LEROY - Dave Irion and Jennifer Garrison defended their titles in the 14th annual Tri-Shark Triathlon Classic at Moraine View State Park Saturday.
Irion, a Normal Community High School and Illinois State graduate, won for a record fourth time, clocking 56 minutes, 18 seconds after 600 yards of swimming, 13 miles of bicycling and 3.1 miles of running. It was the event's fastest time since Dave Egan sped 54:25 in 1995.
The 49-year-old Irion, who resides in Naperville, won last year (57:37), in 2005 (59:36) and in 2003 (59:35). He topped a field of 466 individuals and 24 relays.
Garrison, 28, of Naperville, placed first among women and 11th overall in 1:02:17, which was 26 seconds slower than the course record she set last year. She also won in 2000 in 1:08:32. The runner-up was Jenn Howland, 14, of Elburn, in 1:06:01.
Irion, who still holds ISU's 5K record of 13:56.80, swam for 7:49, biked for 29:32; and ran for 17:01 to finish 52 seconds ahead of Brian Hague, 22, of Chicago. Hague, the 2004 champion, also placed second last year. Irion's two transitions took 1:56.
Irion had the day's fastest times for biking and running. Sharing the fastest swim leg at 6:39 were Geneva 15-year-olds Ben Kanute and Kevin McDowell. McDowell's 29:58 on the bike ranked second while the second best running leg at 17:05 was by David Johnson, 25, of Darien.
Garrison led all women on the bike (33:14) and run (19:27) and ranked second in the swim (7:45). Her transitions added up to 1:50. The top women's swimming time of 7:39 was by Howland, who also ranked second on the run (25:59) while Elisa Lee, 27, of Chicago ranked second on the bike (34:12).
The first Pantagraph area finishers were Chris Sweet, 28, of Bloomington for the men (ninth, 1:00:57) and Tricia Madey, 32, of Bloomington for the women (118th, 1:12:21).
The winning relay of Phil Warlow, Kent Lowry and Merlin Anderson clocked 1:03:31.