If you have one of those on-the-go kids who can’t stand idle time, you may want to introduce him or her to Coach Jeff Boyer. When Boyer founded Team Barracuda (www.barracudatri.com) in 2012, it was Westchester’s first youth-and-junior-triathlon training program — a status that Boyer says remains true today.
Team Barracuda offers training at three different levels: Level One is the Development Team, with ages ranging from 7 to 14, teaching the basics; Level Two is the Competitive Team, for 11- to 16-year-olds, offering training for competitions throughout the county; finally, the High Performance Team, consisting of 13- to 19-year-olds, features athletes who train and race at the highest level, with Olympic-style events.
Boyer attributes the growth of the sport in recent years to the numerous opportunities that have been emerging for athletes on all levels. “USA Triathlon has now named triathlon an emerging sport for women in the NCAA ranks, and it is also working on that becoming a championship varsity sport between now and 2024,” says Boyer of the sport’s US governing body, from which he is one of only a handful in Westchester to have received Level 2 and Youth & Junior certification as a coach. “This sport is growing all around the youth, high school, and collegiate divisions of the country.”
While triathlons are daunting to many, the young athletes of Team Barracuda push through their hardest moments, thanks to the palpable team spirit of the club. Lily Margoshes, 13, says she finds the team atmosphere incredibly supportive during her events. “I find it very reassuring to have a group of people at a race who are going through the same thing I am, at the same time,” she says.
Team Barracuda, which trains in Mamaroneck, has multiple events in September, including the Westchester Kids’ Triathlon, at Rye Playland, on September 22.