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Smith shines in Leeds

Impressive finish: Smith finished seventh in Yorkshire

Tyler Smith finished an impressive seventh place finish in the Leeds Junior Elite Triathlon race last weekend.

On the same day that Flora Duffy ran to victory in the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, Smith produced a strong performance in the junior elite race over shorter, super sprint distances.

Smith, in his first year at the University of Leeds, had an impressive swim as he led out of the water, only to fall back in the shorter super sprint distances after two slower transitions for the bike and run cost him some crucial time. The second transition, in particular, took him away from the podium position as Smith eventually crossed the line in 34.07 minutes.

The winner, Nathan Smith, who came out of the water just behind Smith, produced an excellent all-round performance to win in 33.08.

After an excellent podium finish at the recent British Junior Elite Championships, Smith is coming into some good form ahead of the Camtri American Junior Championships on July 15 where he will attempt to qualify for the Junior World Championships in Holland in September.

Meanwhile, Erica Hawley, another top junior triathlete, will be full of confidence when she lines up today in a tough European field in the Mercedes Benz European Junior Elite Championships in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

Hawley, who recently completed her first year of college in Boulder, Colorado, has enjoyed an excellent start to her triathlon season, and since finishing her school year has spent most of her time with her coach and fellow club triathletes in Banyoles, Spain, a renowned triathlon training base.

Hawley will remain in Banyoles until July and compete in European events prior to attempting to qualify for the Junior Elite World Championships in Holland in September. Hawley will compete at the Camtri Junior American Championships in Magog, Quebec Canada next month along with Tyler Smith.

n Tyler Butterfield was forced to pull out of a triathlon in Boulder, Colorado because of a slashed tyre. Butterfield has not always had the best of luck on the bike portion of long distance racing and last Sunday was no exception as he was riding in third position in the Boulder Ironman at the time.

Butterfield, who resides in Boulder, was competing in front of his family. Although he eventually got a replacement wheel, the wait cost him considerable time and in the end with little hope of a podium finish, Butterfield decided to pull out of the race ten miles into the run.

Butterfield will now focus on some down time and an extended training period as he builds towards the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October.

n Three Bermuda triathletes completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon last weekend, much to the frustration of many participants, the 0.8 mile swim was cancelled at the last minute due to adverse weather conditions in San Francisco Bay that prevented the safety boats from launching.

Competitors were being taken by ferry just off Alcatraz Island for the swim to the San Francisco shoreline and were already on the ferry when the swim portion was cancelled. It was relaced by the sand ladder, a 400-step climb from the beach towards the end of the 13k cross country/beach run portion and is timed separately. The bike ride, that involves crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, is 18 miles.

Joel Matthews placed 34th in the 35-39 age group, with a finishing time of 2hr 06 min 34 sec. He clocked 1:00.16 on the bike, 2.30 minutes on the sand ladder and 1:04.49 on the run.

Ben Lau, competing in the 45-49 age group, placed 40th overall in a time of 2:17.33 (bike 1:03.21, sand ladder 4:03 and run 1:12.33). Duncan Scott, competing for the second straight hear, was 95th overall. Competing in the 50-54 age group, Scott completed the event in 2:28.35 after clocking 1:09.17 on the bike, 3.54 on the sand ladder and 1:17.27 on the run.