March 27, 2011
Florida results from Great Clermont: Welcome back Ms. Kirchhoff...and Mr. RileyWhat a kick-off to the Best of the U.S. season! Team Florida 2011 features familiar names and faces, all top-notch and all ready to step into their predecessors' pretty darn big shoes.
Twenty-five year old Natalie Kirchhoff, [photo, left, shamelessly borrowed from and linked to tri4him.com] racing in her hometown of Clermont, today was the top Florida amateur at the Great Clermont Triathlon. A year ago Natalie was the third-place qualifier, but unable to race at the Championship. She was followed by two other fixtures in Florida triathlon, Mallory Dunn (8th place amateur behind Natalie's 6th last year at St . Anthony's) and Kim Grogan. Kim has gone Top Three at Florida's Qualifier in years past, but at a time when only first-place finishers received automatic BOUS invitations. Her husband, Kevin, raced for Florida at the 2006 BOUS Chamnpionship, and won the Sprint race that was part of Great Clermont's weekend program.
Mr. Riley refers to Mr. Colin Riley, 23, who has historical significance to Best of the U.S. An Illinois boy, this is Colin's first year racing as a Florida resident. Like Kim Grogan, Colin was a Top Three placer in previous years. Colin, however, the beneficiary of a passdown slot, has raced at the Championship twice, placing 9th (in '08) and 8th place (in '09). As such, Colin was the most notable of a handful of passdown recipients earning awards at the Championships, which influenced BOUS's decision to begin automatically extending invitations to all medalists from the State Qualifier.
If Colin represents the young generation of successful triathletes, second finisher Bill Picciano exemplifies triathlon as a longevity sport--the rare enterprise that supports an extended adult fitness (not to mention performance) lifestyle. If, like Colin, you haven't lived in Florida for the last five or six years, you might not be familiar with the legendary Picciano triplets generally, and Bill in particular. Former All American runners all, Bill--the slowest of the fast siblings--was a frequent visitor to the top of triathlon podiums around Florida for a number of years. As it does for many citizen athletes, by 2005 family life had trumped racing for Bill. He blasted back onto the scene in 2010 and today, now 45 years old, gave the young'un a run for his money. Twenty-six year old Craig Dixon from Gainesville was the third and final BOUS qualifier. Complete Great Clermont International Results
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