Lauren Petersen, from Salt Lake City, runs the final stretch of the race alongside Echo Reservoir before making it to the finish line. (Christopher
Lauren Petersen, from Salt Lake City, runs the final stretch of the race alongside Echo Reservoir before making it to the finish line. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)

The water level at Echo Reservoir in Coalville still isn't as high as it could be, but based on years past, competitors in Saturday morning's Echo Triathlon were thrilled.

After last year's event had barely enough water to complete the swimming portion of the triathlon, this year's levels were much easier to work with, according to several members of the Park City Triathlon Club.

"It was way better," Scott McClelland said. "The exit out of the water was much better. They really put on a good race."

"When it's all the way up, it's a lot easier to get out of the water right to the transition point," John O'Connell added. "You still have to run quite a ways now. It's not as good as it was [several years ago], but it's better."

O'Connell, who won the men's 45-49 Olympic distance age group with a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and .8 seconds, said he's glad to see the water levels cooperate more at what is one of his favorite events.

"I've done [the Echo Triathlon] off and on for the last 10 years probably," he said. "It's kind of our home race because it's the closest race here and it's a good race."

Sarah Gott, who finished fourth overall in the women's contest, said that, in addition to the improving water levels, she also enjoys the running portion of the Echo Triathlon.

"The recovery is better [on dirt]," she said. "And they're a little bit more forgiving. They're maybe not as fast and you have to watch your step, but they're more forgiving.


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McClelland said he performed better than expected, thanks to some cooperation from Mother Nature.

"The weather was great, so that really helped," he said. "I beat my estimated time by about 15 minutes, so I was pretty lucky it was cool."

Gott, who plans on competing in a couple half Ironman competitions later this summer, said she always likes coming to the Coalville event.

"I've done it a couple years in the past," she said. "I didn't do it last year, but I did it the two or three years before that.

Karen Burns, from Sandy, rounds the final turn of the bike section of the race during the Echo Triathlon on Saturday. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)
Karen Burns, from Sandy, rounds the final turn of the bike section of the race during the Echo Triathlon on Saturday. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)
It's a great venue, a smaller crowd and the weather is usually perfect. The views are beautiful, too."

McClelland said he hopes to come back more often in the future to support the local race.

"I've lived in Park City for 18 years, but this is only the second time I've done it," he said. "I love that it helps North Summit schools. It's a local event and it's fun. We're all a part of Summit County and that makes it a fun, fun event."

The men's overall Olympic title was won by Connor Weaver of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He finished with a time of 1:56:40.0. In second place was B.J. Christenson of North Salt Lake, crossing the line in 1:56:53.2. Rounding out the top three was Wesley Johnson of Sandy with a time of 1:58:25.3.

The top finisher from Park City was Brian Cadman, who finished sixth overall with a time of 2:01:43.7.

In the women's Olympic competition, Neilia Bliss of Austin, Texas, took first place in 2:14:56.7. Tracy Campbell of Holladay, Utah, finished second (2:19:2.6) and Amanda Meredith-Dunlop, also of Holladay, finished third (2:23:21.1).

Gott was the top finisher from the Park City Triathlon Club, crossing the finish line in fourth place overall with a time of 2:23:58.0.

Three Salt Lake City residents found themselves on the podium in the men's sprint competition, led by Andrew Hall (1:02:39.2). Griffin Conroy (1:03:25.6) finished second and Chris Williams (1:08:13.9) took third place.

Keith Baumgartner led all Park City competitors, crossing the finish line in 1:08:58.

Heath Thurston, from Springville, Utah, pushes Emery Anderson in a stroller across the finish line of the Echo Triathlon Saturday. (Christopher Reeves/Park
Heath Thurston, from Springville, Utah, pushes Emery Anderson in a stroller across the finish line of the Echo Triathlon Saturday. (Christopher Reeves/Park Record)
0, good for sixth place overall.

Lesley Rockwood of Park City won the women's overall sprint competition, completing the race in 1:12:22.2. She was followed by Leslie Howlett of Lehi (1:14:02.5) and Haley Tadler of North Salt Lake (1:15:13.9).

For full results from Saturday's sprint triathlon, please see the Scoreboard on page B-5. For the Olympic triathlon results, please check the Scoreboard in the Saturday, July 19, edition of The Park Record.