• Patti Sponsler

Trio Tops Trilogy!

Updated: Sep 17


Powerhouse pals pose for a pic prior to the start of the third race of the Fort DeSoto Triathlon Trilogy on Aug. 21 in St. Pete. Will Liebig, left, took 2nd OA in the international distance while Ryan DeGregorio took the overall victory in the sprint. Photo courtesy Ryan DeGregorio.

Ya gotta love it when athletes from the 321 roll into races in other counties and leave with the bling. It’s sort of like pirates plundering.


And that’s what happened after several locals competed in the third race of the Fort Desoto Trilogy in St. Pete on August 14.


They returned with silver and gold.


West Melbourne’s Ryan Degregorio bested the 259 athlete field by more than two minutes in the sprint event (.25-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 3.15-mile run).


The 27-year-old Pineapple Cove charter school mathematics teacher - who has an undergraduate Astrophysics degree from Rutgers and a Masters in Education from Florida Tech - flew through the course in fifty-five minutes and three seconds, also grabbing the fastest run split at a 6:02/mile pace.


“The Fort Desoto race was a blast,” said DeGregorio*, who will be returning to his roots when he races Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City in two weeks. “It is always a fun day anytime I'm with Will (Liebig). He's an invaluable (New Wave) teammate.”


While DeGregorio grabbed the gold in the sprint, Liebig brought home the silver after finishing second overall in the international distance (.5-mile swim, 20-mile bike and 6.2-mile run).


Melbourne’s Liebig, 37, may have finished second in 1:47:20 but his 25.6 mph bike split was the day’s fastest.


Rockledge's Christy Tagye checking her swim split on her way to T1 and the female Masters win. Photo courtesy Christy Tagye.

Grabbing extra gold in the international distance was Rockledge’s Christy Tagye. The 50-year mother of five and grandmother of soon-to-be six crossed the line in 2:25:07 taking the female Masters victory.


And, even though he is not local and there were only 38 finishers, it should be noted that St. Pete’s 64-year-old Bob Brown took the duathlon's top spot. He ran the first mile in 6:14; averaged 23.3 mph on the 10-mile bike and then ran a 7:53 pace for 24:52 for 3.15 miles. Keep your eye out if you are in the 65-69 age group. He moves up to join you in January.


Congrats to all the 321 sprint finishers (25/10/3.15) including Donna Arnister, 61, 1:38:10; Garry Branch, 62, Satellite Beach, 1:15:23; Ryan DeGregorio, 27, West Melbourne, OA Male, 55:03; and Christy Zieres, 62, Merritt Island, 2nd 60-64, 1:31:45.


Also big props to Brevard’s international distance (.5/20/6.2) champs Will Liebig, 27, Melbourne, 2nd OA Male, 1:47:20, and Christy Tagye, 50, Rockledge, Female Masters victor, 2:25:07.


Apologies to any local(s) that might have been missed in these results. Cities were not included in the finishers' list. If you are doing an out-of-town event and wish to be recognized, mail.


*Fun, rather mind-blowing fact about DeGregorio: In addition to the four 70.3 races he has done, he once did an unsupported 140.6 on his own (Ironman distace of 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run).


“Back in 2018 a couple of my friends had done an ironman and I thought I was capable also, but didn't have $1000 to spend on a race,” he said. So, I just did the distance solo around my hometown in New Jersey.”


Isn't it great to have a teacher that can demonstrate that kind of self-confidence and capability?


Complete Fort DeSoto race and Series results