For the third straight year, John Savage was crowned champion in the men’s Olympic division of the Bass Lake Yosemite Triathlon June 3, while Shannon Middleton finished first in the women’s group.
Savage, 30, from Piedmont, finished the 1500 meter swim, 40 kilometer bike, and 5k run in and around Bass Lake in a blazing 2:15:22, followed by 21-year-old Sam Aleman at 2:20:56 and 23-year-old Justin Riele at 2:29:11. Though Savage claimed his third consecutive win, he finished a bit slower than his previous victories, notching a time of 2:09:12 last year and 2:12:50 in 2015.
Middleton, 40, won with a time of 2:48:12, followed by 40-year-old Lisa Narum in a close 2:49:46, and 27-year-old Laura Maccarley in 2:51:18.
Last year’s Olympic women’s champion, then-16-year-old Illi Gardner, did not compete this year.
Lyle wins sprint race
In the Sprint division, which consists of a 500m swim, 20k bike, and 5k run, Robert Lyle, 39, also repeated as top male performer, finishing in 1:17:11. Matt Lundy and Chris Wilson, 32 and 21 years old respectively, finished next at 1:18:56 and 1:20:50.
For the women’s group, 40-year-old Lori Soriano repeated as Sprint champion, finishing with a time of 1:25:15. She was followed by 47-year-old Felicia Gomez in one of the closest finishes at 1:25:23, and Jessica Bennink, 35, at 1:26:56.
For relay teams, in the Olympic mixed relays, Pottymouths won with a time of 2:53:29.6, followed by Moxie Squad in 2:58:14.7 and 3 Amigos in 3:05:23.9.
Team Duby won in the Sprint Mixed Relay at 1:36:47.4, followed by the Chambered Racers at 1:42:57.7 and Team Lechenne at 1:50:07.5. For the Olympic male relay, Three Old Guys were winners over the only other team, Business As Usual, at 2:42:56.1 to their 3:12:59.9.
In Olympic female relays, Silly Sisters won at 3:04:06.9, followed by Swinging Sisters at 3:23:09.4 and Twisted Sisters at 3:51:11.8.
Beaumont wins 5k
In the 5k, 13-year-old Justin Beaumont of Coarsegold won with a time of 21:20, followed by fellow male competitors Blake Mathieu and Jacob Bidegray, both 10 years old, with times of 21:36 and 21:41.
Beaumont, a seventh grader at Coarsegold Elementary, is well known as a runner in the Mountain Area and a regular participant in events like the triathlon and the Smokey Bear Run at Bass Lake.
Last August, the Sierra Star published a story on Beaumont advancing all the way to the National Junior Olympics in Houston. Running the 800 meters in 2:28, Beaumont placed No. 36 out of 91 runners in the event, and had the best time of all five California competitors.
“I’m glad a portion of the race proceeds benefited Yosemite High School athletics,” Beaumont said after the race. “I’m looking forward to going to Yosemite and being a part of its sports teams, especially track and cross-country.”
For female competitors, Daniela Ferree, 28, won with a time of 21:52, followed by 21-year-old Lauren Campbell at 24:46 and 24-year-old Jasmine Moezzi at 25:28.
The triathlon originated in 1983, and ran most years through 1998. It was brought back in 2011 by Visit Yosemite Madera County (formerly known as the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau) and Tucson Racing, a professional racing company that holds events in Arizona, Ohio, and California.
Nearly 500 athletes participated in the day’s events.