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Hawley runs off with silver at championships

Impressive displays: Smith, left, and Hawley, right, both performed well in Colombia

Erica Hawley overcame brutal conditions to claim silver at the Junior Caribbean and Central American Triathlon Championships yesterday.

Tyler Smith also competed in the men’s race, finishing seventh after struggling during the closing stages.

Battling blistering South American heat, Hawley clawed her way back from fourth place on the 5-kilometre run, overhauling Beatriz Dumet, of Brazil, and Genesis Montilla, from Venezuela, to finish the sprint distance race in 1hr 14m 48 sec.

Hawley was some 2½ minutes behind winner Raquel Solis Guerrero, with the Costa Rican triathlete leading from start to finish, and completing the race in San Andres, Colombia, in a time of 1:12:17.

Solis Guerrero and Montilla exited the water first after completing the 750 metre swim in 10:37, with Hawley and Dumet hard on their heels.

However, while Solis Guerrero and Montilla powered away from the rest at the start of the 40km ride Hawley and Dumet worked together to tackle the challenging bike course.

Still, the Bermuda triathlete found herself in fourth place, and was still fourth at the start of the second lap. While Solis Guerrero was uncatchable by this point, Hawley dug deep to haul in Dumet and Montilla, eventually finishing the 5km run in 22:21, 20 seconds ahead of Dument.

Montilla, meanwhile, suffered from her excursions on the bike and dropped to fourth, finishing her run in 23:53, and crossing the line in 1:15:30.

“Erica dug so deep, it was a great race in very challenging conditions,” Julia Hawley, Erica’s mother, said.

In the men’s race Smith was first out of the water in 9:41, and kept up with the leaders during a bike ride in which he attacked unsuccessfully as he tried to haul in leaders Bryan Fernando Mendoza Ramos, of El Salvador, and Eduardo Londoño Naranjo, from Colombia.

The run proved too much for the Bermuda triathlete, however, and he was some two minutes slower than the leaders, finishing the race in 1:05:24, well behind winner Mendoza Ramos, who crossed the line in 1:02:42.