As is usually the case, the fourth and final triathlon of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series provided a highlight for the record books.
Professional triathlete Daniel Moss, 25, of Alpharetta, Ga., came down for the final triathlon - typically, the most competitive of the series - and shattered the course record for the sprint triathlon (.3-mile swim, 13-mile bike and 3.1-mile run) with a finish of 54 minutes and 20 seconds.
The previous record was 55:02 by Sonni Dyer during the fourth race on Aug. 11, 2002, which happened to be the same race that Patt Loggins set the record for women at 59:42.
On Sunday, Moss, who ran cross country and track for Georgia Tech, crossed the finish line about a minute before race director Paul King realized he had. King turned on the microphone to announce that Moss was about ready to finish when someone told King that Moss already had.
Moss was more than three minutes ahead of Radek Parnica, whose second-place finish wrapped up a series championship for the Czech athlete currently living in Savannah.
For King, the course record and a total participation record of 1,272 were among several highlights of the series this year.
Another was seeing medical student and 2005 CSTS champion Zach Stroud bounce back from a bike wreck (and third-place finish) in triathlon No. 1 on June 18.
During race No. 2 on July 9, Stroud finished first with a time of 55:41 and, at the time, was the only other triathlete besides Dyer to finish the course in under 56 minutes. King was impressed with Stroud's performance because of the determination it showed. Unfortunately, Stroud had to miss the championship race because he had hospital over last weekend.
One aspect of this year's series that many participants talked about was the incredible luck with weather, which was relatively cool and dry for each one.
"The weather was unbelievable," said King. "This is the first year we have not had at least one race in extreme heat. Also, every year there's usually one race that has a little rain drizzle."
While King said he really didn't have any disappointments with this year's series, he acknowledged that he did wish the women's open-elite division could have had more competitors.
Previous winners Tracy McKee, the 2005 series champion, and Tracy Dewitt only competed in the first race, and Jenny Leiser didn't participate at all.
However, 44-year-old Patt Loggins came back from a three-year hiatus to win the last two sprints and Jenny McDonagh, 24, a former collegiate swimmer and runner, showed promise with second-and third-place finishes in the final two sprints.
The fourth race is competitive, in part, because it offers double points for those seeking a series championship in the open-elite, masters, age group, Clydesdale and Athena categories.
In the open-elite, the top three male finishers were Parnica, John Alvarez of Hilton Head and Jerry Rothschild of Savannah. Only two females competed in enough events to qualify in the top three open-elite champions. Laura Dechamplain of Georgetown and Betsy Reves of Charleston took first and second places, respectively. As part of the series championship honor, all will get to participate in next year's series for free.
Today - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training organizational meeting. 6 p.m. Medical University of South Carolina Harper Student/Wellness Center. www.teamintraining.org or Shannon Lindon at (843) 958-9185.
Thursday -Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series. Race No. 3. 6:30 p.m. $10-$15. 853-9987.
Aug. 26 - 7th Race for the ARK. 7:45 a.m. Summerville. $10-$20. www.angelfire.com/sc2/racefortheark or Peg Lahmeyer at (843) 832-2357.
CREEKSIDE KIDS TRIATHLON: The third and final triathlon in the Creekside Kids Triathlon Series was held Saturday. OVERALL: Male - Ethan Ruckel 24:45. Female - Alexa Leopold 29:06. AGE GROUPS (top male and female): Age 11 - Connor Grady 33:29. Martha Charles 32:08. Age 12 - Michael Trevillian 37:19. Fleming Hall 47:21. Age 13 - Paul Perez 49:11. Molly Dalva 34:21. Age 14 - Ryan Guyer. No female.
CHARLESTON SPRINT TRIATHLON SERIES NO. 4: The fourth and final triathlon of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series was held Sunday. 339 finished. OPEN/ELITE: Male - Daniel Moss 54:20, Radek Parnica 57:38, Jamie Church 57:59, Dawson Cherry 58:03, John Alvarez Jr. 59:11. Female - Patt Loggins 1:03:59, Gabi Hauck 1:04:51, Jenny McDonagh 1:05:02. MASTERS: Male - Lance Leopold 1:02:35. Female - Nancy Thomas 1:08:23. CLYDESDALE: Kevin Smith 1:05:36. ATHENA: Melanie Stuart 1:12:46. AGE GROUPS (top male and female): 15-under - Thomas Pittman 1:18:08. Elizabeth Kovarik 1:26:00. 16-19 - Elliott Hitchcock 1:06:13. Ashley Jones 1:19:28. 20-24 - Neil McDonagh 1:03:06. Patricia Kearney 1:11:58. 25-29 - Kurt Braeckel 1:02:42. Rives Poe 1:12:17. 30-34 - Hal Outen 1:05:04. Keri Bowers 1:10:45. 35-39 - Michael Owens 1:02:57. Heather Smith 1:09:16. 40-44 - Edwin Kohn 1:02:38. Caroline Sinkler 1:11:14. 45-49 - William Wiseman 1:04:44. Nicky Meadows 1:12:57. 50-54 - Rick James 1:02:51. Nancy James 1:19:38. 55-59 - Don Altman 1:13:56. Susan Radley 1:24:21. 60-64 - Neil Jacobs 1:16:41. Martha Weaver 1:35:43. 65-69 - Donald Blanchard 1:25:21. No female. 70-74 - No participants. 75-79 - William Boulter 1:26:17. No female.
CSTS SERIES CHAMPIONS: OPEN/ELITE (See above). MASTERS: Lance Leopold. Caroline Sinkler. CLYDESDALE: Rick Christensen. ATHENA: Melanie Stuart. 15-under - Thomas Pittman. No female. 16-19 - Eliot Hitchcock. Ashley Jones. 20-24 - Adam Dewitt. Melissa Pierson. 25-29 - Kurt Braeckel. Janet Carter. 30-34 - Lanson Relyea. Keri Bowers. 35-39 - Michael Owens. Heather Smith. 40-44 - Bubba Gillis. Aixa Rodriguez-Maria. 45-49 - William Wiseman. Jodi Joye. 50-54 - Rick James. Nancy James. 55-59 - Don Altman. No female. 60-64 - Neil Jacobs. No female. 65-69 - Donald Blanchard. No female. 75-99 - William Boulter. No female.