Locals Lance Fargo, Nick Cruz win prestigious titles
Lance Fargo, a local triathlete out of Ocean View, earned an overall victory June 27 in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the USA Triathlon Clydesdale & Athena National Championships, as 12 total athletes earned national titles in their Clydesdale & Athena age groups. It was a day of familiar faces atop the podium, as five athletes reclaimed national titles in their age groups.
Clydesdale & Athena Nationals, which featured both sprint and Olympic distances, returned for a second year at the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon. Clydesdale & Athena Nationals have been held as a stand-alone event on USA Triathlon’s National Championship calendar since 2014. The Clydesdale and Athena competitive divisions are based on weight minimums. Men competing in the Clydesdale division must be a minimum of 220 pounds, and women in the Athena division must be a minimum of 165 pounds.
The sprint-distance race featured a 400-meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run, while the Olympic-distance event included a 1,500-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run. More than 100 participants toed the line, battling hot and humid conditions.
Fargo crossed the finish line first for Clydesdales in the sprint race, clocking an impressive 1:01:32 to win both the overall title and the 40-59 age group. Michael Block of Durham, N.C., came in second overall in the Clydesdale sprint distance, and first in the 39-and-under age group.
"After winning my last triathlon National Championship in Grand Rapids in 2017, I never would have imagined that I wouldn’t race in this event again until 2021,” said Fargo. "After being sidelined by a foot surgery in 2018, an injury in 2019, and we all know what happened last year with race cancellations, it was incredibly gratifying to return to this event feeling strong and healthy. My goals going into this season were to win multiple USAT National Championships and achieve USAT All-American status again. With this win in Chattanooga and my two wins in Tuscaloosa last month, my goals for the year have now been met. With the pressure off, I think I am going to dip my toe in the waters of long-course racing in the fall, just to see if I like it. I can’t give enough credit to my wife and National Champion Super Sherpa, Paula, for her enthusiastic support in all of these endeavors. She is truly my partner in success!"
Fargo dominated the Clyde Division in Seashore Striders events for many years in the late ’90s and early 2000s, and has been ranked nationally for many years.
Nick Cruz wins 50K
Local 25-year-old runner Nick Cruz cruised to victory in the recent Nighttrain 50K held in Farmville, Va., with a new course record of 3:43:37, averaging 7:12 a mile for 31 miles. Samuel Van Valkenburg of Virginia was 10 minutes back in 3:53:26, while Joseph Boyle of Virginia was 3:54:59. The race began at 5:30 p.m., and it took Cruz over seven hours of driving to reach the starting line.
The race was held on one of Virginia’s newest rail-to-trail paths, called the High Bridge Trail. The trail featured a 2,400-foot-long bridge, Civil War-era battlefields and a chance to run through downtown Farmville. This year’s event was part of the Virginia State Parks Adventure Series.
Cruz competed at Stony Brook in the 5K and the 10K on the track and was an integral member of back-to-back America East cross country championships in 2016 and 2017, as well as being a medalist in the 10K. Cruz ran 14:51 in April 2018 in the 5K, and was fourth in the America East Conference Outdoor Championships in the 10K in 30:54.
Cruz graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He currently resides in Milford.
31st Firecracker 5K
The 31st Firecracker 5K will be held in Rehoboth Beach starting from Grove Park at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, July 3. The 5K always supports a local charity, and the Seashore Striders hope to again donate to a local cause to be named. Awards will be presented to the overall, masters and top three finishers in 16 age groups. The 5K course will take in Henlopen and Columbia avenues on the north side of town. Registration is still open and there are few beach towels left if you hurry. Go to seashorestriders.com to get registered.
30th Dave Reynolds Biathlon
The 30th Dave Reynolds Biathlon will take place on Fourth of July morning from the Rehoboth Beach Patrol headquarters at Baltimore & the Boards in Rehoboth Beach. The half-mile swim and 5K run will feature an individual division as well as a team division where athletes can group in four subdivisions of male, female, coed and youth. There are also a Clyde/Filly division, a two-mile memory walk on the Boardwalk and a new kids’ biathlon.
The race will feature 200 athletes going into the Atlantic in two waves, followed by an out-and-back run through North Shores.