USAG-CASEY-Soldiers arrived at Casey's Hanson Field House from around the peninsula to compete in the 8th Army Individual Triathlon July 19. The contest involved three divisions: Women's, Men's Senior, and Men's Open, with 32 contestants vying for top honors.

Staff Sgt. Heather Burke of Camp Long placed first in the Women's Division with a time of 1:19:54. Warrant Officer Harvey Gould from Camp Eagle placed first in the Men's Senior Division with a time of 1:01:33. Spc. Tyler Jacobs of USAG-Casey placed first in the Men's Open Division.

"We want to get as many Soldiers and Family members involved in the different sporting activities here," said Randy Behr, sports director for USAG-Casey Family Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. "It is a nice morale booster and keeps people happy; overall, it is for fitness."

Numbers of entries were up significantly due to competitors coming in from all areas of the peninsula, Behr said. "The more people we have enter these activities, the better the effect is all around."

Rainy weather prevailed during the event, but it was good to have cooler temperatures, said Jim Williams, USAG-Casey FMWR sports specialist. Competitors were cautioned be extra careful because of slippery roads.

Following the award presentations, everyone was treated to a picnic, provided by FMWR's Gateway Club.

The triathlon consisted of swimming, running, and cycling. Contestants swam 400 meters freestyle, ran 5 km, and cycled 20 km.

"We started having the triathlon event in the 8th Army as long ago as 1990," said Tom Higgins, 8th Army sports director. "We have been presenting this event for a long time."

Higgins pointed out the individual triathlon is designed for triathlon rookies to get started in the sport. "It is a fine way for an athlete that has never participated in a triathlon to get started in events like this one," he said. "This event is especially designed for our Soldiers."

Soldiers cross-training in different sports find the 8th Army Triathlon an excellent way to continue adding to their athletic skills, Higgins said. "All our region events are a culmination of everything," he said. "It is like a pyramid where our region event is at the top, and other events from the garrisons and regions lead to it."