Organista, Binder, Vigil claim titles on SB Triathlon sprint course

Carpinteria’s Matt Organista stepped up his game at the turnaround point of the swim and pushed hard the rest of the way to win the overall title in the Santa Barbara Triathlon sprint course event Sunday.

With his friends and cross country teammates from Westmont College rooting him on, Organista, 22, made a quick transition from the swim to the bike portion of the race and pulled into a lead he would never relinquish. His winning time for the 500-yard ocean swim, 6-mile bike and 2-mile run was 35 minutes, 24 seconds.

Edmond Roche, 19, of Thousand Oaks finished second in 37:28; local veteran triathlete Michael Smith was third in 37:45; local Carl Parker took fourth in 38:03 and Irvine’s Karl Anthony Schultz came in fifth in 38:25.

Adrienne Binder, 26, a former San Marcos swim star and Auburn University All-American, was the women’s winner for the second straight year in the co-ed division, hitting the finish in 43:51. The Schroeder girls: mom, Dawn, 45, in 45:38 and her 12-year-old daughter, Erica, in 46:35, were second and third, respectively.

Carpinteria’s Sue Beatty nabbed the fourth spot (46:40) and 12-year-old Natalie Widmer, 12, of Santa Barbara was fifth in 47:07.


Sunday’s field included several preteen and young teen competitiors, the youngest being 10. There were 11 kids age 15 and under who finished among top 100 in the co-ed division.

In the women’s-only sprint course event, Linda Vigil of Carlsbad won with the fastest overall women’s time of 43:25. Locals took the next two spots: Cindy Crawford-Abrami (44:34) and Karen Schultz (44:48).


The competitors were blessed with ideal conditions.

“It was better than last year,” said 79-year-old Chris Denny of Fresno, who finished in 1:18:19 (314th place). “Last year there was colder water.”

Organista said he took the first half of his swim at a moderate pace and then kicked it into high gear.

“I tried to catch the lead guy (Karl Anthony Schultz),” he said. “I knew I had to have a fast transition to catch him and I passed him in the transition area.”

He kept the lead through the bike and stretched it with a strong run.

Organista said he was looking forward to a battle with defending champion Mike Smith.

“It was kind of a bummer because I was hoping to have a close race with Mike Smith this year, but he lost his goggles at the starting line and that put him back in the swim a little bit further than he wanted.”

Binder was pleased to finish close to her time of last year (43:33) without doing as much training.

“It felt pretty good; I really haven’t been training that much this summer,” she said. “I think I was right about the same as I was last year, which last year I was training a lot more, so I feel good about it.”

Binder hopes to be back again next summer, but she’s going to be busy planning her wedding. “I’ll be busy focusing on that,” she said.

She’s engaged to former San Marcos soccer player Daniel Brown.

There were 328 finishers in the co-ed division and 216 in the women’s-only event.