Joe Williams: Clermont a triathlon heaven for athletes
Triathletes run into the water at the start of the Great Floridian ironman triathlon at Clermont's Waterfront Park. (Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel / October 23, 2009)
Joining Clermont among the top spots were: San Diego; Boulder, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz.
The website editors said the best time to train in Clermont is from October through May.
From the website: "This Orlando suburb's balmy weather and quiet, rolling hills have ensnared Olympian triathletes Sarah Haskins and Jarrod Shoemaker, as well as Ironman champ Nina Kraft. But the city's biggest draw is the National Training Center, a 300-acre athlete's playground with an Olympic-sized pool, fitness center, track and field complex, performance testing, trainers, physical therapists--everything, in short, an athlete could possibly need."
Fred Sommer, president of Sommer Sports, who started putting on triathlons in Clermont more than 25 years ago, has long been proclaiming the city's appeal.
Now the national media touting it as well.
Lake-Sumter Community College athletic director Mike Matulia has plenty to praise his school's athletes about when it comes to academics.
The three intercollegiate teams the Lakers have, all excelled in the classroom this year. The baseball team had a cumulative 3.13 GPA, the women's volleyball team had a 3.12 and the softball team had a 3.07.
There were 12 team members from baseball, eight from softball and seven from volleyball who were named to the Mid-Florida Conference's academic teams and there were seven baseball and softball players and four volleyball players named to the Florida College System Activities Association's all-academic team.
But, more impressive, there were a school record nine athletes (three in volleyball, one in softball and five in baseball) who were candidates for the National Junior College Activities Association's All-American teams.
Taking the Nike Cup
The Lake County Under-10 Arsenal girls soccer team has put together some impressive showings, but one of its best came on May 19-20 when it won the Gold Bracket in the fourth annual Nike Champions Cup at the Northwest Recreation Complex in Apopka.
The Gold Bracket was the highest level of competition in the tournament, which was 6-versus-6 soccer.
Arsenal opened the tournament by defeating FC America's Premier Black team, scoring the final six goals to take a 7-1 victory. It then topped Gainesville Soccer Alliance Blue 5-0 and Brandon FC's Blue team 3-1 to finish pool play with a 3-0 record.
Playing in the championship match against Brandon, Arsenal fell behind 1-0, but again put together six unanswered goals for a 6-1 victory.
The Arsenal team consisted of Janae Torres, Erica Treadwell, Sydney Cox, Grace Hinerman, Lanie Grimando, Brooke Schulz, Kara Haas, Riley Rojahn, Macy Laszaic and Bella Recinos.
"This was a great effort with all players contributing to our success," said coach Naji Khouri. "The girls dominated their bracket as they outscored their opponents by a 21-3 margin. The defense was great all weekend, allowing only three goals [one came on a penalty kick]."
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