Ian Baun, 17, of Mt. Lebanon finishes first in the running leg of the Pittsburgh Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, along the North Shore Riverfront Park. Photo by Keith Hodan | Trib Total Media
By Karen Price| Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, 10:51 a.m.
Only 17 years old, Mt. Lebanon's Ian Baun already is a veteran of the Pittsburgh Triathlon sprint distance race.
He finished in the top three each of the past three years, but the race was all his Saturday morning on the North Shore.
Baun was second coming out of the swim portion in the Allegheny River but first out of the transition to the bike and spent the rest of the race alone in front. He won with a time of 55 minutes, 53 seconds, beating second-place finisher Joey Pickens, 18, of Glenelg, Md., by more than four minutes.
The sprint distance involves of a 600-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5K run. The adventure race, which substitutes a paddle for the swim, also was held Saturday.
“I could check at the turnarounds on the bike and knew that I had a fair gap there,” said Baun, who runs track and cross country and swims for Mt. Lebanon. “I had a stronger bike leg this year than last, and the river was fine. It was a little colder than past years, but I had a wetsuit because 78 degrees and below it's legal, so that's a little bit of an advantage.”
Ashley Kearcher, 26, of Morgantown, W.Va., was the women's champion. The former Cal (Pa.) swimmer beat Edith Nault by two minutes, finishing in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 36 seconds. It was Kearcher's fifth or sixth time competing at the Pittsburgh Triathlon, she said, and it was her best time.
“I was really gunning for first place,” said Kearcher, who was third last year. “I think I was eighth or ninth out of the water, and then I was in second the majority of the bike. Half a mile into the run, I passed (the leader). I felt amazing. The swim was really comfortable. The bike hurt on the way out because of the climb, but the run, I felt so good. Pushing it, but I felt good.”
Kearcher's next stop is the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships next weekend in Milwaukee, and she said this win will boost her confidence. She isn't alone. Baun and Pickens also are heading to Milwaukee.
Pickens is from Maryland but is a student at Carnegie Mellon. He started in third place in the bike leg and gained ground in transition to the run but knew Baun had a solid lead.
“He was long gone on the bike,” said Pickens, who was competing in his first Pittsburgh Triathlon. “He had a pretty good advantage, so I wasn't catching him. Strong guy, and he's only 17.”
Pickens said his goal is to finish in the top 10 in his age group at nationals, and now he has a sneak peek at the competition.
“(Baun's) in my age group, so I've got to beat him,” Pickens said.
Sunday marks the final day of the Pittsburgh Triathlon when competitors will race the international distance of a 1,500-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.