Wild Cherries off to hot start at June Lake Triathlon | SierraSun.com

Wild Cherries off to hot start at June Lake Triathlon

Truckee's Wild Cherries youth triathlon team began its ninth season earlier in July, and has since been making waves in the water and noise on the trails with several members notching podium and first-place finishes.

The team's season began on July 8 with the June Lake Triathlon in California, with 23 athletes competing, according to Team Director Gerry Rodriguez. Ten of those athletes were participating in their first triathlon.

The squad would sweep the podium in the Sprint division's — a shortened version of a triathlon — 14-and-under age group with Bodhi Kuzyk, Diego Rodriguez and Marc Durant-Bender taking the top spots for the boys. Kuzyk was also third overall in the men's category with a time of 54 minutes, 25 seconds.

"June Lake is noted as the world's toughest triathlon at 8,000 feet," Rodriguez said. "It's a pretty brutal thing on your body."

On the girls' side of the 14-and-under division, the Wild Cherries were even better, capturing the top five places, and were led by Hana Mazur's first-place finish with a time of 1:01:28. Carly Davis, Amelia Swanson, Lola Tieslau, and Ciara Wing rounded out the team's top-five finishes.

Leading the girls' overall finishes, Ella Kuzyk took second overall in the women's category with the 16-year-old crossing the finish line with a time of 59:54. Kuzyk took first place in the girls' 15-18 age group.

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In the boys' 15-18 age division, Austin Bollock took second; while on the girls' side Riley Madigan was the first female out of the water in her first attempt at a race in the sprint category.

The team then went on to compete at last weekend's Donner Lake Triathlon in the Sprint division with 14 members taking on the course at Donner's West End Beach.

Mazur highlighted the squad's efforts with a first-place finish in the girls' 10-14 age division with a time of 54:51. She'd be followed in by teammate Lola Tieslau in third place, Mahali Kuzyk in fifth, Amelia Swanson in sixth, Zoe Huml in eighth, and Amber Hansford in ninth.

On the boys' side of the division, Bodhi Kuzyk followed up his win at June Lake with another victory, finishing with a time of 48:41. Rodriguez was third, followed by Durant-Bender in fourth, Braidon Klovstad in seventh, and Cole Johnson in 10th.

In the boys' 15-19 division, Bollock took eight place while Zac Blum took 11th.

Sid Klovstad rounded out the team's performance with a sixth-place finish in the girls' 15-19 age division.