Matt Koenigs of Snohomish placed second overall and first in his age group Saturday at the National Aquathlon Championship at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.
The event featured a 1,500-meter swim in Lake Washington and a 10-kilometer run. Koenigs completed the course in 57 minutes, 24.4 seconds, the best time in the Male 30-34 age group.
By placing second overall Koenigs, 32, qualified for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the World Aquathlon Championships in October in Auckland, New Zealand. He’s now scrambling to raise money for the trip.
“I have two weeks to find a sponsor to help pay for my flight or I will have to decline the Team USA spot,” he said in an email.
Koenigs, the head cross country and track coach at Everett Community College, has enjoyed a wildly successful summer competing in endurance races. He won the Five Mile Lake Triathlon, the Clear Lake Triathlon and set a course record of 32:52 at the Yankee Doodle Dash 10K held July 4 in Everett.
Saturday marked his first defeat of the summer. Koenigs placed second to Brent Demarest, 17, of South Carolina. Demarest finished in 56:42.7
“I came out of the water after the swim in fourth place and moved quickly into second but couldn’t close the gap enough on Demarest, who had about a minute lead after the swim leg,” said Koenigs, who was competing in his first aquathlon.
If Koenigs makes it to New Zealand, he’ll be gone during a portion of the cross country season.
“I have two fantastic assistant coaches who were huge in our (Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges) titles last year and know the program … so the team won’t skip a beat,” he said.
Those interested in helping Koenigs raise money can contact him at 360-306-0259 or email@example.com.
Roller skaters from Snohomish County brought home seven gold medals and one division title from the Indoor Speed Skating National Championships held July 15-21 in Lincoln, Neb.
Jillian VanDam of Marysville placed first overall in the Standard Grand Classic Women division (ages 30-34). She won gold medals in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,500-meter events.
Also winning gold medals were:
n Nick Dominski of Lakewood, who won the 500 and 1,000 in the Standard Junior Men division (ages 16-17).
n Mandy Redford of Everett, who placed first in the 1,000 in the Novice Junior Women division.
n Jordan Hafenscher of Lake Stevens, who won the 3,000 in the Standard Senior Men division (ages 18-24).
The next competition for the skaters is the Outdoor Speed Skating National Championships, which begin Aug. 4 in Colorado Springs, Colo. They will be competing for spots on the USA World Team that’s headed to Rome for the World Speed Skating Championships on August 30-Sept. 16.