Wareham students 'tri' new athletic event

By Lydia Goerner | Jul 28, 2017
Courtesy of: Nichole Stahmer The first school-age triathlon team in Wareham will compete in its second race this weekend.

Wareham’s first school-age triathlon team will "tri, tri again" in its second event of the summer this weekend.

Nichole Stahmer is the coach for the triathlon team, Action to Achieve. She coaches Wareham’s after school running club and this year, the members told her they wanted to attempt a triathlon for the first time. So every Sunday morning at 7 a.m., Stahmer and the nine athletes from Wareham Middle School went to the YMCA to practice running, cycling and swimming in preparation for the triathlon.

Their first triathlon was the New England Kids Triathlon at MIT, which had around 1,100 participants. The nine students from Wareham fell “within mid-range or better” on the 200-meter swim, 6-mile bike ride and 1-mile run, Stahmer said. Wylde Latulippe from the Wareham team finished fourth in his age group.

Stahmer had never coached a triathlon team and she said she wasn’t sure how the kids would feel after they completed their first one. But they asked to do another triathlon right away.

“All of them couldn’t stop smiling at the end, they were so excited and so proud of themselves,” Stahmer said.

“My favorite part is just the finish,” Latulippe said. “It’s so rewarding at the end.”

Latulippe said he was happy to start with the shorter triathlon before moving up to the full size one.

“Now I just want to keep on doing them,” Latulippe said. He said the team was “kind and fun and energetic” and made it easy to keep going. The swimming is the most challenging for him, but Latulippe said he will continue to practice at the YMCA.

On July 30, four students from the Wareham team will participate in the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford. Ryann Tripp, Laura Clements and Julia DeMediros will take on the triathlon as a relay, each tackling one event. Latulippe will do the triathlon by himself, with a 0.25-mile swim, 11.4-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run.

After this weekend’s multisport event, Stahmer has a third triathlon for the students scheduled for September. She said the parents are supportive of continuing the triathlon team and creating an official team at the school with uniforms.

“The support from the parents of the students I had was amazing,” Stahmer said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. They were just incredible.”

Stahmer said many towns in the area do not have youth triathlon teams. She hopes this will help Wareham stand out and said the help from parents and the YMCA was invaluable.

“As much as this was my dream to make Wareham have something that was different and maybe something that would help people see Wareham in a positive light, it’s the people who really make it work,” Stahmer said.

Though it was his first time competing in a triathlon, Wylde Latulippe, 14, placed fourth in his age group in the New England Kids Triathlon. (Courtesy of: Nichole Stahmer)
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