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This page was last updated on: September 24, 2001

Connecticut Sports Online
FARMINGTON, Aug. 26, 2001 -- Since 1986, triathlete Donna Kay-Ness has completed in many triathlons all over the world. She recently won her age group (ages 35-39) at the recent world amateur triathlon championships in Edmonton, Canada.

But she has never competed in fog as thick as the fog that challenged racers early one August morning at the 17th annual Greater Hartford Triathlon at Winding Trails Recreation Center.

It wasn't enough to slow Kay-Ness or Dominic Gillen of New Preston, who each easily won their respective divisions in the Olympic distance triathlon. Gillen, the first state man to win the race since 1989, easily won by 3:25 over runnerup Ulandt Kim of East Falmouth, Mass.

Kay-Ness, of Enfield, won by 4:16 to win the GHT for the third straight year and for the seventh time in the last nine years.

The Olympic distance event (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) was also USA Triathlon's New England regional championship meet. A record 345 athletes finished the race.

The early-morning fog was the topic of conversation after the race. It was so thick that the swimmers could not see from one buoy to another.

Kay-Ness had never competed in a race with so much fog. One New Jersey race near the Atlantic Ocean had the swimming leg canceled due to heavy fog and she had seen races delayed until the fog burned off.

"I certainly didn't swim in a straight line," she said. "We would stop and look and look and when we finally found a buoy, we would resume."

"It was a nightmare," said Chris Schafer of Delmark, N.Y., who finished with the top swim time of 21:42 and fourth overall. "You had no way to know where you were going."

"You couldn't see the shore or the buoys," Gillen said. "It was real tough. I was just following and hoping they were going in the right direction."

Some swimmers missed buoys but none were disqualified. Since racers did not have numbers on their swim caps, race organizers had no way to identify racers that missed buoys  on purpose or inadvertently.

Race organizers asked participants to inform them if they had missed buoys but no one admitted cutting the course.

"We could have delayed the start and gotten some staff to direct the elite swimmers but we didn't have enough time," race director Bill Phillips said. It was important to kick off the race on time to be a good neighbor and have most of the bicycle race completed so it would not interfere with church services and morning traffic.

Phillips said next year more buoys will be on the course, swimmers will have numbers on their swim caps and boaters will be available to direct swimmers if needed.

Gillen, 23, a former University of Connecticut swimmer, was fifth out of the water but quickly seized the lead in the cycling portion of the race and was never threatened. He turned in the fastest cycling time of the day in 1:07.16 led by nearly three minutes beginning the run, winning the race in 2:07.48.

Kim, who competed with a partially-torn Achilles tendon in his left foot, passed two runners in the final 3.1 miles of the run to finish second in 2:11.13.  He also overcame a flat tire during the cycling leg. Farmington's Michael Morrow, 40, was seventh (2:15.58). Morrow had the second fastest swim time (21:49) of the day.

Gillen has won four of the five races he has entered this summer.

Kay Ness was never threatened in the women's race, winning with a time of 2:16.45, good enough for ninth place overall.

Unionville's Thomas Costello won the men's 55-59 age group with a time of 2:46.11 while Southington's Dave Gworek finished 16th overall and captured the men's 45-49 age group title in 2:20.00.

Morrow finished third in the men's 40-44 division. Marissa Ryan of Farmington finished second in the women's 19 and under division. Ryan, 16, finished with a time of 3:03.10.

AROUND THE LAKE: Complete race results are available at ... Women's runnerup, Amy Cashion of Brookline, Mass., finished second in the GHT for the second straight year. Her time of 2:21.01 was over three minutes better than her performance of a year ago.  ... Morrow finished seventh last year and was 19th in 1999. ... Kim competes with a partially torn Achilles tendon that limits him to one day of running a week. This week's run was in the race. Most of his training is on the bike and in the pool. He won the New England title in the sprint triathlon (0.25 swim, 11 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) earlier this year. ... Seven relay teams competed in the event. The team of Bill Schumann and Dan Venora won in a time of 2:26.42, beating six other three-person teams. ... The last state triathlete to win the race was Winsted's L.J. Briggs in 1989 when the race was based in Collinsville at Bicentennial (Sewerside) Park along the banks of the Farmington River.

