Waltman, Bare, Nite Moves team deliver as long-course triathlon champions

Long-course overall champion Jonathan Waltman of UCSB sprints to the finish at East Beach. (Photos by John Dvorak)

On a day when wacky weather patterns were tracking across America, the local beach scene was nothing short of Santa Barbara spectacular!

Race conditions for the Santa Barbara Triathlon’s long course were pristine:  clear, sunny and warm.

Goleta’s Zack Paris, 22, was the first triathlete to actually cross the finish line but it was Jonathan Waltman, 21, who actually won the race with a time of 2:59:14 for the 1-mile ocean swim, 34-mile bike and 10-mile run.

Paris, who started the race in an earlier wave of competitors, finished in second place at 2:59:37.


Waltman, senior co-captain on UCSB’s Triathlon team, is new the ‘Winner’s Circle.’

“Jon wasn’t even in the sport a year ago,” says Mateo Mercur, coach of both the UCSB Triathlon and Elite Racing teams. “He stayed in Santa Barbara this summer and trained with Elite. He’s super coachable and has been soaking it up all.”

And it apparently all paid off as Waltman had been talking some friendly ‘smack’ with summer teammate Paris.

“I’ve been telling him I was going to win for the last two months,” said Waltman.

He did so by less than 25 seconds.

Other highlights include:

• On the women’s side, San Luis Obispo’s Christine Bare, 29, finished first at 3:15:14 followed by Tatiana Vertiz, 24, of San Antonio, Texas, at 3:23:24.

• The local Nite Moves relay team of Max Silva (swim), James Ballantine (bike) and Eric Forte (run) finished first at 2:56:03.

• The first co-ed relay team was also local — Platinum Performance/Momentum-4-Life — with Dawn Schroeder (swim), Tom Anhalt (bike) and Todd Booth (run). The team finished second overall at 2:57:31.

• Ben Romo, Executive Director of Partners in Education – the non-profit organization benefiting from the SB Triathlon, finished his inaugural triathlon with a PR of 4:33.52.

•Lead sponsor Montecito Bank & Trust’s relay team with CEO Janet Garufis and The Bertolet Boys (son Matt and his dad, Sam) finished close to community partner Romo at 4:36.10.

• Everyone in the Just for Fun Division was guaranteed a “Top 10″ finish with only eight participants. L.A.’s Sara McKenzie Skiles, 27 was first at 4:27:34.

•Making a cameo appearance at the finish line was award-winning actor Edward James Olmos — there to support his son, Bodie, who finished 23rd  at 3:15:24 … on his 36th birthday,

And speaking of Olmos, where in that great flick when he ‘nailed’ that great portrayal of the now-late teacher-extraordinaire Jaime Escalante, well, it was clear that the triathletes did the exact same thing when crossing the finish line …

Stand and Deliver.

Sunday kicks off the Sprint Triathlon with a 500-yard ocean swim, 8-mile bike and 2-mile run.