Two Chewelah locals took their grit and drive up to Colville for the Deborah Rarrick Tiger Triathlon this past month. JJSHS cross country coach Melissa Burkey and senior Grant Brookover tackled the event and performed quite admirably.
Brookover, who will be a captain on the cross country team this fall, won his age division, was the eighth overall male and the ninth overall competitor at the event, while Burkey finished fourth in her age division and was the 12th overall female.
“Grant did exceptionally well in his first triathlon,” Burkey said. “He said he felt really prepared and he thought the swimming part would be the most fun of the event. Grant is determined, dedicated, and leads by example; those qualities will help him succeed in many areas of his life, and they are reasons why he is going to be one of the captains on this year’s team.”
Both Burkey and Brookover had individually decided they wanted to do the triathlon and it was only after the cross country team began summer workouts did they realize they’d be doing the same event.
“I love the training for an event like this because it never gets boring,” Melissa said. “Training for the transition between each leg is probably the toughest.”
The event consisted of a 1K swim, a 40K bike ride and an 8K run. The event began with swimming at Lake Gillette, then the biking leg went down to Colville High School and the run was around Colville’s Dominion Meadows.
Burkey had first done the Tiger Triathlon when she was a junior in high school and she did it with her brother.
“My brother said ‘you can tell we’re not serious about this because you have a mountain bike and I haven’t shaved my legs for the swimming,’” Burkey said.
However the cross country coach did a few more triathlons and has started them back up after getting a road bike back in February. She competed in a triathlon in Medical Lake recently.
If you missed them competing up in Colville, you can always attend a JJSHS meet this fall to see Brookover and the Cougars compete – without the biking and swimming.
By Brandon Hansen / The Independent Staff