May 6, 2002 – Australia's Jarrod Brauer, a 27-year-old triathlete in his third year of professional competition, was the men's winner, and Baltimore's Joanna Zeiger nailed down her third win in a row Sunday at the 14th annual St. Croix triathlon, now in its second year as the St. Croix Half Ironman.
Although the event drew the biggest turnout ever, it wasn't one for the books as far as times. Under sunny skies, Brauer completed the 1.24-mile swim, 56-mile bike race and 13.1-mile run in a total of 4:11:35, well shy of last year's 4:07 set by Ryan Bolten. Zeiger finished in 4:43:02, after crossing the finish line in 4:38:53 a year ago.
Among the men, Oscar Galindez of Argentina finished just 11 seconds off Brauer's pace, in 4:11:46, and Denmark's Peter Sandvang was third in 4:13:47. It was a good day for the Aussies, who took three of the top 10 positions, with Richie Cunningham in 4th and Craig Alexander in 8th.
For the women, Sue Bartholomew Williams of the United States was second at 4:46:50, followed by the defending Ironman World Champion, Switzerland's Natascha Badmann, in third at 4:49:38.
A total of 18 men and 13 women competed in the professional division.
Among 11 Virgin Islanders taking part in the Half Ironman event, Kent Bradbury of St. Croix, the winner of last month's West Is Best triathlon on the island, had the fastest finish, 5:44:22. In second spot among the locals was Sue Brown of St. Croix, in 6:06:27. Placing third and fourth, respectively, were the St. John husband and wife duo of Jeff Miller, at 6:12:09 and Jude Woodcock, at 6:16:27. In order after them were Todd Newman, John Riggs, Leopold Fredericks, Jamie Bate, Robert Bartle, Mario Graham and Lorraine Durand, all of St. Croix.
The top 30 finishers overall won berths in the 2002 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in October. Ten others qualified for the Ironman USA Lake Placid and 10 more, for the Subaru Ironman Canada.
Virgin Islanders did themselves proud in the shorter St. Croix Sprint competition that was held simultaneously with the Half Ironman Sunday. The components were a 750-meter swim, 12.5-mile bike race and 3.1-mile run.
Among the men, Kevin Hensley of St. Croix was the winner, followed by David Velez and Giaomatai Rivera, both from Puerto Rico. Seven other locals also finished in the top 20 — Bob Halk (St. Croix) in 8th place, Morgan Locke (St. Croix) 10th, Bob Guilford (St. Croix) 12th, Andrew Villamagna (St. Croix) 13th, Aaron Hutchins (St. Croix) 14th, Mike Klein (St. Croix) 16th, and Peter Alter (St. John) 17th.
Among the women, St. Croix's Elizabeth Armstrong placed fourth, following Juli Watkins of Overland Park, Kansas; Erika Binger of Polson, Montana; and Megan Madion of Traverse City, Michigan. In 10th place was Victoria Robinson of Tortola and in 11th was Jane Rollins of St. John. Patty Patton of St. Croix was 15th and Janelle Zachman of St. Thomas was 16th.
For an in-depth article on Sunday's top triathlon finishers, visit the Inside Triathlon.com web site.
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