Fans and spectators at the just completed USA 2022 Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships witnessed a surprise finish last weekend when young 11-year-old Barbadian triathlete, Zindzele Renwick-Williams snagged 3rd place in his age group finals.
Up against the best in that age group in the USA, and on a cold and wet early morning, Renwick-Williams came out of the water in 10th place among a field of 57 boys, among them the US top ranking youth triathletes in his 11-12 age group. He advanced through the field in the subsequent 10 km cycling component and 2 km run, until he was right on the tail of the two race leaders, boys who are considered the best nationally, having dominated their age group consistently in the past.
According to the young athlete, inexperience may have cost him a better placing, as this was his first time-trial race format, although he carries the distinction of having the fastest cycle and run segments in the race, in his age group.
Another promising Barbadian triathlete in Ohio for the Championships, and with excellent prospects, was 13 yr. old Luke McIntyre, who was expected to make his mark in the elite youth 13-15 draft-legal race. McIntyre had previously raced and beat several of the top ranked USA 13-15 triathletes in a Florida meet earlier in the year, placing 5th and 2nd consecutively in back-to-back races. That performance earned him a wildcard entry into the elite division championships, normally open only to US athletes. Sadly, however McIntyre fell ill on the morning of the race, and despite a valiant swim and ride, had to retire from the race.
Dr. Garth McIntyre, father of Luke said, “Although disappointing, Luke will still be in this age division next year and we’re expecting even better things from him at the next Youth Championships if we can get there”.
According to Dr. McIntyre, “the performance of the Barbadian triathletes, both in this event and in the Florida meet earlier in the year, demonstrates what we as a small nation can do, even without all the logistical and financial support available to US athletes, who compete on a club basis. He added “We have a group of young upcoming athletes who are able to compete with the best across the USA, and hopefully with the right support in the future, internationally.”
Missing from the group at last weekend’s nationals were 13 yr. old Cain Banfield, a top 10 finisher in the Florida meet, as well as Fynn Armstrong, also a strong finisher in the Florida meet in the 16-19 elite junior development group. Both will join the group that will include McIntyre and Renwick-Williams on the CARIFTA Triathlon team for Bermuda in September.