Young Cherokees try their hand at triathlon



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Triathlon is a tough discipline that involves swimming, cycling and running combined into one race. Dvdaya, Ogana and Uweluga Swimmer and Joscelyn and Cambry Stamper, all members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, competed in the Sugar Creek Youth Triathlon in Greer, SC in early September.

The race consisted of a 100m swim, a 3.4 mile bike ride and a 1.2 mile run.

Cambry Stamper inspects his bike before the start of the Sugar Creek Youth Triathlon in Greer, SC in early September. She took third place in the 10-11 female age group with a time of 30: 06.7. (Photo by Miranda Stamper)

“It was hard not to lie,” Dvdaya said. “I had a hard time swimming because I usually don’t swim often, but I run and cycle more than I swim. And, I do that a lot, I run a lot, so it wasn’t that great. But the swimming part really hurt me a lot.

Coming out of the water, she was 69e but made its way up to 12e place after cycling and took second place in the 14+ Women’s division with a time of 25: 27.7. “I liked it. It was fun because, at the beginning, we’re really athletic. So by entering it, we already kind of knew what was going to happen. But, when it was done, we knew about what. we had to work, which is swimming, I was really bad at swimming.

His brother, Ogana, took fourth place overall and second place in the 12-13 men’s division with a time of 23: 09.6. “I really like the bike part because that’s where I caught a lot of people. I was bad at swimming. In the running I did pretty well but started to get tired because I used most of my energy on the bike.

Joscelyn placed fifth in the 12-13 women’s division with a time of 30:20. She noted, “I like it because it’s very competitive. You can bounce around with people, but it’s very different from other sports because you use different parts of your body that you don’t usually use with other sports.

Cambry took third place in the 10-11 girls’ age group with a time of 30: 06.7. She spoke about the difference between triathlons and the other sports she competes in. “Triathlons are more difficult because you don’t have a break. You can’t stop. You don’t rest until you are done.

Swimming was her favorite part of the race. “I’m good at swimming. I’m ahead of everyone else in swimming.

Uweluga took first place in the Men 9 + Under division. “I wasn’t really there to win. I was just there to have fun and see what place I get. Swimming was also her favorite part.

Carrah Swimmer, mother of Dvdaya, Ogana and Uweluga, said: “They can ride a bike, they can swim and they run every day. So I told them they were training all year round.

She encouraged them before the race. “I told them that mentally they can get away with it. I told them not to be too hard on themselves because this is the first time they are doing it. But, physically, their body is capable of doing it. It’s going to be mentally saying, “I can do it” versus “you’re not very good at this. Look at these people who pass you by.

All young people are multisport athletes and are constantly on the move throughout the year. Carrah noted, “They never really buckle. We keep them in shape. We keep them active. I don’t think they realize how prepared they were and I think they surprised themselves by positioning themselves so well. They faced people who win every year. They were awesome. They had high expectations for themselves.

Dvdaya said that triathlon is fun and competitive, but quite different from other sports she participates in. “When you run cross-country, you start with new legs. Even if you run longer, it is faster because you are running faster. But, every time you do the triathlon, you start to swim. When I started swimming I was dead when I finished so my legs were already halfway. Then I had to ride a bike and it burned my legs, then we started running. Although I ran slowly, I didn’t stop and start walking or anything. So you run more slowly. I know I did.

She also knew about his strong suits and his less solid suits before the race. “I feel like at the start we are all pretty fit, so we knew what our strengths were and what were our downsides. We know we’re not good swimmers, but we wanted to make sure we were doing really well in the other activities we were doing like biking and running.

Each said they plan to continue with the triathlon. Dvdaya noted, “I will keep running and start riding my Doda on the road. We just got a new road bike, so we’re going to start doing it. And we will start to swim. Maybe that will help us a bit. I was like 50th out of the swim, but came back to running and cycling and finished second. “

Ogana Swimmer rolls hard during the cycling portion of the race. (Photo by Carrah Swimmer)

Ogana commented: “I liked it because it was difficult and I was really slow swimming, but I caught up with everyone on the run and the bike. But, as I ran, my side started to hurt.

Joscelyn said: “I think I’ll keep doing it and maybe work a bit more on the race. I have never been the fastest runner. But somehow work on everything a bit more and try to cut down on my time. And try to beat my little sister next time.

Cambry also said she plans to continue in the sport. “It’s fun and you can practice. And, they are fun! And my family encourages me.

Miranda Stamper, mother of Joscelyn and Cambry, said: “They are a great group of kids. You ask them to do something and they will get to work. We did a few laps with Joscelyn because his bike is quite strong, so swimming and running were his weak points. So, this is the thing that we kind of worked on to prepare it.

All young athletes and their mothers agree that more young Cherokees would like to get involved in the sport of triathlon and mentioned the idea of ​​a Cherokee Triathlon Club.

“I think that would be great,” said Miranda. “There has to be some way of figuring out where these kids, and there are a lot of kids who are like them, who would. They might not be able to travel, but if it’s here and they have everything they need to prepare for it here, and it’s free, there’s no reason we can’t may not have one and may it be a great success. There are tons of athletic kids and everything they need is there at this resort free for them. I think it would be an amazing addition we could give these kids. “

Dvdaya said: “This (an organized triathlon club) would be cool! More activities would be cool here. Like the 5k and the marathon people, it was pretty cool.

Joscelyn added that it would be nice to see an event held in Cherokee: “I think because it’s so far a bunch of kids from here can’t really get there. And, if we had it here, I’m sure a lot more would come out and do it.

Cambry nodded, “We have nothing else to do in Cherokee.” If they had a club here, some kids would do it for something to do. I wish we would.


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