Local Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, June 06, 2003

First annual Wes Coyner duathlon set for Saturday

JUNEAU - Local runners and cyclists will come together Saturday to race in memory of a Juneau athlete who died last year.

Wes Coyner died last July while competing at the U.S. National Duathlon Championships in Carlsbad, Calif. In his memory, the Southeast Road Runners and Juneau Freewheelers bicycle club have revived a duathlon event that was run once in 2001, then dropped last season.

"We're renaming and revitalizing it, as Wes was our most prominent duathlete in town," race organizer Reed Stoops said. "It's the only duathlon (in Juneau). ... It's really the only (combination) event for the season."

The event, a 2-mile run, 14-mile bike and 2-mile run, will begin at 9 a.m. from the False Outer Point parking lot in North Douglas.

The first running leg will head out-and-back on North Douglas Highway toward the end of the road. The middle cycling leg - open to road or mountain bikes - will travel along the highway toward Juneau to Bonnie Brae subdivision and back again. The final running leg will cover the same course as the first.

A ceremony in Coyner's honor will be held a little before the start of the race.

Stoops said the race is geared toward individual competitors, but teams who wish to split up the legs are welcome to participate.

Race-day registration will be available at the starting line beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Two local golfers post aces at Mendenhall

JUNEAU - A pair of Juneau golfers who played at Mendenhall Golf Course during last month's stretch of sunny weather made their days even brighter when they each sank a hole-in-one.

On May 10, Greg Wagner aced the second hole with an 8-iron. Five days later, Gary Murdoch fired a hole-in-one on the seventh hole with a 9-iron.

Wagner, who has been golfing for about 10 years, scored his first-ever hole-in-one on a round that almost didn't happen.

"I wasn't even going to play that day, but I decided to take advantage of the nice weather before it changed," he said.

On the second hole, Wagner's shot hit the green, hopped once and disappeared. Wagner and his golfing partners were not sure where the ball went until they reached the pin.

"It was fun to walk up and look over the lip of the cup and see it in there," he said. "My first one."

By coincidence, one of the other golfers in Wagner's foursome was Frank Gleason, who notched the first hole-in-one of the 2003 season at Mendenhall.

"I think he's the one that's the good luck," Wagner said.

Murdoch, who is president of Juneau Junior Golf Club and has been golfing for 22 years, got his hole-in-one on May 15. It's the fourth of his career at Mendenhall. He also had one on another course.

Like Wagner, Murdoch and his golfing partners were not certain of where the ball went until they got to the green and saw it in the cup on the seventh hole.

Wagner said shots like his hole-in-one make up for all the aggravation and frustration experienced elsewhere on the course.

"Every round of golf there's that one perfect shot (where) everything connects, and that keeps you coming back," Wagner said.

Wes Coyner Duathlon

What: 2-mile run, 14-mile bike, 2-mile run along North Douglas Highway in memory of local athlete Wes Coyner.

When: Race starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and a brief ceremony will be held just prior to the race start.

Where: Starts from False Outer Point parking lot.

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