Local 12-year-old making waves in triathlon

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:14 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A local 12-year-old is making a name for himself in the triathlon world.

Rhys Ferrito recently competed in the 2022 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship, placing third in the nation in his age group.

“When I think about it, I’m like, “wow how did I do that?”,” said Rhys Ferrito. “But then when I just think about it and they’re like wow! I’m just like, “yeah that’s what I do.”.”

The good result is the product of a lot of hard work for Rhys.

“Every day I usually train,” he said. “I have one day off a week, which is sometimes Friday or Saturday or Sunday. Sometimes it’s a weekday, but since school is starting, I run three times a week and swim two times a week, then that overlaps with biking usually.”

It isn’t his first time placing high in a triathlon. Last year, he broke the top 10.

“I got seventh last year, but that was eh because that was my first time and I didn’t have a good bike. So it was reasonable.”

Now Rhys is getting recruited by some of the biggest triathlon clubs in the country.

“We met with people from a tri club called BAM and then they offered to help coach me.”

Rhys’ Dad, Roberto, couldn’t be more proud of what his son has accomplished so far.

“It’s really a dream come true,” said Roberto. “We’ve been running, biking, swimming together for four years. Me and him. Even through the pandemic, we never stopped. So, it’s a big deal.”

He’s preparing for another race this weekend and is working with Damonte Ranch High School’s Cross Country Team.

“He’s always ready to work,” said Lupe Cabada, Damonte’s Cross Country Coach. “That’s one thing about Rhys. He loves just running himself. He loves training, he loves just being around the guys. I think one thing I really like is the older guys have really brought him in and showed him our ways, the way that we do things here in the program and he’s just adapted really well.”

Rhys trains a lot, but he and his Dad still make sure he has time for himself. He likes to draw, play video games, and other, “normal kids stuff.”

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