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Meehan brothers sweep Pittsburgh Triathlon

| Sunday, July 29, 2012, 3:02 p.m.
Mike Meehan of Allison Park is the first athlete to complete bicycling as he heads off to run the final portion of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. Meehan held on to win the event.
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Mike Meehan of Allison Park is the first athlete to complete bicycling as he heads off to run the final portion of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. Meehan held on to win the event. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Athletes swim the Allegheny River as they participate in the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Athletes swim the Allegheny River as they participate in the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Athletes bob in the Allegheny River as they anticipate the start of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Athletes bob in the Allegheny River as they anticipate the start of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Mike Meehan of Allison Park runs along the North Shore en route to winning the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Mike Meehan of Allison Park runs along the North Shore en route to winning the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review


Jeanne DeBonis of Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first woman to cross the finish line during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012.
Philip G. Pavely
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review Jeanne DeBonis of Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first woman to cross the finish line during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012.
Athletes exit the Allegheny River and head towards their bikes as they participate in the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Athletes exit the Allegheny River and head towards their bikes as they participate in the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Runners make their way through the North Side during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
Runners make their way through the North Side during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
A bicyclist makes his way through the North Side during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Philip G. Pavely
A bicyclist makes his way through the North Side during the Pittsburgh Triathlon Sunday, July 29, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)

It was a Meehan brother sweep at this year's Pittsburgh Triathlon, with Mike Meehan capturing the international distance men's title Sunday morning, 24 hours after younger brother Dan Meehan won the sprint distance.

The older Meehan beat out defending champ Chad Holderbaum to win in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 38 seconds after placing first in the shorter sprint distance the past two years. Irwin's Holderbaum finished second, in 1:57:36, followed by the 2009 winner, Colin Gundling, in 1:59:54.

Eric Burnett, who finished second in the sprint distance race behind Dan Meehan on Saturday, finished the international distance in fourth place, with a time of 2:00:14.

Athletes were permitted to wear wetsuits after recent rain caused cooler temperatures in the Allegheny River. Meehan said he was one of the few competitors who remembered to bring one, and believed it helped his time in the swim portion of the race.

“I got out of the water with a pretty good lead and then just maintained it,” said Meehan, 17, of Allison Park. “Chad was pretty much a minute or less behind me the whole time. I could tell we were close and we were going really fast, both of us.”

This was just Meehan's second attempt at the longer distance triathlon, the first coming two weeks ago in Virginia.

For Holderbaum, the distance is shorter than he's accustomed to racing.

The 32-year-old will make his fourth trip to Hawaii to compete in the Ironman World Championship this fall, and he did a half-Ironman race just last weekend.

“The legs felt good, I just didn't have quite enough,” Holderbaum said. “I screwed up, too, and didn't bring a wetsuit and that always saves you a few seconds in the water. But it was a lot of fun and I had a good time.”

Jeanne DeBonis, of Cleveland, won the women's title in 2:11:55, finishing 20th overall.

“As I said last time I won this race (in 2009), I did something the Browns couldn't do, and that's win in Pittsburgh,” said DeBonis, 47, who finished in a personal record time.

DeBonis was followed by Erie's Pamela McCormick, who finished in 2:13:44, and Edith Nault, of Blacksburg, Va., who finished in 2:14:19.

DeBonis said this was her fifth time competing in the Pittsburgh Triathlon, which serves as the main fundraiser for Friends of the Riverfront, and her fourth time winning.

The recent rain also led to the strongest current she said she's experienced in this race.

“I think a lot of people were struggling upstream, but I figured I'd just plow through,” she said. “When I got out of the water, it was my fastest Olympic distance swim ever. I got on the bike, and my husband told me I was in third or fourth place.”

After Mike Meehan crossed the finish line, he waited — along with his mother — for his father, Matt Meehan, to come across.

He finished in 2:14:04, 29th overall.

Holderbaum said he's known Matt Meehan through the local triathlon community for a while now, and has been helping Mike prepare for the upcoming USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Championship.

“Mike's a really good athlete,” Holderbaum said. “Just watching him grow and develop as an athlete has been really exciting. I'm pulling for him.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kprice@tribweb.com and 412-320-7980.

Pittsburgh Triathlon & Adventure Race

International Distance (1,500-meter swim, 40K bike, 10K run)

Men's results

1. Mike Meehan, Allison Park, 1:56:38

2. Chad Holderbaum, Irwin, 1:57:36

3. Colin Gundling, Pittsburgh, 1:59:54

4. Eric Burnett, Pasadena, Calif., 2:00:14

5. Eric Angstadt, Pittsburgh, 2:00:47

6. Greg Costello, Pittsburgh, 2:01:21

7. Tyler Eckert, Export, 2:02:01

8. David Wirth, Pittsburgh, 2:02:46

9. Jimmy Holl, Sharon, 2:02:58

10. Ken Delraso, Potomac Falls, Va., 2:03:12

11. Brent Mcburny, Navarre, Ohio, 2:04:02

12. Joshua Cone, State College, 2:04:06

13. Christopher Rotelli, Gibsonia, 2:05:21

14. Thomas Stack, Baltimore, Md., 2:06:06

15. Eric Wilkins, Pittsburgh, 2:06:29

16. Ryan Macmanus, Allison Park, 2:06:34

17. David Rod Vest, Cranberry Twp., 2:07:36

18. John Ambroczic III, Bradenton, Fla., 2:09:44

19. James Capparell, Coraopolis, 2:11:00

20. Tom Ranalli, West Chester, 2:12:04

Women's results

1. Jeanna Debonis, Brecksville, Ohio, 2:11:55

2. Pamela McCormick, Erie, 2:13:44

3. Edith Nault, Blacksburg, Va., 2:14:19

4. Heather Westerman, Ligonier, 2:17:27

5. Jen Sober, McHenry, Md., 2:21:09

6. Mary Pflugh, Greensburg, 2:21:42

7. Amy Javens, Hermitage, 2:21:55

8. Lisa Shaffer, Wexford, 2:24:09

9. Christy Crummy, Wexford, 2:24:39

10. Sara Gelder, Jeannette, 2:26:48

11. Kellyann Green, McHenry, Md., 2:29:23

12. Deborah Werner, Rockville, Md., 2:29:34

13. Marily Hoover, East Pittsburgh, 2:31:07

14. Stefanie Guillon, Murrysville, 2:31:35

15. Rachel Kress, Pittsburgh, 2:31:57

16. Allison Goldstein, Jersey City, NJ, 2:35:40

17. Sally Wallis, Sewickley, 2:38:45

18. Angela Westerheide, Pittsburgh, 2:39:28

19: Amy Jenkins, Sherwood, Ariz., 2:39:33

20. Calley Bridges, Prospect, 2:39:49

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