Despite strong winds and cool conditions the Brainerd High School triathlon class participated in the culminating event of their semester Saturday, a triathlon that features a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and concludes with a six-mile run.
On a day that is less concerned with winners and losers, and more so with the sense of accomplishment that comes from competing and completing such a grueling event, Corey Kuglin finished with the top time in the boys' division with an overall time of 2:41:50 and Ali Archibald was the first girls' finisher at 3:00:44.
Samantha Hall was wrapped in a blanket by Whitney Joyce and Laura Haeg after completing the Brainerd High School Triathlon on Saturday at Forestview Middle School.
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"It is always nice when you set a goal for yourself and actually are able to achieve it," Kuglin said. "I knew I was going to be fourth out of the pool in that there were four swimmers in the class and I was the slowest of the four. I knew the bike was going to be my strength and I wanted to make up that time there and push myself through the run."
Kuglin finished with the fourth-fastest time in the pool and ended up with the fastest times in the bike and run.
"It was kind of unexpected in that I didn't think I could make up the amount of time I was behind after the pool," Archibald said. "When I got out I was told I was about 10 minutes behind the leaders and I didn't think I could make that up, but I just kept telling myself to keep pushing and to end up finishing that high I was really proud of myself.
"It is a great feeling to achieve something like this with finishing the whole event being the thing you are pushing yourself toward the whole time. It was great to have my brother with me on the bike and my dad really helped push me."
Ben Urness raced across the finish line Saturday after completing the Brainerd High School Triathlon at Forestview Middle School.
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Archibald ended up with the girls' sixth-fastest time in the pool and the top times in the bike and run.
Kuglin and Archibald led a group of students who have put in months of preparation in class and on their own time to participate to the best of their abilities in Saturday's event. The process was not made any easier by the high winds that hampered participants in the biking and running segments.
"Getting out of the pool the bike was really hard to start off with all the wind," Archibald said. "About half of the ride was into the wind and it seemed like there were times you weren't even moving forward because it was blowing so hard."
"It was really windy," Kuglin said. "The thing you tell yourself is that's the same thing everyone else was dealing with and you just push yourself through it and after a while you almost get used to it."
The conditions did end up affecting the overall times in comparison to the times recorded in last year's event.
"Given the conditions it went about as well as it could have," instructor Mike Boran said. "It was windy and cool and not ideal for great times and I would say (the wind) did play a factor compared to last year. I would guess maybe six to seven minutes got added on."
Overall though the point of the event and the class is less about times and places and more so about a group of students coming together to achieve goals through hard work and perseverance.
"It is hard to put into words about what this means to the teachers and students," Boran said. "It is such a commitment and sacrifice for all these kids to sign up for this class. It is not just for 55 minutes, five days a week. We have to ask them to do a lot of outside training and that commitment overall helps the kids learn something about hard work, commitment and staying with something and setting a goal and achieving it."
Fellow instructor Ellen Fussy also talked about the effect the class has in the development of students.
"It is such a great event," she said. "The kids are different people afterward than when they started. I am not surprised by the two top finishers because we had kids competing and pushing each all semester, but we don't focus too much on top places and times, it is all about finishing.
"The whole process presents an opportunity for huge growth for these kids and you see it in their maturity and commitment to setting up training schedules outside of class to give themselves the opportunity to make this the best it can be for each individual.
"I hope they have this class forever in that what they learn will help them throughout their lives in college, work and everything else. It is just an amazingly fun event to be a part of as a teacher."
The winners reciprocated praise back to the instructors, who helped guide them from January 20 through Saturday.
"It is something I will always be proud of," Archibald said. "Boran and Fussy were great all semester pushing us and helping us to train that I can't imagine the process without them. It is an opportunity to get close to a group of people and it almost has become like a family at this point."
"You make a lot friends in the class," Kuglin said. "You suffer together to get to this point and it all seems worth it. We are all really close from this and it was without question my favorite class ever."
Boys overall: 1. Corey Kuglin 2:41:50; 2. Pat Mangan 2:50:52; 3. Andrew Goll 2:54:28; 4. Jake Westphal 3:00:14; 5. Kenny Ebinger 3:01:14; 6-Mike Gervenak 3:04:45; 7-Erick Abrahamson 3:05:55; 8-Andrew Jay 3:12:06; 9-Josh Sachs 3:14:29; 10-Michael Brekken 3:15:16; 11-Bror Linnerooth 3:15:56, 12-John Rans 3:16:07; 13-Ben Urness 3:18:35; 14-Bob Gorron 3:21:41; 15-Mike Wisniewski 3:26:31; 16-Tony Engel 3:34:31; 17-Jared Erickson 3:59:46; 18-Ben Johanson 4:10:08
Girls overall: 1. Ali Archibald 3:00:44; 2. Gina Padrnos 3:07:07; 3. Ashli Meyer 3:14:43; 4. Tiffany Etterman 3:20:33; 5. Bailey Geraets 3:22:49; 6-Kirsten Hibbard 3:23:00; 7-Claire Surma 3:25:30; 8-Elle Adams 3:28:54; 9-Madisyn Hilborn 3:29:24; 10-Lauren Johnson 3:32:30; 11-Nicole Godbout 3:36:07; 12-Tia Herron 3:37:41; 13-Cassie Lee 3:38:04; 14-Sam Hall 3:40:15; 15-Sara Wentworth 3:43.13, 16-Megan Griggs 3:51:37; 17-Lindsay Lindner 3:52:10; 18-Molly Baker 3:53:42; 19-Anna Tadych 3:58:25; 20-Kendra Frisbee 3:58:40; 21-Lexi Miller 3:58:45; 22-Claire Whalen 3:59:00; 23-Catherine Tadych 4:09:17; 24-Rylie Fussy 4:10:58; 25-Amanda Marcil 4:23:36; 26-Amber Helland 4:29:25; 27-Riley Anderson 4:31:34; 28-Megan Sullivan 4:36:32, 29-Nicole Rasmussen
Top 5 boys swim: 1. Andrew Goll 21:45; 2. Michael Brekken 22:15; 3. Josh Sachs 22:28; 4. Corey Kuglin 25:24; 5. Pat Mangan 27:24
Top 5 girls swim: 1. Bailey Geraets 24:26; 2. Gina Padrnos 27:26; 3. Ashli Meyer 29:08; 4. Molly Baker 29:52; 5. Madisyn Hilborn 30:15
Top 5 boys bike: 1. Corey Kuglin 1:26:23; 2. Andrew Goll 1:27:26; 3. Pat Mangan 1:29:56; 4. Jake Westphal 1:30:47; 5. Andrew Jay 1:31:02
Top 5 girls bike: 1. Ali Archibald 1:29:43; 2. Ashli Meyer 1:34:33; 3. Gina Padrnos 1:38:55; 4. Elle Adams 1:39:05; 5. Bailey Geraets 1:40:09
Top 5 boys run: 1. Corey Kuglin 45:40; 2. Pat Mangan 49:37; 3. Jake Westphal 53:26; 4. Jon Rans 54:12; 5. Kenny Ebinger 54:49
Top 5 girls run: 1. Ali Archibald 56:44; 2. Claire Surma 57:14; 3. Gina Padrnos 57:43; 4. Tiffany Etterman 1:00:10; 5. Kirsten Hibbard 1:01:12
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