Sports

Berkeley Heights Athletes Compete At USA Special Olym

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Stephanie Ridilla and William Saillot of Berkeley Heights will compete in the triathlon at the USA Special Olympics on Wednesday, June 18. Credits: NJ Special Olympics
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Stephanie Ridilla trains for triathlon competition for the USA Special Olympics.  Credits: Ridilla Family
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BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Berkeley Heights will be well represented this week at the USA Special Olympic Games as William Saillot and Stephanie Ridilla compete for gold in the triathlon. The Games are being held in and around Trenton, New Jersey. This is the first time that the triathlon is being offered as an event at the Games, and will be a demonstration sport for this year. It involves a ¼ mile swim, 10K bike ride, and a 5K run/walk.

William Saillot was born in Paris, France before moving to the United States when he was four months old. The now 21 year old has always had a love for running and swimming, and with his dad being an avid biker, that came to him early on as well. Saillot joined the Somerset Hills YMCA Special Olympics program seven years ago, and has a well-decorated career thus far. He is also a member of the Berkeley Aquatic Center Master Program. William often runs or walks to the pool, and regularly goes on bike rides with his father.

Stephanie Ridilla has been competing in the Special Olympics since 1998, when she started participating in aquatic events. This year, she is making the switch to the more challenging triathlon for its inaugural year and has been preparing vigorously for her triathlon debut. Despite having arthritis and valgus in her left knee from a kneecap fracture when she was 12, the 29 year old has not let anything slow her down and she is more than confident going into the games.

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This is the first time that the games will be held in New Jersey. The athletes will be staying in the dorms at The College of New Jersey for the duration of the games. Events will be mostly on TCNJ’s campus, with additional events going on at Rider University, Princeton University and Mercer County Park.

The triathlon will take place on Wednesday, June 18th at 6 P.M. at Mercer County Park. We wish William and Stephanie the best of luck as they compete!

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