Armed Forces Triathlon winners to represent the U.S.

The top three female finishers in the Armed Forces Triathlon are, from left, Marine Corps 1st Lt. Mollie Hebda, first place; Air Force Maj. Judith Coyle, second place, and Army 1st Lt. Justine Emge, third place. U.S. Navy photo by Theresa Miller photos

POINT MUGU, CALIF. – Navy Lt. Kyle Hooker won the Armed Forces Triathlon Championship men’s title for the third straight year with a time of 1:50:12 at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu June 10.

Marine Corps 1st Lt. Mollie Hebda stationed at Camp Pendleton took the Armed Forces women’s gold medal with an overall time of 2:08:03.

Returning female athletes shuffled the deck from last year’s top individual performers, with Hebda overtaking last year’s women’s overall champion, Air Force Maj. Judith Coyle, in the run. Washington state native Coyle came first out of the swim with a time of 19:40 and an overall time of 2:10:02, earning silver.

Army 1st Lt. Justine Emge of Columbia, Mo., rounded out the top three with an overall time of 2:11:37 to win the bronze.

Army 1st Lt. Justine Emge is just ahead of Air Force Maj. Judith Coyle as they finish the 10-kilometer bike portion of the Armed Forces Triathlon.

The men’s team competitors ran an even tighter race with 45 seconds separating the top three competitors. Navy P-2 pilot Hooker from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. led the race from the beginning, finishing his 1500-meter swim in 17:48. Representing team Air Force, Capt. Joel Bischoff from Luke AFB, Ariz. with an overall time of 1:50:46, and Navy Lt. Thomas Brown with a time of 1:51:03, rounded out the top three men overall.

The women’s team title went to Air Force when Maj. Jamie Turner came in fifth overall followed by Lt. Col Mellissa Tallent in ninth place. The top three of five scores count toward the team scores. Scores are determined by the place each competitor finishes. With Hebda’s first place finish, the Marine Corps won the women’s silver.

The top six finishers from each branch count in men’s triathlon team scoring. With four of the top 10 overall places, Hooker’s first place finish sealed the deal for Navy to take the team title in this year’s competition. Air Force pulled in a strong performance, earning five of the top 10 places to win team silver.

The Armed Forces Triathlon, held at Point Mugu for the second year in a row, challenges competitors to Olympic distances of a 1,500-meter (approximately one-mile) ocean swim, 40-kilometer (24.8-mile) bike and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) run. Teams from the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps compete for points and spots on the U.S. Team competing in August at the World Military Triathlon Championship in Warendorf, Germany.

Navy Lt. Kyle Hooker and Navy Lt. Thomas Brown are first and second to complete the one-mile ocean swim at Point Mugu beach in the first leg of the Armed Forces Triathlon.

As part of a long standing cooperation with the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada joined the U.S. service branches at the annual Armed Forces Triathlon as part of the CISM Bilateral Competition.

In the men’s competition, Canada’s Maj. David Lacombe of St. Jean, Quebec came in second overall behind Hooker, with a time of 1:54:08. Canada’s Cpl. Alexandre Boule of Bagotville, Quebec, finished fifth overall with a time of 1:54:12.

On the women’s side, Capt. Lesley Quinlan finished second overall with a time of 2:12:47. The women’s team did not place in the team rankings, as three racers are required to score.

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