WALL LAKE, S.D. — Evan Mahrous switches gears flawlessly. He has to. Any stumble in transitioning from the bike to his running shoes costs him time. Today, on a breezy, sunny day at Wall Lake Park, no movement of Evan’s is wasted.
With a head full of golden locks, Oakley sunglasses covering the sharp focus of his eyes and donning a singlet with his name on the back and his country on the front, the 11-year-old looks every bit the part of a professional triathlete.
But he doesn’t just look the part. He plays it, too. This summer, Mahrous won a national championship in his age group in Cincinnati, upping his previous two top-3 finishes at the meet.
“I didn’t think I was going to win,” said Evan.
His coach had more confidence in her star pupil.
“I knew he was going to win it this year,” said Kathy Grady, senior exercise specialist at Sanford Wellness Center.
Evan is one of about two dozen young athletes who have spent their summer training for triathlons across the country through the Z3/Sanford Youth Triathlon training program.
Ages range from 5-years-old to teenagers. They spend three days a week biking, swimming and running.
Evan is not the only triathlete in the program to achieve success on the national stage. Five others in the program finished in the top-30 in their respective age groups.
“All of the kids in the program have such heart, drive and dedication. These kids race against the best of the best in the U.S.,” said Grady.
KSFY-TV recently featured Evan in a story about his success.