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Kids love the challenge of triathlon

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The 11th annual Iron Hills Youth Triathlon featured 115 of the most athletics kids in the area on Saturday morning at the El Dorado Hills Community Service District. Participation in Capitol Adventure Racing’s popular youth event jumped from last year’s nearly 100 kids who participated. “The reason why I love the Iron Hills is because you get kids working hard and doing something they otherwise never would have done and it’s something that they can be really proud of,” said Todd Drybread, race director. In the case of Olivia Schweitzer, a 7-year-old girl born with cerebral palsy, everyone was proud. The Iron Hills features children ages 15 and younger swimming, biking and running distances based on their age groups. Schweitzer became the first physically disabled youth participant to complete the Iron Hills in more than a decade. Six years old and younger, the peewee group, swam 25 yards, biked .6 miles and ran .2 miles. Ages 7 to 10 swam 100 yards, biked 3.3 miles and ran .8 miles, while ages 11 to 15 swam 200 yards, biked 5.9 miles and ran 1.4 miles. Schweitzer said her favorite part of the triathlon was running and her least favorite was swimming. “My legs were kind of like, “Ugh!” I just had to keep going,” said Olivia, of how she felt during her swim. She finished the Peewee division with a time of 28 minutes 17 seconds.. Her brother Ian, 5, won the boys’ Peewee division with a time of 7:56. Laura and Dane Schweitzer, mother and father, were also proud. “It was very touching that so many people stopped to cheer Olivia through her first race,” said Laura. “Olivia loved the support and Todd's volunteers were awesome. I was surprised to see how much Olivia enjoyed it and she immediately said she wanted to do another race.” Ava Diedrich won the girls’ Peewee division with a time of 7:57. Sarah Dolley, 13, won the 11/12 and 13-15 divisions in the last two consecutive years. This year she won the 13-15 division with a time of 40:11. Nathan Kohl, 14, won the 13-15 age group this year with a time of 38:22. He beat his previous time of 41:44. Nicholas Dolley, 12, joined his sister, Sarah, as a returning winner with a first-place finish in the 11/12 age group. His previous time was replaced with a 40:02 finish. Cassidy Jones also won the 11/12 division for the second consecutive year. Her 46:44 finish this year also beat Emma Mehl, who finished in second place for the second-straight year. Her time was 52:42. With a time of 20.59, Corbin Farias, 10, finished with the overall best time for ages 7-10. He won the boys’ 9/10 division The best 7-10 overall girls’ time went to Madison Washburn, 10, with a time of 27:01. She won the girls’ 9/10 division. Cali Mazzuckis won the 7/8 girls’ division with a time of 32:42. She finished in the top three for the second-straight year. Cooper Downing won the boys’ 7/8 division with a time of 27:38.