Ralph Wood was the first male competitor and junior athlete to complete the Sprint Course at the 2nd Annual Commonwealth Bank National Triathlon Championships at Jaws Beach on Sunday.
Wood participated in the 16-19 age category and booked his ticket to the CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon & Mixed Relay Championships in Jamaica in August. The top three finishers in each of the CARIFTA age categories automatically qualified for the junior regional meet.
Wood’s overall time was 1:10:47. In his strongest portion of the race, the swim, he recorded a time of 9:59. He had a time of 36:55 on the bike ride, and he ran to the finish line in 21:53.
Going through his race, Wood said: “I know that I can swim good, so when I first jumped in the water, it was my plan to go hard, and make sure I came out in the top three. I came out second, so I made sure that I pushed hard on the bike and I had enough energy left for the run. On the run, I took it at a manageable pace, but then on the last lap I pushed it really hard and I started to sprint.”
Wood said his weakest part of the triathlon is the bike ride but he will be practicing more before CARIFTA. He wants to be a professional triathlete in the future. Wood is a member of the Barracuda Swim Club and the Quick Step Track and Field Club.
Joshua Murray was second to Wood in that age category as he finished the race in 1:13:21. A 2019 CARIFTA open water participant, Murray was the fastest swimmer with a time of 9:26. He cycled for 37:52 before running 24:20.
Tristan Rampersad posted an overall time of 1:25:49. The swim was his toughest part of the competition. He recorded a time of 13:37. He cycled in 40:14 and ran for 30:18.
The sole girl in that age category was Kathleen O’Brien. She finished the race in 1:44:29. It took her 15:49 to complete the swim aspect of the race. Her bike ride was 51:18, and she finished the run in 35:32.
In the 13-15 boys age group, Damani David came away with the gold medal, finishing in a time of 38:51. He swam for 6:40 and rode for 19:33. His time in the run was 10:51.
A happy David said it was good to finish first and added his strongest part of the race was the run.
“The swimming, I was in about second position. The cycling was the same thing and then I passed everybody in the running,” David said.
Jason Cates finished almost two minutes behind David with a time of 40:12. Cates swam for 7:02 before riding for under 20 minutes, recording 19:27. He was a little slower than David in the run, posting a time of 12:18.
It was Akeil Smith who finished third, recording a time of 44:44. His posted a time of 22:33 in the cycling aspect. His time of 13:51 in the run was not enough time to gain ground on Cates and David.
Finishing first in the girls’ division was Kaitlyn Williams. Her overall time was 42:25. She swam for 6:32, and for the cycling and run parts of the race, she recorded times of 21 minutes and 13:37 respectively.
Sienna Culmer-Mackey was the silver medalist in that division as she recorded an overall time of 43:04. She swam for 6:22 and cycled for 21:20 before running for 14:01.
Kami Roach was right behind her with a time of 43:04. She swam for 7:22 before cutting into the leaders with a cycling time of 19:53. Her time in the run portion was 14:59.
Ayden Bain came out on top in the 11-12 boys age group with a time of 23:52. He swam for 3:50 and cycled for 10:36, and his time in the run was 8:20.
Jordan Cheetham’s time of 25:36 was enough to place him in second position. In the swim he posted a time of 4:21. His cycling and run times were 10:46 and 9:12 respectively.
Picking up the bronze medal in a close race with Cheetham was Malcolm Menzies. He finished the race in 25:43, swimming 4:36, cycling 10:24 and running 9:14.
On the girls’ side, it was Anjaleah Knowles clocking the leading time of 25:51. She spent 3:55 swimming, her cycling time was 10:37 and she ran 10:03.
This won’t be her first time going to the CARIFTA Championships. She said she has practiced more and has gotten better from the last time.
The Queen’s College student said: “The toughest part of the race for me was cycling. Since I swim, my swimming helps out with my running, so I’m a long-distance runner as well. Last year right before I went to CARIFTA, I had to learn how to ride a bike so it’s not my strongest.”
Taliyah Bowe was a close second in 26:36. She swam 3:56, then cycled for 11:20, and ran for 10:15.
Erin Pritchard picked up the bronze medal as she finished the race in 27:22. She swam for 4:05, cycled for 10:39 and ran for 11:27.
The CARIFTA Triathlon, Aquathlon & Mixed Relay Championships is set for August 17-18 at Jewels Resorts in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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