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Young triathletes test their endurance at Voice of America MetroPark

Posted: 8:48 AM, Aug 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-05 16:47:19Z

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- At 12 years old, Sam Deweerdt is doing what many people twice his age couldn't do.

Deweerdt competed Sunday in the National Youth Triathlon, returning to Butler County for a seventh year.

More than 1,000 youth and junior triathletes from around the United States tested their endurance at Voice of America MetroPark. Triathalon is an Olympic sport featuring a combination of swimming, biking and running events.

So how does Deweerdt do it?

"It was mostly the team and them helping me persevere through practice and races. I wouldn't still be here without a team," he said.

The 2018 event is the second year of a 5-year agreement between USA Triathlon and the Butler County Visitors Bureau to host the event in West Chester through 2021. Karyn Maconi, communications manager with USA Triathlon, said the location is a plus because Ohio is within driving range.

"It’s in the middle of about 30 different high-performance youth and junior high teens, so that is one reason that we try to stick to this region, so that we can have as many athletes participate as possible," Maconi said.

According to the Butler County Visitors Bureau, the athletes, supporters and spectators will bring an estimated $2 million impact to the local economy.