The words were echoed over and over by athletes gathered around the finish line June 15. They are glad to see the return of the Big Bear Triathlon after a nearly 20-year absence.

Around 300 participants entered the water at Swim Beach Saturday to compete in the new incarnation of the Big Bear Triathlon. Nick Sigmon of San Diego was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s Olympic division, completing the course in 2 hours, 35 minutes. Second was Manuel Mejia Jr. of Chico at 2:47. Tyler Long of Los Angeles was third at 2:48.

The women’s Olympic division proved to be the closest race of the day. Lisa Love of Yucaipa earned top honors at 3:11. Noel Wingers of Redlands finished second in 3:13:05 edging Christine Hauser of San Diego, who finished third in 3:13:13.

Laura Skeeters won the women’s sprint division in 1:36:30, followed by Leah Friedman of Oxnard at 1:39 and Rebecca Allgeier of Tucson, Ariz., at 1:42. In the men’s sprint division, Christopher Cordova of San Bernardino was first in 1:16. David Warden of Utah finished second at 1:18 and Jeremy Oury of Missoula, Mont., was third at 1:26.

—Kathy Portie

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