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Bremen Kids Triathlon Honors Karen Neeley

by Holly Heller on June 23, 2015

BREMEN -- The Bremen Kiwanis Kids Triathlon has been encouraging kids to be healthy and active for the past five years. This year, the event was held in honor of the late Karen Neeley, a teacher who was well-known for her encouragement of others, especially children. 

Event co-organizer Sharon Yelaska shared a tribute to Neeley prior to the start of the race.
"Karen Neeley is a hometown hero. Karen’s love for God and his faithfulness gave her strength through her journey with lung cancer. Karen never smoked, was an avid runner, and lived a very healthy life. Her courage and positive outlook in a very difficult circumstance inspired and gave hope to many. Karen deeply loved children, and had a passion for teaching and mentoring students. Karen’s last words were, 'Pray for the children.'"

About 70 children ages 5-16 participated in the triathlon. They wore white shirts and released white balloons in memory of Neeley, because white is the color that represents lung cancer. As each participant entered the race course, they were invited to touch a special rock with the words "b Strong" and were encouraged by Randy Neeley, Karen's husband.

Children in Division I (ages 5-10) swam 25 yards, biked 1.6 miles and ran .6 miles. The overall winners from this division were Jessie Yelaska (13:39.9) and Austin Pflugner (13:35.7).

Children in Division II (ages 11-16) swam 50 yards, biked 2.5 miles and ran 1 mile. The overall winners from this division were Allison Pflugner (19:34.8) and Beck Brurock  (17:15.1).

Age group winners were as follows:

5-6 Girls:  Sophia Sahlhoff, first

5/6 Girls
1st - Sophia Sahlhoff

5-6 Boys (left to right):  Tyler Pfugner, first;
Caleb McClaid, second; and Casey Ton, third.

5/6 Boys
1st -Tyler Pfugner
2nd- Caleb McClaid
3rd- Casey Ton







7-8 Girls:  (Front, left to right) Madison
Mindeman, first; Kelsey Yelaska, second;
Sara Sahlhoff, third; and (back, left to right)
Hanna Clyde, fourth; Cassie Depoy, fifth;
Samantha Ton, sixth; and Bella Calentine,

7/8 Girls
1st- Madison Mindeman
2nd- Kelsey Yelaska
3rd- Sara Sahlhoff
4th- Hanna Clyde
5th-Cassie Depoy
6th- Samantha Ton
7th- Bella Calentine







7-8 Boys:  (Front, left to right) Owen Fish,
first; Blake Grove, second; Hunter Cannon,
third; and (back, left to right) Chase Devine,
fourth; Carson Anderson, fifth; Bradin
Schmitt, sixth; and Brock Ginter, seventh. 

7/8 Boys
1st- Owen Fish
2nd- Blake Grove
3rd- Hunter Cannon
4th- Chase Devine
5th- Carson Anderson
6th- Bradin Schmitt
7th- Brock Ginter

9-10 Girls:  (Front, left to right)  Kaia Podlin,
first; Emma Heller, second; Macy Andress,
third; and (back, left to right) Alexia Cannon,
fourth; Ava Fuchs, fifth; Hallie Klockow,
sixth; and Hannah Long, seventh. 

9/10 Girls 
1st- Kaia Podlin
2nd- Emma Heller
3rd- Macy Andress
4th- Alexia Cannon
5th- Ava Fuchs
6th- Hallie Klockow
7th- Hannah Long

9-10 Boys:  (Front, left to right) Braeden
Messenger, first; Evan Briles, second;
Sam Pfefferle, third; and (back, left to right)
Zachary Pflugner, fourth; Reece Greene,
fifth; Peter Wallsmith, sixth; and Grant
Devine, seventh. 

9/10 Boys
1st- Braeden Messenger
2nd- Evan Briles
3rd- Sam Pfefferle
4th- Zachary Pflugner
5th- Reece Greene
6th- Peter Wallsmith
7th- Grant Devine



11/12 Girls
1st- Ayssa Messenger
2nd- Olivia Boverhuis
3rd-Maggie Fitch
4th- Hailee Clyde
5th- Hunter Brandon

11/12 Boys
1st- Brett Yelaska
2nd- Trevor Devine
3rd- Ben Fattorusso
4th- Brody Ecenbarger
5th- Zachary Schmucker

13/14 Girls
1st- Riley Gilmer
2nd- Makayla Mahoney
3rd- Caroline Fish

13/14 Boys
1st- Jacob Fish
2nd- Logan Heller
3rd- Kenny Hilgendorf
4th- Sam Fish
5th- Ted Brandon

The Bremen Kiwanis Kids Triathlon was made possible by many dedicated volunteers and supported by these local sponsors: Kiwanis of Bremen, Bremen Castings, Todd Moser Construction,  Dairy Queen  Grill & Chill,  Woodie's Supermarket, First Source Bank, Tri-County Ambulance Service, JJE Design, Community Hospital of Bremen, Miller-Norcen Insurance, Bremen Parks Department, Bremen Police Department and Community Gospel Church. 

Division I Overall Winners:  Jessie Yelaska, female winner; Austin Pflugner, male winner.


Randy Neeley encourages young participants as they enter the pool area to begin the Bremen Kiwanis Kids Triathlon Saturday. Each participant was encouraged to touch this "b STRONG" rock in memory of Karen Neeley, Randy's late wife.




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