June Woman of the Month-Amy Verlander

 Amy Verlander


Age: 29Hometown: Orlando, FloridaTriathlon Club: Winter Garden Wheel Works

USAT Florida Region is so happy to announce our June Woman of the month, Amy Verlander. Amy is a Neonatal ICU nurse and lives in Orlando with her husband. She balances a full time job with training and being an awesome wife! She also has a very inspirational blog: www.sweatyandsweet.com. Please check out her bio below!

“In life, it is not the destination that matters, but rather the journey.”

A doctor I previously worked for once paraphrased this ancient wisdom to me. Although such a simple statement, I have come to find that there is great truth to it, both in life and triathlon. My journey in triathlon started way back in the early 90’s when I was nine years old and completed my first triathlon, the Meek and Mighty super sprint distance race held in conjunction with the annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL.Amy V
Regardless of the fact that my next triathlon was about ten years later, that first race had obviously planted a seed; a seed about lifelong fitness and healthy living. I stayed active throughout all of my school years. I was involved in soccer, softball, swim team, cross country and track and field, even at the collegiate level, running for the University of South Florida. Every summer during college, I borrowed my mom’s bike and casually competed in what is one of my favorite home town races, Top Gun Triathlon. My fitness level allowed me to easily jump in with not much additional training. However, the tri bug really bit me hard after college. A new road bike as my graduation present was the fuel that sparked the fire. And as they say, the rest is history!
With increased independence after college running, I started researching and following new exercise plans and took on a more intense level of triathlon training. Then after countless sprint and Olympic distance races, I started looking for an additional challenge. Enter Ironman 70.3. For my first attempt, I just wanted to finish. But after that, it was about how much faster I could go. The third time was a charm, when I shattered my own record on the Florida course by almost 40 minutes!
But why do I push myself to do this?

What is it that inspires and motivates me? For me, it’s not the ‘what’ but the ‘who’ . . . my dad.

AmyV1Growing up, I watched my dad compete in numerous road races and triathlons which helped shape me into the active woman I am today. I cannot even count the number of swims, bikes, runs and races we have done together throughout the years. Additionally, watching him train for and successfully complete his first Ironman, Ironman Florida to be exact, was remarkable. Plagued by hip pain towards the end of his training, he was forced to walk some of his last long training runs. However, his determination allowed him to finish the race strong and I hoped eventually one day I would be able to do the same. I’ll finally be able to achieve that dream in just a few weeks. On August 24th, my dad, husband and I will all toe the start line at Ironman Louisville.

Another source of motivation comes from my inner competitiveness. While training is a lot of fun, it’s the races that really push me to my limit. I’m always looking for that new exciting race to try and chasing after new PR’s! I love the focus I get when trying to meet a certain goal and the feeling at the finish line after knowing I’ve given it my all is incredible!

Finally, wanting to share with others my own journey about what I’m so passionate about, I started a blog to document my training and racing. I am also active on the social media apps Instagram and Facebook. Motivating and encouraging new and veteran athletes alike, to either begin or continue their fitness journey, then keeping up with their goals and progress circles right back around and keeps inspiring me. That’s the thing I really love about the triathlon community.

“No matter your background, if you’re a newbie, competitive age grouper, or weekend warrior, we all come together and support each other and have a blast doing what we love!”



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Posted in woman's initiative

2014 USAT Youth and Junior National Championship

DSCF1424The Florida Region was well represented at the 2014 USAT Youth and Junior National Championship in West Chester, Ohio. Florida on August 2nd.

Florida had 14 athletes racing in the draft legal Youth & Junior Elite fields and over 50 athletes representing 9 different youth teams in the non draft Youth Championship fields .
The future of multisport is very bright here in Florida and special recognition should go out to the following athletes who got top 10 in the Youth/ Junior Elite races:
Ricardo Reyes 2nd Youth Elite
Luis Ortiz 6th Youth Elite
Sam Geiman 5th Junior Elite
Youth athletes who earned the NATIONAL CHAMPION title:
Jack Diemar(8), Lawson McLeod(10), Nicolas Raffinengo(11)

In addition to the individual athlete awards, USAT Youth and Junior Nationals also recognizes the top three teams in the nation in the Junior Development and Youth Team categories. The Florida based Triton Elite Multisport High Performance Team and the Triton Elite Multisport Youth Team both earned 3rd place podium honors.

