Record number expected for 15th Sunfish
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
July 5, 2001
Race director Emry Kennedy expects a record turnout for the 15th-annual Sunfish Summer Triathlon Saturday at Lake Okatibbee.
A little more than 300 athletes competed in the 2000 event.
The event begins with a half-mile swim at 7 a.m. ,with five-second intervals between competitors. With the staggered starts, the first to cross the finish line isn't necessarily the winner.
After a 34K bike ride, the athletes conclude with an 8K run along the dam. With each stage of the competition beginning and ending in the same area, it makes for an excellent spectator venue.
Last year's overall winner was Chris Eschback of Hattiesburg with a time of 1:27:03. He won't be back to defend his title, Kennedy said. Second place went to Victor Perini of Cordova, Tenn., with third going to Donny Forsyth of Memphis, Tenn.
The 2000 female winner was Melanie Holloway of Alpharetta, Ga., with a time of 1:38:36. Second place went to Deanna Newman of Birmingham, Ala., while third went to M.C. Jermann of Memphis.
The top local male finisher a year ago was DeShon Davis, whose time of 1:36:17 was good for 10th place overall. The top local female finisher was his wife, Amy Davis, who had a time of 1:46:29 to take 46th place in the overall standings.
Individuals and teams are encouraged to sign up to compete until 9 p.m. Friday at the Convention Center at Howard Johnson's. A team may be composed of two or three members.
The Sunfish has been named the Southeast Regional Club Championship by USA Triathlon. The Southeast Region is made up of Alabama, northern Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
Club awards will be given three deep in the following divisions clubs with 61 or more members, 41-60 members, 21-40 members, and 1-20 members.
The Sunfish triathlon is hosted by the MAA.
For more information, contact Connie Joiner at 601-483-4821, Kennedy at 601-483-4821 (day), or Wiese at 601-679-1716 (night) or 601-693-4833 (day).
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.