Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

COUNTDOWN: DAYS HRS MINS SECS

Goody Triathlon helps athletes forge friendships

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By Carol Ryczek cryczek@newmedia-wi.com

There is no doubt that training pays off for athletes.

The athletes at the Goody Triathlon, held in Pulaski last week, were no exception. The middle school athletes participating in the Goody were able to spend those training months with a coach and mentor. That partnership continued into the competition, with coaches and athletes swam, biked, and ran together.

Their training paid off physically, but it also provided an opportunity for friendships to form.

The Goody Triathlon brings together students with physical and cognitive challenges from 10 northeastern Wisconsin school districts, including Shawano, Menominee Indian, Bonduel and Pulaski.

Athletes started with a 150-yard swim at the Pulaski Community Middle School, biked a course around the school, returning to set out on a 5/10K walk/run that ended at Pulaski High School.

The crowd of family, friends, and fellow athletes cheered as the runner and coach teams crossed the finish line at Saputo Stadium. That’s when the coach celebrated their successful effort by placing a medal around the athlete’s neck.

More than a few high-fives were exchanged as well.

Shawano Community Middle School seventh grader Alonzo Vargas said he found swimming the hardest. After swimming, and biking three miles, he anticipated that he would “walk the rest of the route,” he said.

“Biking is the best,” he said.

Coach and mentor Michael Metcalf, SCMC 8th grader, disagreed.

“Hanging out is the best,” he said, laughing.

This is Metcalf’s second year of mentoring for the triathlon. The multi-sport athlete said he enjoyed working with Vargas, “…hanging out with him, just all around fun.”

Vargas agreed. He had a particular goal in mind when he signed up for the program, and he achieved it.

“Make a friend, have a friend,” Vargas said.