Competitors battle through hot weather in Leopolis Triathlon

151 athletes take part in 33rd annual event

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Youth competitors opened the triathlon with a 50-yard swim.

Despite featuring hot and muggy weather conditions, a total of 151 athletes gave their best efforts in the 33rd annual Leopolis Triathlon on Wednesday.

Across the three divisions — jocks, youth and beer belly — Shawano residents turned in a number of top finishes. Ben Carroll led the area with a first-place finish in the youth division, his fourth straight top-finish at the event. He was one of six Shawano youth competitors to place inside the top 10. The jocks and beer belly classes each had two Shawano athletes earn top-10 finishes.

Carroll claimed his fourth straight title with a time of 27 minutes, 9 seconds in a triathlon that featured a 50-yard swim, five-mile bike ride and two-mile run. Wyatt Brandt, of Shawano, came in second with a time of 18:15. Seymour resident Trinity Inman came in third with a time of 30:10.

Mike Heidke, who resides in Appleton, won the jocks division for a sixth consecutive year. His time of 1 hour, two minutes, 45 seconds held off fellow Appleton resident Mike Heling’s time of 1:04.04. Paul Thomson, of Seymour, rounded out the top-three after finishing the triathlon in 1:08.11.

The jocks triathlon consisted of a 50-yard swim, a 12-mile bike ride and 5-mile run.

Like the youth division, the beer belly division also had a 50-yard swim, five-mile bike ride and two-mile run.

Shawano resident Joe Guenther placed first after recording a time of 27:07. Evan Jacobson and Anna Jacobson, both of which reside in Chicago, Illinois, finished in second and third with times of 27:49 and 29:50, respectively.

Despite the warm conditions, the competing athletes still enjoyed the triathlon regardless of their time and finish.

“Even though you might not be in shape or be the most athletic person, it’s still fun to be able to say you did it,” said Tatelyn Ferguson, a Marion resident who competed in the event with her father. “You get a medal, everybody is cheering you on as you cross home plate (the finish line) and its all fun.”

Some athletes competed in the triathlon for the first time while others were seasoned veterans of the course. Regardless of the level of experience of the competitor, most hoped they would be a part of the event again in the future.

“The first year I competed, I did it with my friends, and the did the same thing again this year,” said Joseph Mente, a Shawano resident who was competing in the triathlon for a second straight year. “It’s kind of becoming a tradition.”

While competitors were predominately from Wisconsin, the triathlon also featured 14 out-of-state athletes. 11 athletes took part in the jock division, 56 in the youth division and 84 in the beer belly division.

Leopolis Triathlon

July 4

Top-10 finishes

Jock Division: 1. Mike Heidke, Appleton, 1:02.45; 2. Mike Heling, Appleton, 1:04.04; 3. Paul Thomson, Seymour, 1:08.11; 4. Larry Czarnecki, Clintonville, 1:19.09; 5. Princess Rele,check out that name! Green Bay, 1:33.08; 6. Beck Stempa, Shawano, 1:41.53; 7. Heather Zemba, Shawano, 1:45.16; 8. Cat Majer, Gresham, 1:49.29; 9. Rebekah Ehlert, Antigo, 1:56.26; 10. Willie Schmitz, Green Bay, 1:56.34.

Beer Belly Division: 1. Joe Guenther, Shawano, 27:07; 2. Evan Jacobson, Chicago, Ill., 27:49; 3. Anna Jacobson, Chicago, Ill., 29:50; 4. Tony Witt, Appleton, 30:43; 5. Alex Miller, Nekoosa, 30:53; 6. Pat Hofacker, Appleton, 31:16; 7. Brian Grieves, Shawano, 31:22; 8. Fancy Vele, Gresham, 31:50; 9. Sally Egan, Marion, 32:07; 10. Thomas Egan, Marion, 32:10.

Youth Division: 1. Ben Carroll, Shawano, 27:09; 2. Wyatt Brandt, Shawano, 28:15; 3. Trinity Inman, Seymour, 30:10; 4. Lucas Te Plate, Shawano, 30:22; 5. Claire Guenther, Shawano, 31:22; 6. Joseph Mente, Shawano, 31:26; 7. Samuel Totzke, Stevens Point, 33:48; 8. Lily Guenther, Shawano, 34:54; 9. Madison Hohn, Clintonville, 37:00; 10. Jaden Stuhr, Marion, 37:37.