Fog, field can't slow down Gillen or  Kay-Ness in triathlon
2001 Greater Hartford Triathlon
At Farmington
Olympic distance (1 mile swim, 26 mile bike, 6.2 mile run)

Top 20 finishers: 1. Dom Gillen, New Preston, 2:07.48; 2. Ulandt Kim, East Falmouth, Mass., 2:11.13; 3. Steve Pyle, Riverside, NY, 2:12.40; 4. Chris Schaffer, Delmar, NY, 2:14.17; 5. Henry Phelan, Sudbury, Mass., 2:14.31; 6. Brian Lewis, Hamden, 2:15.56; 7. Michael Morrow, Farmington, 2:15.58; 8. Martin Casin, Cheshire, 2:16.07; 9. Donna Kay-Ness, Enfield, 2:16.45; 10. Bob Shebest, Storrs, 2:17.06; 11. William Hanschild, New York State, 2:17.11; 12. Scott Roth, Branford, 2:17.15; 13. Seth Holden, Woonsocket, RI, 2:18.35; 14. Mark Orwat, Goshen, NY, 2:18.39; 15. Tim Snow, Brockton, Mass., 2:19.53; 16. David Gworek, Southington, 2:20.00; 17. Chris Schulten, Branford, 2:20.18; 18. Michael Maximenko, Naugatuck, 2:20.43; 19. Chris Moore, Pine Meadow, 2:20.54; 20. Amy Cashion, Brookline, Mass., 2:21.01 and Keith Guinta, Fairfield, 2:21.01.

Top 10 women: 1. Kay-Ness 2:16.45, 2. Cashion 2:21.01, 3. Elizabeth Hall, Redding, 2:27.59, 4. Lisa Dunn, Wilton, 2:31.05; 5. Andrea Stone, Cornwall on the Hudson, NY, 2:32.15; 6. Karen Newman, Old Greenwich, 2:32.42; 7. Wendy Spillane, Ellington, 2:33.51, 8. Sarah Keller, Cambridge, Mass., 2:34.45; 9. Mary Boiczyk, Groton, 2:35.15; 10. Stephanie Michaud, Burlington, VT., 2:35.32

Age group top 3
Female 10 & under: Sarah Newcomb, Orleans, Mass., 2:43.22; Marisa Ryan, Farmington, 3:03.10; Stephanie Grimm, New York State, 3:14.09.
Female 20-24: Boiczyk 2:35.15, Lindsay Simpson, Burlington, VT, 2:39.21; Liz Witowski, New York State, 2:46.19
Female 25-29: Hall 2:27.59, Spillane 2:33.51, Michaud 2:35.32
Female 30-34: Cashion 2:21.01, Diana Mann, Cheshire, 2:36.16, Suzanne Podurgiel, Noank, 2:39.51
Female 35-39: Kay-Ness 2:16.45, Dunn 2:31.05, Stone, 2:32.15
Female 40-44: Newman 2:32.42.7, Susan Zollin, Milford, 2:40.56, Cathi Koehler, Manchester, 2:41.07
Female 45-49: Bonnie Morse-Gillham, Albany, NY 2:41.20, Diane Sharp, Riverside, 2:43.19; Vianna Zimbel, 2:51.01
Female 50-54: Patricia Lowe, Redding, PA., 3:02.16
Female 60-64: Kathleen Scotti, West Hartford, 3:55.48

Male 19 & under: Chris Schaffer, Delmar, NY 2:14.17; Chris Wilson, Sandwich, Mass., 2:23.57; Patrick Schaffer, Delmar, NY 2:26.12
Male 20-24: Gillen 2:07.48, Jesse Kropelnicki, South Boston, Mass., 2:26.34; Alex Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass., 2:30.55
Male 25-29: Cashin 2:16.07; Shebest 2:17.06; Holden 2:18.35
Male 30-34: Kim 2:11.13, Lewis 2:15.56; Hanschild 2:17.11
Male 35-39: Guinta, 2:21.01; Joseph Dotolo, Westerly, RI, 2:21.46; Justin Bohan, Briarcliffe Manor, NY, 2:23.58
Male 40-44: Pyle 2:21.40, Phelan, 2:14.31; Morrow 2:15.58
Male 45-49: Gworek 2:20.00, Jonathan Reik, Glastonbury, 2:23.20, Mike Root, West Cornwall, 2:24.12
Male 50-54: Peter Benner, West Hartford, 2:33.42; Gary Rodebaugh, Guilford 2:37.49; Daniel Kirsch, Worcester, Mass., 2:38.12
Male 55-59: Thomas Costello, Unionville, 2:46.11; David Pitches, New York, NY, 2:57.04; Larry Arvidson, Rosendale, NY, 3:03.26
Male 60-64: Barry Stoner, Glastonbury, 2:55.38; Tom Ungerland, Stamford, 3:33.17