TRIATHLON: 20-Year-Old Wins at Montauk

It was the race’s 30th anniversary
Ryan Siebert celebrated Montauk’s 30th anniversary by winning here for the first time, while Laurel Wassner, who won outright last year, topped the women’s field. Jack Graves Photos

    Ryan Siebert, a 20-year-old from Patchogue, who was third last year, won Saturday’s Robert Aaron memorial triathlon in Montauk in one hour, 52 minutes, and 46.5 seconds.
    The young winner, who competed in his first triathlon when he was 10, topped a field of 525 finishers, bettering last year’s time by about three minutes.
    Because it was the race’s 30th anniversary, Siebert, whose splits were 23:53 in the mile swim, 47:20 in the 22-mile bike, and 38:47 in the 10K run, said he had persuaded his mother, Denise Hannon Siebert, 56, who was the women’s winner at Montauk in 1984, to do it too. She placed 247th over all in 2:39.15.3, and won the 55-to-59 women’s category.
    The women’s winner was once again Laurel Wassner, a 36-year-old pro from New York City, who has dominated here since 2007, and who in 2011 became the first female ever to win Montauk outright, in 1:53:25.3. Her time this year was 1:58:54.3, good for 10th place over all, two spots behind the 51-year-old Eben Jones, who has won this event nine times in his career.
    After his last win at Montauk in 2002, in 1:51:55, the former world’s top amateur, who lives in New Canaan, Conn., and is the father of four, said he forwent triathletic competition for a decade — though he continued to ride road and mountain bikes and to ski — “until my wife bought me a bike last year for my 50th birthday.”
    “I came back today because Merle [McDonald Aaron, the race director and widow of its late founder] asked me,” said Jones after crossing the line in eighth place, in 1:57:37.5.
    While his swim and bike splits Saturday were right there with the times he posted 10 years ago, his run was five-and-a-half minutes slower. Eying a fellow triathlete, Jones said, “I’m doing well in my age group — I won the nationals last year and was fourth at Hawaii — but, as he knows, once you hit 45 you slow down.”
    Siebert, whose mother has qualified for the sprint competition in the world triathlon championships, which are, he said, to be contested in London next year, hopes he’ll be able to go too, as an Olympic-distance competitor. He had recently “won Great South Bay and placed fifth in the Elite Amateurs in Texas.”
    Eighteenth out of the water, Siebert said he “made up time on the bike . . . I’m not sure what I did on the run.”
    Wassner, who said she’d been “very happy” with a fifth-place finish the week before in a half-Ironman in Connecticut that had drawn nationally-ranked competitors — a race in which she’d not done well the year before owing to the deleterious effects of a frigid lake swim — knew she wouldn’t be able to go all out here. “I only decided to come two days before the race,” she said. “My coach hadn’t wanted me to come.”
    But it was Montauk’s 30th anniversary, and so she did.
    David Powers, 44, of New York City and Wainscott, the winner here in 2008, the runner-up in 2010 — and the apparent winner last year until the corrected time of Wassner, who had started the swim five minutes behind the elite men, was posted — seemed well on his way to winning again Saturday, but a muffed “flying dismount” coming into the transition area at the end of his 47:16 bike leg resulted in multiple contusions and cuts that rendered him hors de combat. When the accident occurred, Powers, who was sixth out of the water, in 21:44, had a lead of at least several minutes.
    John Broich, 51, of Sag Harbor, placed 38th, in 2:10.24.6, and was fourth in the 50-54 group that Jones topped. Erin Tintle, 40, of East Hampton, who placed 99th, in 2:24:08.1, won among the 40-44 women. David Pitches, 66, who placed 354th, in 2:48:52.5, won among the 65-69 men, and Fran McConnell, 61, of East Hampton, who placed 524th, in 3:50:49.1, was fourth among the 60-64 women.