Cameron Hackett was quite the swimmer growing up.
He earned four varsity letters as a standout at Delaware Hayes High School, earning a trip to the state showcase in the 500 freestyle as a senior.
Since then, he’s added a few more ways to get around: biking and running.
All three were on display Sunday as Hackett, competing in Delaware for the first time since he graduated five years ago, won his age group (18-24) and finished with the second-fastest time among the 2,500-plus triathletes at the Ironman 70.3 Ohio.
He completed the 1.2-mile swim in 27:16, the 56-mile bike ride in 2:10.12 and the 13.1-mile run, which concluded on the track of historic Selby Stadium at Ohio Wesleyan University, in 1:32.56. Throw in the time it took for the transitions and he crossed the finish line with a total time of 4:14.22.
“Obviously, I swam at Hayes so the swimming background helped,” he said. “I took it pretty easy on the swim and I tried to negative split on the bike — go a little faster on the back half — and then the run I just tried to be strong the whole way through.”
Eric Engel (30-34), from Madison, Wisconsin, was the only competitor to finish with a better time than Hackett. He caught him early into the run and crossed the line with the top overall time of 4:01.53. Engel, competing in the event for the second straight summer, finished the swim in 29:15, the bike portion in 2:08.10 and the run in 1:20.32.
“I knew a couple of the guys racing, so I wanted to be up front so I could kinda see where they were and be in reach off the bike,” he said. “I caught the leader with about 10 miles to go and just kinda gave it all I had with the run.”
Next up, Hackett will be competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship Sept. 7 in Nice, France, while Engel will get back at it Sept. 8 for Ironman Wisconsin. The event, which will take place in his hometown of Madison, will be his 14th full Ironman race of his 10-year career.
Sarah Bishop (25-29) was the top female finisher, closing with a time of 4:32.16. She finished the swim in 36:49 before completing the bike ride in 2:21.30 and the run in 1:28.32.
Meghan Fillnow (35-39), the second-fastest female, finished in 4:36.22 while Angela Quick smoothed out the top three with an effort of 4:39.58.