athlete won the junior men’s race at the Triathlon American Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, on Friday.

Brock Hoel, 18, of West Kelowna, finished the sprint-distance event in a winning time of 56 minutes and 53 seconds. The sprint-distance triathlon was comprised of a 750-m swim, 20-km bike and five-km run.

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Placing second in the 46-athlete field, six seconds behind Hoel, was Jose Alaniz Ordonez of Mexico (56:59). Behind him were Rene Martinez Garcia and Juan Hernandez, both of Mexico (both 57:19), with Canadian Filip Mainville in fifth (57:37).

Hoel’s swim time was 9:12, eight seconds behind the leader, and he reportedly fell while coming out of the water, but recovered and transitioned quickly to the bike portion.

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Hoel’s bike time was 30:50, which put him slightly behind the leaders. However, an excellent run — 15:47, best of the day — allowed him to close the gap, then take over the lead.

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“It became completely a mental fight,” Hoel told Triathlon Canada. “I’ve trained extremely hard for this race.

“I knew it was going to take an amazing run to win the race, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on for the last six months — building to this moment.”

Rounding out the Canadian performances were Tristen Jones in 15th (58:53) and Kaelen Kolb in 33rd (1:03:11).

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The junior women’s race was won by Anahi Alvarez Corral of Mexico in 1:04:41. There were seven Canadians competing: Colette Reimer in 8th (1:06:31); Alexandrine Coursol in 10th (1:06:50), Kira Gupta-Baltazar in 16th (1:07:32); Teagan Shapansky in 26th (1:10:53); Emma Skaug in 27th (1:11:43); and Nataliia Kolesova in 31st (1:13:03); and Ella Kubas (DNF).

For more on the Triathlon American Championships, click here.