On Saturday August 23rd the Talent ID Series (TIDS) Finale and the USAT FL Junior Regional Championship was held at the Courage to Tri triathlon in Clearwater Florida.
The top junior athletes 16-19 earned the Junior Regional Champion crown. This year’s Junior Regional Champions are San Geiman who alsoe placed 2nd Overall and Ciara Hopkins who place 3rd Overall female.
In the TIDS, the winner and podium was determined by the top 3 scores from 6 Talent ID races.
Congratulations to following athletes who earned their spot on the Talent ID Series podium:

Junior Male
1-Sam Geiman
2-Graham Pimentel
3-Nic LeBlanc

Junior Fermale
1-Ciara Hopkins
2-Kaileah Blazek
3-Mackenzie Koth

Youth Male
1-Luis Ortiz
2-Lachlen Hovius
3-Chester Cooper

Youth Female
1-Reagan Quilty
2-Jesscia Blazek
3-Emma Stock

Posted in Uncategorized

USAT Florida Region August Woman of the Month

Ginny Poyner


Age: 70

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida

Triathlon Club: Sarasota Storm Triathlon Club


USAT Florida Region is so happy to announce our August Woman of the month, Ginny Poyner. Check out her bio written by Tom Reily, Vice President of USAT Florida Region.


Few people in multisport deserve recognition more than Ginny Poyner of Sarasota, Florida.GinnyPoyner1 She began her long career in multisport thirty years ago at the age of forty. Her first race was all it took. She placed second in the overall female category and she was hooked. According to her, “My big thighs were meant for cycling!”

Ginny has raced in twenty-three World Duathlon Championships. Along with Jim Girand of California,

She holds the world record for competing in the most World Duathlon Championships.

She has won four silver medals in competition.

Her multisport career hasn’t all been without problems, however. While training for the Worlds competition slated for Australia in 2005, she was hit from behind by a car and almost killed. For a long time she wore a full back brace and walked with a cane, but she didn’t quit.

The year 2013 was a real challenge. When she suffered multiple mini-strokes and then a heart attack, she learned that genetics cannot be overcome. Unwilling to give up on multisport, however, she continues to race, just slower and with the addition of some walking to her running.

GinnyPoyner2In June 2014, Ginny came in fourth at the 2014 Pontevedra ITU Duathlon World Championships. The next month at the USA Triathlon Duathlon 2014 National Championships she qualified for her twenty-fourth World Championships. To be held in Adelaide, South Australia, the World Championship race in 2015 will complete her journey.

Multisport is her passion. Torn muscles, accidents, diseases, broken bones, and a heart attack have not stopped her from racing. It is not the awards that keep her going. She simply loves competing and loves the positive attitudes of the athletes.

No matter what the age, everyone supports each other. Even young men from other countries will yell, ‘Keep it up’ or ‘Looking good’, when they pass me on the run.”

After her 2005 accident, she was asked what multisport has given her. She said, “My sport uncovered the ‘real me’ hidden in this body. I grew up in a time when women weren’t involved in sports. It was considered unladylike to sweat. Now I love it when I pass a young man in a race. It makes me smile and ride even faster.”

Ginny Poyner is a true ambassador for multisport and USA Triathlon. She is definitely a strong role model for girls and women of all ages.

Not just a competitor, Ginny does much more than race. She has been a Level II USA Triathlon Coach, has served as a USAT Certified Race Official for twelve years and is a member of the USAT National Duathlon committee. Ginny is a member of the Sarasota Storm Triathlon Club.

Ginny Poyner epitomizes what the Florida Region is looking for when a Female Athlete of the Month is named.


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Posted in woman's initiative

2014 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships-Recap



Congratulations to all of our Florida Region athletes that made the trip to West Chester, Ohio on August 2-3 to compete in the 2014 USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships. Nearly 1,000 athletes, ages 7-19, from all over the United States were welcomed by terrific weather, and superb Midwestern hospitality. Our Florida Region was represented by 15 elite division (ages 13-19) athletes, and 54 age group (ages 7-15) athletes from ten (10) Florida Region Youth/Junior Teams.


As a region, Florida brought home three (3) National Championship age group trophies. Congratulations to our “Age Group National Champions” Jack Diemar (Age 8), Lawson Mcleod (Age 10), and Nico Raffinengo (Age 11) for their outstanding efforts.


In addition to our National Champions, we also placed the following Florida Region athletes on the National podium: Reese McClellan (2nd place, age 7), Phoenix Marsiglo (3rd place, age 7), Jack Matthews (3rd place, age 8), Colton Cardwell (2 place, age 9), Colin Kruger (3rd place, age 9), Courtney Diemar (2nd place, age 10), Hannah Fowler (3rd place, age 11), and Haley Diemar (3rd place, age 12).

DSCF1433In the youth elite division, Ricardo Reyes (age 13-15) earned a 2nd place podium in a very competitive national field of youth elite athletes. He was followed closely by Luis Ortiz who finished 6th overall. In the ladies field, we were led by Reagan Quility who earned a 14th overall place in the youth elite division nationally.

