SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Kids ages 7-14 swam, biked and ran their way around Meadowland Park Saturday in the first ever Two Towns Triathlon.
One-hundred ten South Orange and Maplewood residents registered for the event, which began at 8 a.m. at the South Orange pool. The race progressed by age groups with kids competing in multiple heats. First- and second-place winners received gold and silver medals; all received bronze participation medals.
The winners of the 7-8 age group were: Ariela Ellman and Lily Westhelle, in first and second for the girl,s and Elkan Pleat and Miller Nelson for the boys.
The winners of the 9-10 age group were: Sydney Mannion and Jillian Canning for the girls and Tyler Headley and Robin Kalderen for the boys.
The winners of the 11-12 age group were: Sophie Lawrence and Zoe Lynch for the girls, and Aidan Dwyer and Aidan Boyer for the boys.
And finally, the winners of 13-14 age group were: Marie Fagan and Chloe Lawrence for the girls and Saverio Kaufman and Ruben Artzi for the boys.
The route included a “loop” around Meadowbrook Place-Meeker-Mountain House-Hillside, which was repeated for the older groups.
Brother and sister, 8-year-old Nate and 11-year-old Sophie Berenberg, said they trained for the event using a resistance parachute.
“I feel really excited for my first triathlon,” Nate said. “My goal is to get first.”
Sophie added, “I don’t care what place I come in as long as I complete it.”
Eight-year-old Tyler competed in the 7-8 age division. He said after falling behind in the swimming portion he got ahead in the final leg of the race. “On the last second I went ahead and crossed the finish line,” he said.
The reporter is a student participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.