Resurgent Huelgas, Breen top Subic triathlon
MANILA, Philippines – Nikko Huelgas showed he’s still the man to watch as the country’s former No. 1 triathlete topped the elite race of the 2014 National Age Group Triathlon series in under two hours over the weekend on Dungaree Beach at Subic Bay Freeport.
Huelgas upended top seed John Chicano with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 21 seconds to jumpstart his training for a possible stint in the 2014 Asian Games this September in Incheon, Korea.
The 21-year-old Huelgas prioritized his studies last year and is set to graduate from La Salle.
“What’s important today was to see my fitness level and not my time,” said Huelgas. “It’s about competing at a high level and finishing the race with still a lot of energy.”
Mervin Rendel Santiago and Aileen Breen also came out triumphant in the men’s and women’s age group races of the 1.5K swim-40K bike-10K run competition.
Santiago, a 21-year-old student from University of the Philippines, topped the 20-24 age class while emerging as the overall winner in the men’s side with a 2:13.56 clocking.
“My strength is in biking and running, so I was confident I would be able to catch up with the leaders,” said Santiago, who reigned in the Anvaya Cove Invitational Triathlon last November.
Breen, who also ruled the 35-39 age group, impressively came back from right shoulder injury to capture the women’s crown with a time of 2:49.40.
Other top finishers: Men—Juan Gabriel Velasco (25-29), Jet Ramos (30-34), Jessie Jay Calara (35-39), Hiroshi Takei (40-44), Keita Hasegawa (45-49), Joey Andaya (50-54); Women—Chloe Jane Ong (25-29), Richelle Hizon (30-34) and Elaine Andaya (40-over).