Navy's Kyle Hooker Repeats, Army Sweeps Armed Forces Triathlon

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Story by Steven Dinote on 06/23/2016
Navy Lt. Kyle Hooker wins the Armed Forces Triathlon Championship men's title for the second straight year with a time of 1:53:55 at Point Mugu, California, June 18.

Air Force Maj. Judith Coyle from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington captured her first Armed Forces women's gold with an overall time of 2:11:03.

In team competition, Army women repeated as Armed Forces champs as the men captured their first team title.

Navy P-2 pilot Hooker from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida led the race from the beginning, finishing his 1500-meter swim in 19:11. Army Capt. Gene Lehardy from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, was over a minute behind on the swim in 10th place. Lehardy made up time on the bike and run portions of the race to finish the triathlon second with an overall time of 1:54:27.

Army Capt Marcus Farris of Fort Wainwright, Alaska finished third in the race with an overall time of 1:55:36.

Washington state native Coyle led the women's swim portion, jumping out of the water 44 seconds ahead of Army's 1st Lt. Justine Emge of Columbia, Missouri. During the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Games in South Korea in October 2015, Coyle won bronze in both the women's seniors division and the mixed seniors team competition.

Marine Corps 1st Lt. Mollie Hebda of Camp Pendleton, California took the silver medal with a solid consistent performance in all three disciplines, finishing with a time of 2:12:17.

Last year's women's championship, Army Capt. Samone Franzese rounded up the women's medal podium with bronze after finishing the race in 2:14:42.

Army repeated their 2015 championship performance when Franzese was followed by Emge in fourth place and Capt Alexis Ressler from Burlington, Vermont in sixth place. The top three of five scores count toward the team scores. Scores are determined by the place each competitor finishes.

With Hebda's second place finish, the Marine Corps won the women's silver, after solid performances by Capt Christine Taranto of Quantico, Virginia and 1st Lt. Kellie Darmody of Camp Butler, Japan who finished seventh and ninth respectively.

Air Force finished in third place followed by Navy in fourth.

The top six finishers for each squad count in men's triathlon team scoring.

As Navy and Air Force were tracking strong performances, Army surprised the field finishing four racers in the top ten. With Lehardy and Farris earning the silver and bronze, Capt Nicholas Sterghos from Yongsan, South Korea and Capt Matthew Schiller from Fort Jackson, S.C. finished eighth and ninth respectively. Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Dressel and Capt Matthew Holmes sealed the deal for Army after finishing 11th and 21st respectively.

Navy pulled in three of the top five overall places after Hooker's first place finish. Coast Guard's Lt. J.g. Ian King of US Coast Guard Station Norfolk, Virginia and Navy Ensign Davis Frease of Bethesda, Md. placed fourth and fifth respectively. Navy's Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Brown of Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island and Ensign Christopher Brahm of Pensacola, Florida finished 13th and 18th respectively; and Coast Guard Seaman Samuel Dannenbring of US Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin rounded out the team scoring placing 20th overall. Coast Guard combines with the Navy during Armed Forces Championships.

Air Force finished third followed by Marine Corps in fourth.

As part of a long standing cooperation with the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada once again joined the U.S. Service branches in their annual Armed Forces Championship as part of the CISM Bilateral Competition.

In the men's competition, Canada's Maj. David Lacombe of St. Jean, Quebec won the overall competition ahead of Navy's Kyle Hooker with a time of 1:53:14. Lacombe finished nearly two minutes behind Hooker in the swim, but made up time on the bike and run, resulting in a sprint between the two competitors during the final lap.

Overall, the Canadian men finished in third place behind the Army and Navy. Canada's Cpl. Alexandre Boule of Bagotville, Quebec finished fifth overall with a time of 1:56:24 followed by Maj Martin Lamontagne-Lacasse of St. Jean, Quebec (10th Place 1:58:10), Maj David Simpkin of St. Jean, Quebec (12th Place 1:59:27), Leading Seaman Samuel Kehler of Esquimalt, British Columbia (25th Place 2:07:51) and Leading Seaman Shawn Millar of Halifax, Nova Scotia (28th Place - 2:09:04).

On the women's side, Team Canada's Master Cpl. Catherine Desmarais of Ottawa, Ontario finished 13th overall along with Able Seaman Marjolaine Plante of Esquimalt, British Columbia. The women's team did not place in the team rankings, as three racers are required to score.

The 2016 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship returned to Point Mugu after a year off. The 2015 championship was held in conjunction with Leon's Triathlon in advance of the 2015 CISM Military World Games.

During the CISM World Games, the United States took in three medals, all within the Senior Division. Air Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Mason's bronze accompanied Coyle's bronze in both the individual women's Seniors and the Mixed Team Seniors.

CISM is planning to host the World Military Triathlon Championship in Warendorf, Germany sometime in 2017. Final dates will be released later this year. The 2017 U.S. Team will be selected from the results of the 2017 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship.


1ST Place - Army (13 pts)
2nd Place - Marine Corps (18 pts)
3rd Place - Air Force (23 pts)
4th Place - Navy (26 pts)
1st Place - Army (54 pts)
2nd Place - Navy (61 pts)
3rd Place - Air Force (66 pts)
4th Place - Marine Corps (122 pts)

1st Place - Maj Judith Coyle (USAF), JB Lewis McChord, WA (2:11:03)
2nd Place - 1stLt Mollie Hebda (USMC), MCB Camp Pendleton, CA (2:12:17)
3rd Place - CPT Samone Fanzese (Army), Fort Bragg, NC (2:14:42)
1st Place - LT Kyle Hooker (Navy), NAS Jacksonville, FL (1:53:55)
2nd Place - CPT Barrett Lehardy (Army), Fort Leonard Wood, MO (1:54:27)
3rd Place - CPT Marcus Farris (Army), Fort Wainwright, AK (1:55:36)

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