In the Junior Elite (ages 16-19), Sam Geiman led the way with a very impressive 5th place overall nationally, while Caroline Condon earned a 15th place overall finish in the ladies field.  

A special kudos go to Triton Elite Multisport Youth for earning a 3rd place team finish in the Nation! What a great weekend, as the Florida Region made an impact in the age group events, elite events, as well as some terrific results in the team relay on Sunday.  



Jim Sheets,

Regional Youth Development Coordinator

Florida Region

Posted in Athlete Development, Latest News, Regional Championship, youth

USA Triathlon Youth Nationals 2014-West Chester, Ohio


Good luck to all our Florida Region athletes competing in West Chester, Ohio this weekend in the USA Triathlon Youth Nationals. We have a very strong group of athletes that will be representing us in Age Group competition, Youth Elite competition, and Junior Elite competition. As our Region Youth Development Coordinator, I am so proud of all our youth coaches, and teams for developing such great kids and promoting a lifestyle. Good luck, and bring us home some hardware! I will be joining you all this weekend, and hope to say hello to each of our teams over the weekend!


Posted in Clubs, Regional Championship, youth

International Triathlon Union

International Triathlon Union
International Triathlon Union – Internal News
July 4, 2014

ITU & IPC announce three paratriathlon medal events for Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games

To all National Federations, athletes and coaches:
The International Triathlon Union (ITU), in conjunction with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), today announced three of the six medal events that will be contested in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games.

The men’s PT1 and PT4 sport classes have now been confirmed as two of the men’s three medal events, while the women’s PT4 has gained a berth in Rio.

To allow for further analysis of the remaining sport classes, the IPC and ITU will continue working closely together during the summer to identify the remaining medal events.

With the six medal events to be evenly split amongst genders, one additional medal event will be assigned for the men, while two medal events will be announced for the women.

The IPC will make its final decision on these medal events following its board meeting in October.

For further inquires, please contact Eric Angstadt.

Posted in Athlete Development, Latest News

USA Paratriathlon National Championship Qualification Information

Don’t forget to sign up for the National Championship or PC Open race in Tempe on September 21st. To view the National Championship qualification criteria, click here: http://www.usatriathlon.org/events/usat/2014/05/paratriathlon-national-championships.aspx

Registration for the National Championship wave will close on August 21st.

National Classification will be offered for the National Championship division for those who have not gone through the new ITU classification system yet.

Be aware that any athlete who wishes to compete in the PC Open wave at the Lifetime Tempe Triathlon does NOT need to qualify or be classified in order to race.
Registration is now open at: http://www.tempetri.com/

ITU Start Lists for Upcoming Elite Paratriathlons
To view the Iseo-Franciacorta WPE start list, click here:http://www.triathlon.org/events/start_list/2014_lago_diseo_itu_paratriathlon_international_event/266552
To view the Magog WPE start list, click here: http://www.triathlon.org/events/start_list/2014_magog_itu_world_paratriathlon_event/266564

Additional ITU Paratriathlon WPE added
ITU has added an additional event to the 2015 ITU WPE calendar. It is going to be in Madrid, Spain on September 21st. The ITU start lists will be produced on August 19th, so the deadline for athletes to request entry into this event is August 13th. ITU Classification will be offered at this event.

USA Paratriathlon National Team Program
USAT Staff and the AAC have come to an agreement on the USA Paratriathlon National Team Program Criteria. Please note that while consensus has been reached with the AAC, this document is subject to final approval by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors. We are also waiting on approval from the USOC for 1 piece of the criteria as well, so once the final criteria document is approved, this will be communicated across the Paratriathlon community. We hope for this final approval within the next week to 10 days.photo

USA Paratriathlon Military Program
USA Triathlon has finalized the 2014 military program camps, clinics, and events for the 2014 season. To view all that is going on click here: http://www.usatriathlon.org/audience/athlete-resources/paratriathletes/military-program.aspx

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Amanda Duke Boulet
Paratriathlon Program Manager
p. 719.955.2674 | f. 719.597.2121
5825 Delmonico Drive, Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Posted in Latest News, Paratriathlon


One thing I was encouraged to do by the “old timers” when I first joined our local triathlon club a couple of years back was to, first, race as often as you can. If you can’t race, volunteer, and if you can’t volunteer, show up to cheer.  Those instructions have stuck with me ever since.


We obviously can not race every race available to us. We have our A, B and C races we are training for. We must not let the temptation to do a particular race overtake our need to stick to our training program. However, we can always take a few hours of our time and help out.

