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Los Alamos youth excel at unique competition

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By Kirsten Laskey

Running, shooting, swimming and horse riding – these are well-established sports but combined altogether, something unique arises.

A tetrathlon may sound unusual but it is a sport that is widely held.

Additionally, three girls from Los Alamos recently proved they excel at this sport.

Madeline Beck, Rachel Brenner and Mariah Bayless of the Los Alamos Pony Club achieved first place as a team in the Rocky Mountain Regional Mega Rally Tetrathlon.

The tetrathlon, which was held June 15-16 in Loveland, Colo., is a team competition that is a variant of the modern pentathlon, without fencing.

The competition is comprised of four disciplines of shooting, swimming, riding and running.

Teams typically consist of four members from one pony club branch competing against several teams from rival branches.

There are three age categories: senior or competitors who are 16 years old or older, junior or competitors who are 13-16 years old, intermediate or competitors who are 13 years or older and pre-novice or competitors who are 10 years old or younger.

Beck commented that it was the first time she had competed in the tetrathlon. “I really, really enjoyed it,” she said. “And I would love to do it again because I like to horse ride a lot but I like to do other things and the tetrathlon is one of my favorite things to do because we get to shoot, we get to run and we get to horse jump.”

Beck competed as a pre-novice and earned first place in her division in running, swimming, shooting and riding. Her total score was 3,660 points.

Beck also received the “Cutest Pony” award as well as the “Perfect Turnout” award.

Brenner competed as a novice and earned second place in running, swimming and shooting, and first place in riding. Her total score was 2,932 points, which earned Brenner first place in her division.

Brenner also served at the Los Alamos team’s captain.

Bayless competed in the intermediate division and received first place in running and swimming, fourth place in shooting and third place in riding.

Her total score was 2,796 point, which earned Bayless third place in her division. Additionally, the entire Los Alamos team earned third place in the horse management competition.

Brenner and Bayless will compete in the Mid-Western Tetrathlon Championship in Kansas City. Jill Beck, the team chaperone, said she was pleased with the team’s results. “Even after traveling the long distance from Los Alamos to Loveland, the girls gave it all they had and their scores and final standings showed that,” she said.