Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Front row, from left: Mary Margaret Deedrick, Rachel Umphress, Trevor Ogden, Jakob Dewald, Lindsey Dewald and Amanda Cordes. Back row, from left: Jack Deedrick, coach Boris Robinson, Amber Vredenburg, Cody Spraker and Kalani Kayser.

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Team Hawai'i surprised itself with a third-place finish in its inaugural national race, the U.S.A. Triathlon Youth Nationals in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., recently.

There were 12 registered teams in the club division.

Jack Deedrick, who finished second in the male 13-15 age group, led the 10-member Hawai'i team, half of whom finished in the top 10 of their events. Cody Spraker (13-15) was seventh and Jakob Dewald (9-10) ninth in their age groups.

Amber Vredenburg (13-15) and Rachel Umphress (7-8) were 10th in their divisions.

I'm very proud (of) our performance at nationals, said JJ Johnson, HYTC director. Our goal was to take a triathlon youth team and give them the opportunity to experience competiting on the Mainland at the national level. Coming in third overall against season teams from the Mainland exceeded my wildest dreams.

This was an amazing experience for the kids and their parents, said Boris Robinson, HYTC head coach.

The four-year-old HYTC has more than 300 participants and offers clinics and organized training, officials said. The HYTC is open to athletes 7 to 19 years old and all levels of experience.

The HYTC Web site is: www.hawaiiyouthtri.com.