For race directors, especially the ones that put on the small local grass roots races, volunteers mean an awful lot. For the  volunteer it is a rewarding way of giving back and, better yet, it can be a learning experience, too.
One will learn the challenges race directors face. By seeing a race from a different perspective we can understand why things are done a certain way. As athletes we have the opportunity to observe. Pay attention to what the triathletes do under race conditions. This can actually be very funny. For example, to see the person that brings everything, but the kitchen sink to transition. Or to see the person that takes off on the run with their bike helmet still on (I have done that! LOL).

It is a fun way to learn what NOT to do in a race.

Pay attention to the more experienced triathletes. What is it they do in transition, on the run, coming out of the water, at
the bike aid stations etc. that makes them faster. If you are volunteering at a big race where there are pros look at what they do.  What do they do to be more efficient? How do they set up transition? How do they grab the water bottle at the aid stations  on the bike course? How is their run form and foot cadence? Look for the details and look for the small things that separate the average triathlete to the very good one. It takes more than being fit and naturally fast to do well in competition.
Yes, volunteering can be a very important component in your quest to becoming a more complete triathlete. Remember, too,
to cheer the athletes on. You know how good it feels especially when you are struggling.

If some reason you sign up to volunteer and can not make it. Please find a replacement to fill in for you. It is the right thing to
do. Also, remember the people putting on a race will never turn down a walk-on volunteer. If you haven’t signed up
and you show up just say I am here and how can I help.

Volunteering is a very fun way to learn. And you know how much volunteers mean to you when you are out there sweating
on the course, so take the opportunity to pay it forward. It will do you good in more ways then one.


Carl Knutsson
USAT Florida Board Member

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Posted in Latest News, Training

June 20 – 22, 2014 – 2014 Triathlon Education Clinic – 10 USAT CEU

Longleaf Champ-43

Just 19 days away from the USA Triathlon Florida Region – 2014 Triathlon Education Clinic

This is our 3-day training camp in Orlando, FL. USA Triathlon Florida training camps are an ideal, fun option for triathletes and coaches to take their training to the next level. Geared for coaches and athletes training  for Sprint to Ironman Distance.

All camps include a technical component (workshop or lecture) covering sport specific topics. Come prepared to put in a great deal of hard work in an ideal training location. All USAT Coaches will receive 10 USAT CEU’s. Please review the schedule and bring appropriate clothing and training equipment.


Hector L Torres, Eric Kahl, Heather Butcher, Lacey Chimienti, Christopher Myers, Brandt Quick, Ben Elder, Jackie Miller, Emily Jetton

All presenters are experts in the field and USA Triathlon Elite and Professional Coaches.

Register at: http://usatfloridaregion.com/2014/04/25/2014-summer-triathlon-education-clinic-10-usat-ceu/


  • Non USAT Members: $350.00
  • USAT Members: $199
  • USAT Triathlon Coaches $225
  • College Student $100 – Must show ID


9:00 am - Registration

9:15 am - Introduction

9:30 am - Lactate Testing

  • Lecture and Testing

11:00 am – A Balanced Approach To Coaching Triathletes

12n - Lunch

1:00 pm - Increasing and Sustaining Women Participation

2:45 pm - Cycling Power and Fitting

- Actual Fitting

4:30 pm – Mental Training

5:45 pm - Conclusion


7:30 am – Bike Ride / Run

- Clermont, FL

12:00 pm - Lunch (On your own)

1:00 pm - High Intensity Interval Training

2:45 pm - Efficient & Fast Transitions

4:30 pm – Swim / Video Analysis

- Pool workout and recording

6:00 pm – Conclusion


7:00 am - Clay Road – Run

  • 4.5 – 9 mi loop

11:00 am - Swim Video Analysis

12n – Lunch

1:00 pm - Strength Conditioning

2:30 pm – Round Table

  • Training Strategies
  • Best Practices

4:00 pm – Conclusion

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact, Hector L Torres 321-443-0073 or via email at: hector.torres@usatriathlon.org.

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Posted in Coaching, Latest News, Training, Uncategorized

2014 USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Regional Championship


RegionalChampLogo_Floridat_paratriCongratulations to all of the Paratriathletes who participated in the USA Triathlon Florida Region Paratriathlon Regional Championship in St. Anthony’s Sprint Distance held in St. Petersburg, FL this past weekend.

# Place Name Time
1 Jeff Nolan 1:18:19
2 Rajesh Durbal 1:24:50
3 Sean VanGerena 1:42:44

Wheel Chair
# Place Name Time
1 Jacob Sharff 1:26:22
2 Joseph Beimfohr 1:34:49

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Posted in Paratriathlon
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