Set against the backdrop of a beautiful, late summer day, the Town of Hempstead Triathlon crowned a new champion as John McLaughlin of Long Beach crossed the finish Line in a winning time of 1:06:31.05. Meredith LaRossa of Bellmore a triathlon veteran but a first-time winner, captured the Women's title in 1:15:49.32. Supervisor Rich Guardino, the official race starter, saluted all 177 participants for, "their inspiring combination of athletic skill and competitive spirit."
Held at Town Park, Point Lookout on Sept. 9, the triathlon began with a hearty 3/4-mile ocean swim. After emerging from the surf, competitors set off on a 10-mile bike through the streets of Point Lookout and Lido Beach. The event's final leg was a five-mile run to the finish line at Town Park.
"A signature event on the Parks Department's activities calendar, the triathlon is always a compelling event, providing thrill-a-minute, competitive excitement," continued Guardino. "Congratulations, to our two champions, John McLaughlin and Meredith LaRossa, but in fact each athlete who crossed the finish line is a winner in his or her own right."
The runner-up in the men's division was Rich Gregory of Garden City and the third place finisher was Justin Cesario of Oceanside. In the Women's Division, Barbara Cronin-Stagnari of Mineola finished second and Heather Stein of Hempstead took third. The "honorable mention" category featured the performance of Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Peter Skelos of Rockville Centre, who finished 15th overall and third in his age category.
Guardino, a regular attendee of the triathlon throughout its 17-year history added, "I am continually impressed by the athletes camaraderie, despite the intensity of the competition the triathletes share a genuine respect for each other and the encouragement they extend to one another is inspiring."
Additional information on the 2000 Town of Hempstead Triathlon, including a complete order of finish, is obtainable by calling the Department of Parks and Recreation at 292-9000, extension 219. The results are also displayed on the town website at: www.townofhempstead.org/home/current/news/tri2000.htm.