Posted by: Dennis Green | May 19, 2014

Hickory Grove 2014 Gets The Season Off and Running ( … and Biking … and Swimming)

by Ron Adkins

Heart of America Triathlon News

A perfect morning greeted the triathletes as they prepped themselves for the Bluff Creek Tri Sprint, Duathlon, and Aquabike.

Perfect, at least, for the bike and road race. The swim leg on a crisp May morning at Hickory Grove Park near Colo, Iowa, was a bit … brisk. As Aquabike finisher Jordan Stokka said as he came out of the water, “Wow! I can’t get my breath!”

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Lake temperature at the start of the race was a wetsuit-legal 59 degrees. It’s been a long, cold winter …

But clear, sunny skies and only a slight wind made course conditions near-optimal for the beginning of the Heart of America Triathlon Series.

Of the 225 triathletes who took to the course at Hickory Grove, a large number were first-timers to the race. And of those, a significant amount let out a cheer when asked if this was their first triathlon ever — a great indicator that the sport of triathlon is healthy and growing.

Good weather wasn’t the only thing that made the race go smoothly. 75 volunteers worked hard to make sure all details went off as planned.

Co-race director Alex Syhlman was impressed with the fast times posted. First-timers and Heart of America veterans all posted great numbers, he said.

First place men’s finisher in the triathlon was past champion Matt Migonis. Migonis won the race for the third time, adding the 2014 crown to wins in 2011 and 2012. Now living in Hamilton, New York, he posted a 1:02:40. First place women’s finisher was Joy Carroll of Iowa City, Iowa, with a 1:17:23.

Across the finish line first in the duathlon for was John Monger of Ames  at 1:14:33. First female duathlete was Tonya Armstrong of Muscatine at 1:25:20.

First place male in the aquabike was Jordan Stokka of Des Moines with a 57:25:09. First place female in the aquabike was Katherine Roccasecca of Ankeny, posting a 1:07:07.

Full race results can be found at

Next up in the Heart of American Triathlon Series is the Pigman Sprint on Sunday, June 1 at Pleasant Creek State Park near Palo, Iowa. More information can be found at



  1. Thank you for the great race! Next time, please heat the lake! If you are interested, Bob Dittmann and I have posted our race reports.



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