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All-Navy Triathlon Team Set For Repeat at Armed Forces Championship

From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Men and Women of the All Navy Triathlon teams will push themselves through a 1500-meter swim, a 10-kilometer run and a 40-kilometer bike ride at the Armed Forces Championship at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, Calif. June 2-6.

Last year the men's team took first place while the women's team finished third. Ensign Derek Oskutis won the overall race making it Navy's seventh in a row. Although Oskutis will not be participating this year, Coach Jim Felty believes the team won't miss a step.

"We expect to win the men's team title with a talented and very deep team," said Felty, who has 26 years of combined experience in competing in and coaching for triathlons. "We have potential to place in the medals with the women, but will need to have perfect team execution. Expect Tommy Brown, Kyle Hooker and Brad Pigage to compete for the men's over-all champion position. Also expect Laura Springer to challenge for a podium spot."

The particular challenges triathletes face are much different than an athlete competing in only one sport.

"Not only do these elite athletes need to be proficient and excel in three sports, they have to find the time to train in three sports," said Kent Blankenship, Armed Forces Triathlon Project Officer who has 20 years experience as a race director. "The physical strain can be enormous on the body."

The physical battle is only part of the race. Blankenship says that these athletes also must be mentally strong and become so in part because of the nature of their military duties.

"The mental toughness comes from all different aspects in life," Blankenship said. "Working on a carrier, being a naval aviator, by being a leading chief petty officer or in command, it all helps to prepare these men and women for the tough day ahead."

The All Navy Sports Program is owned by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). For more information on All Navy Sports visit: http://www.mwr.navy.mil/mwrprgms/sports.htm.

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