Coventry provides many opportunities for children to participate in a variety of individual and team sports.
But 12-year-old residents, Mike Lupino, Joe Pelletier and Nick Mitchell, could make history when they participate as a team called Coventry Storm in the ‘Oh My Goddard’ Sprint Triathlon starting at 6:45 a.m. on Sunday morning at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick.
After Mike finishes the opening swimming event of ¼ mile, he will transfer the computerized timing chip to Joe, who will mount his bicycle for a brisk 10 miles around and near the park. Finally, Nick will finish the race with a 3.1 mile run.
Mike is already experienced swimming, biking and running in mostly adult triathlons. Two years ago, he represented RI at the National Ironkids in Raleigh, NC, finishing 45th. Last year as the youngest athlete in the Oh My Goddard Spring Triathlon he stood out with a total time of 1:35 with the 81st fastest swim out of 265. In the Crabman Sprint Triathlon in Matunick he had a total time of 1:23 with the 52nd fastest swim out of 326.
Mike also plays football for the Coventry Rams, played lacrosse for Coventry Redman, swims for the Kent County YMCA Sea Otters, boxes at CLCF (Cranston) and trains at Balletto’s Boxing Gym. And he just started rugby.
Mike displayed how strong he is in swimming after a casual practice run at Goddard Park. “I am going to go out as fast as I can and set no limits on what I can do,” he said.
“I am going to use an NBX bike,” said Joe, who has participated in two SuperKids Triathlons, including a 4th-place finish in Kingston a few weeks ago. He is a two-state wrestling champion who’s finished 6th in New England competition. “I think I can do 40 minutes or less,” he says of this biking leg of the event.
Nick, used to running for over an hour during soccer games, anchors the event with a 3.1 mile run. “I am going to have to pace myself,” he said. “I think I can do it in 25 minutes.”
In a field of over 300 competitors, many others will also compete in a longer Olympics triathlon of 1500 meters, bike 24.9 miles and run of 6.2 miles. The youngest competitor will be Jacob Lamothe, 10, of West Warwick. His father, Alfred Lamothe, will also compete.
This won’t be the last time these Coventry competitors will compete with or against each other in one of several sports.
Mike and Nick were part of the Coventry Lacrosse 12-and-under squad that recently won the recreational state championship in Portsmouth a week ago.
Joe and Mike wrestled for five years for the Coventry Renegades. Each young athlete has played on Coventry youth baseball teams.
Nick plays for the Bayside Premier Soccer Team that participated in the USYSA nationals in Hershey, PA. “I play forward or midfield,” he noted.
Mike was on a Sea Otters Swim Team that recently won the Southeastern New England cluster of YMCAs championship.
The trio trained just two weeks for this spring triathlon event. But they each put up a finger confidently showing they want to be #1. “We want to show some awesomeness,” said Mike. “We’d like to be at least in the top three against other relay teams.”
Supported by their parents, families and friends, this trio will likely have a large rooting section at each stage as they swim, bike and run their way, respectively, to success, while completing the challenging event.