Article published on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007
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Photo courtesy of SEMINOLE LANDSHARKS
Members of the Seminole Landsharks youth triathlon team relax poolside Aug. 4 following competition in the Tri-Fever Kids Triathlon in Land O’ Lakes. From left are Angelica Ambrose, Catherine McClure, Josh Joy, Jennifer Kistemaker, Jessica Kiggins, Stephanie Kistemaker and Anna Palm.
SEMINOLE – For most kids, summer vacation from school signals a down time. A time to relax and, for many kids, to become inactive.

But for a group of 24 Seminole kids ages 8 to 16, their summer was just the opposite as members of the City of Seminole Landsharks triathlon team, which trains at the Seminole Recreation Center.

In its third year, under the direction of Recreation Director Jim Sheets, the group trained the full 13 weeks of summer vacation three days a week.

Sheets said team members ages 8 to 10 collectively logged more than 250 miles of running and 75 miles of swimming over the summer while the 11- to 16-year-olds turned in 650 miles of running and 175 miles of swimming.

The group competed in the Meek & Mighty Triathlon in St. Petersburg on April 28; The Mini Madeira Beach Mad Dog Triathlon, May 19; Seminole’s Tri if you Dare Kids Triathlon, July 28; and the Land O’Lakes Tri-Fever, Aug. 4. Each event specified a certain distance for competition in a distance run, bike ride and swimming.

The final event of the season will be the Disney World Kids Triathlon, Sept. 22.

“In this day and age when people aren’t in good shape, these kids are breaking the trend,” said Sheets. “It’s a testament to their dedication and their families’ support.”

In the Land O’Lakes event, Jennifer Kistemaker was the overall champion of the boys/girls 7 to 10 age division and Steven Rusnak was tops overall in the 11-older division. Also capturing first place in their age divisions were 11-year-old Patrick Crandall, 11-year-old Ellie Palm, 14-year-old Jessica Kiggins and 16-year-old Jordan Case.

Other top finishers included Catherine McClure, fifth in the girls 9-year-old division; Rebecca Kiggins, second, girls 10-year-olds; Angelica Ambrose, fifth, girls 10-year-olds; Alexis Stevens, second, girls 11-year-olds; Rachel Kistemaker, second, girls 12-year-olds; Amanda Fretz, fourth, girls 13-15; Kyle Snodgrass, sixth, boys 10-year-olds; Austin Egan, eighth, boys 10-year-olds; Josh Joy, fifth, boys 11-year-olds; Justin Lipe, fifth, boys 12-year-olds; Jonathan Kistemaker, fourth, boys 13-15; D.J. Bumiller, second, boys 16-18.

Other members of the team are Nora McClure, Stepahnie Kistemaker, Matthew Wonsick, Hannah Palm, Jon Kistemaker, Paul Bumiller and Nick Mastromarino.

In the parent-child competition, two teams finished the event – Julia and Claudia Palm, and Corey and Eli Joy.

In the longer distance Babes and Bum Triathlon the same day, a pair of 13-year-olds, Hannah Palm and Stephanie Kristemaker, finished third and fourth respectively in a tough 19-under female division, while coaches Chris Bornfleth (first place, male 30-34 division), Joyce Kistemaker (first, female 40-44) and Sheets (third, male 45-49) rounded out the results.

The Landsharks team is sponsored by the law offices of DeLoach & Hofstra, Bicycle Outfitters of Seminole, Palm Investments and the city of Seminole.

For more information, call 391-8345.