Joel Anderson, 36, of Spring Lake and Megan Aney, 30, of Muskegon, swept the three-race West Michigan Indoor Triathlon Series with wins Sunday in the season finale at the Spring Lake Community Fitness and Aquatic Center.
The dynamic duo won in December at the Norton Pines Athletic Club and in January at the Muskegon Family YMCA.
Aney has now won the series twice, her first overall title coming in 2011. “We had a bigger group from the Muskegon Y this year, so that was fun. We all pushed one another harder,” said Aney.
Aney dominated the entire field, men and women, in the swim to win the women’s overall on Sunday with 273.03 points. Sarah DePhillips, 30 of Whitehall, was second with 252.70 and Laurie Walsworth, 56, of Fruitland Township, finished third with 236.88.
Anderson’s thin margin on the bike Sunday in Spring Lake gave him the slight edge he needed to score a near-perfect 299.21 points. He needed every single point to hold off USA Triathlon 2011 men’s 30-34 sprint national champion Randall Wood’s fierce challenge. Wood, 31, of West Olive, was second with 293.81 and Larry Haynor, 47, of Paw Paw, took third with 267.75.
Competitors raced six to each heat, starting with a 15-minute swim in the Spring Lake center’s 8-lane pool, followed by 15 minute cycling on Trek bikes set up on Cycle-Ops indoor trainers (both provided by Breakaway Bicycles), then finished with a 15-minute run ‘round the fitness center’s indoor track.
The series’ unique scoring format awards 100 points each for the top men’s and women’s swim, bike and run of the day. Points are awarded as a percentage of the day’s top performance. For instance, if the top woman ran 30 laps, a woman finishing 15 laps scored 50 points.
“I was going for that perfect score today,” said Anderson. “I figured I’d put down a heavy bike and maintain on the run, but it made the run harder.”
Wood gave Anderson a run for his money nearly matching him in the swim and beating him by a ¼ lap on the run (31¾ to 31½). “Randall did a nice race,” Anderson said. “He pushed hard. He put in a good run. He went after it hard and looked good.”
Anderson’s winning margin of 5.4 points came on the bike, where he rode to a hair under a ½-mile advantage – 9.65 miles to 9.16 for Wood.
Anderson will dial back his training for the next six weeks to recover from a bulging disc, then resume his buildup for Ironman Wisconsin, Sept. 8 in Madison.
Once again, Aney’s complete dominance of the swim leg gave her an unassailable lead from the start. None in the 14-strong women’s field could swim nearer than 73 percent of the swift 23½ laps Aney laid down with her silky smooth swim stroke. In fact, no one in the 40-racer field, man or woman, could beat Aney in the pool – men’s overall winner Anderson posting the best men’s swim of 22½ laps with runner-up Wood right behind him with 22¼.
DePhillips’ 27 laps was the top women’s run split and Walsworth set the women’s biking mark at 8.35 miles. Aney was fifth on the bike (7.18 miles) and second in the run (23½ laps).
Aney’s summer race plans include the Harbor Coastal Crawl Open Water Swim, Aug. 4, in Harbor Springs.
Spring Lake Indoor Triathlon
(Feb. 10 at Spring Lake Community Fitness & Aquatic Center)
Joel Anderson, 36, Spring Lake – 299.21
Megan Aney, 30, Muskegon – 273.03
AGE GROUP WINNERS
30-34 – Randall Wood, 293.81; 35-39 – Joel Anderson, 299.21; 45-49 – Larry Haynor, 267.75; 50-54 – Peter Shireman, 260.77; 55-59 – Al Angel, 214.84; 60 & older – Don Correll, 244.98.
25-29 – Mindy Bond, 204.59; 30-34 – Megan Aney, 273.03; 35-39 – Naomi Vansingle, 222.47; 40-44 – Dena Thayer, 225.62; 45-49 – Barb Udell, 166.47; 50-54 – Shelley Irwin, 214.10; 55-59 – Laurie Walsworth, 236.88.
Click below for complete results:
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West Michigan Indoor Triathlon Series Champions
(perfect series score – 900)
Joel Anderson, 36, Spring Lake – 887.45
Megan Aney, 30, Muskegon – 818.53
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Age group winners
25-29 – Mike Danhof, 541.47; 35-39 – Joel Anderson, 887.45; 45-49 – Larry Haynor, 756.79; 50-54 – Terry Zahniser, 542.92; 60 & older Bill Anderson, 604.10.
25-29 – Sarah DePhillips, 749.26; 30-34 – Megan Aney, 818.53; 30-39 – Amy Kelly, 687.98; 40-44 – Dena Thayer, 708.13; 55-59 – Shelley Irwin, 685.75.