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After winning the national championship Aug. 2, the triathlon is life for 13-year-old Josh Reilly.

Sean Emery, right, head coach of the Verde Valley High Performance swim club, and assistant and general triathlon coach Ray Abina, left, were two of the four triathlon coaches who helped Reilly, a home-schooled Verde Valley resident, win the USA Triathlon Junior National Championship in the 13- to 15-year-old age group.
“It kind of wore off, how miserable it was the first time,” he said. “I really enjoy working hard and at a high level.”

Training up to six hours a day with four different coaches, including Verde Valley High Performance swim club coach Sean Emery, the home-schooled Cottonwood resident’s rise was meteoric, as Reilly improved from 96th to first place in his age group at the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships in Cincinnati.

“It wasn’t my goal to make the awards podium until recently,” he said. “It felt great. It was really nice.”

Reilly came back from 15th place in the swim to record the fastest time, at 28:56.98, among all 13- to 15-year-old boys in the competition.

For the full story, please see the Friday, Aug. 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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