WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Hundreds of the nation's top young athletes converged on Voice of America Park Sunday morning in hopes of becoming the USA Triathlon Youth and Junior champion.
For many, the event is a starting point in their goal of one day competing in the Olympic Games. USA Triathlon expects at least 1,000 young athletes to take part, bringing with them about 3,000 friends and family from around the country. Athletes range from 7 to 19 years old.
Voice of America Park has hosted the event five years in a row, and it's brought an economic boost to local businesses and restaurants.
"We estimate that the impact is just below $2 million into our county and to the township, to the restaurants and hotels and all those things. It's a really big event for us and the community," said Mark Hecquet, director of the Butler County Visitors Bureau.
Matt Haverkos, director of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, said they're ready to keep athletes safe in Sunday's hot weather.
"Great medical staff here, lots of different departments around the county that support medical gators that are positioned around here to ... replenish and hydrate the folks as they swim and then they get out and bike and then they come and run around the park here as they're qualifying for their national event going on here with USA Triathlon," Haverkos said.
Detours will be posted in the area, on Cox Road and Liberty Way, until 2 p.m. Sunday.