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Newcomers capture top honors

Overall winners were racing in W-B event for first time

Swimmers sprint into Harveys Lake for the start of the Wilkes-Barre Triathlon on Sunday.

Jonathan J. Juka/For The Times Leader

LEHMAN TWP. — Joe Maloy and Kristin White swam, biked and ran their way to victories in the 28th annual Wilkes-Barre Triathlon on Sunday at Harveys Lake and at Penn State\Wilkes-Barre.

It was the first time the winners had competed in the local event.

Maloy, 24, of Brighton, Mass., and formerly from Freeland, crossed the finish line in 2 hours, three minutes and 26 seconds. The former Boston College swimmer, who now coaches swimming for the school, finished the 1.5K swim in 18:28. He finished the 40K bike in 1:04:05 and concluded the race with a 38:32 time in the 11K run.

“The swim and the run are my better events,” said Maloy. “I’m still working on the bike. It was a little tough on the bike in the rain. But it didn’t bother me too much. I just took it a little easy on the turns and on the downhills.”

When asked about the course, Maloy said, “I think, in the entire Northeastern Pennsylvania, there is nothing flat – just hills and more hills. But I enjoyed the event and I will absolutely compete here again. In fact, I can’t wait until next year.”

White, 38, of Manlius, N.Y. – who won top female honors in 2:21:33 (23:48, 1:07:15, 47:38) – also enjoyed the event.

“The course was really challenging,” she said. “It was well-organized. And the people, cheering for you along the course, were so nice. The course features a lot of hills. But I’m used to running hills. There are a lot of them in Syracuse. I really enjoyed the downhills – ha!”

Sean Robbins, 39, of Shavertown, was the first local male finisher, placing third in 2:10:24 (23:39, 1:01:06, 44:00). Robbins finished second in last year’s triathlon. And he has finished second in all six Wilkes-Barre Duathlons (run, bike, run).

“It’s like a monkey on my back,” he said. “I just can’t seem to win. But, there are a lot of good, young guys coming up. And it’s tough keeping up with these younger guys. There were a lot of tough competitors in the 50-54 age group as well.”

Monica Obsitos, 22, of Wilkes-Barre, was the first local female triathlete to finish, clocking in at 2:27:13 (23:07, 1:10:29, 51:12) and finishing second overall.

“My swim and run were awesome,” said Obsitos. “But the roads were slippery, so I had to be careful on the bike, especially on sharp turns and on the downhills. But I did the Lake Placid Iron Man last year. And it rained for 14 hours straight. So, compared to that, today wasn’t so bad.”

Sicklers XXX Racing scored the best time, 2:00:24, among the team events. Keith Augustine, 52, of Shavertown, finished the swim in 18:45. Phil Cable, 40, of West Pittston, finished the bike in 1:00:49 and Phil Cable, 19, of Avoca, who runs cross country and track for Lock Haven University, posted a 39:29-time in the run.

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