Tcholakian, Ganjian win pentathlons

The pentathlon events were both won for the second time by each of the victors. In the women’s competition, Greater Boston’s Lori Ganjian decisively won three of the five events to score 1,489 points and repeat her gold medal performance of 2019. Ganjian won by 230 points over Ani Comella from Providence who had placed fourth last year. Talia Oknayan of Detroit and Nareh Mkrtschjan from Providence placed third and fourth.

Men’s pentathlon winner Sasoun Tcholakian (Detroit) gets ready for the shot put (Photo: Arev Kaligian)

Detroit’s Sasoun Tcholakian defended his title from last year in easy fashion. The former Ohio Wesleyan wide receiver racked up 2,323 points which was about 200 less than his 2021 total. Greater Boston’s Daron Hamparian, the 2018 champion in this event, battled through some injuries to take the silver. Daron’s teammate Gabriel Avakian was a pentathlon novice, but he still scored six points for his chapter by placing third. An unfortunate timing entry error was not discovered until Monday after the games, so Avakian was not announced to collect his medal at the Sunday night dance. Apologies from the timing crew to him and his family. Harry Kojoian from Providence placed fourth.

Lori Ganjian (Greater Boston) coasts to win the women’s pentathlon (Photo: Sona Gevorkian)

The women’s competition started with the shot put on Sunday morning. Comella threw almost 24’ to establish an early lead of almost 170 points over Ganjian. That lead shrunk to 45 points after Ganjian long jumped 13’9.5” compared to 12’ for Comella. In the high jump, Ganjian cleared 4’4” which was 6” more than anyone else to build a 145-point margin. Meanwhile Oknayan jumped slightly higher than Comella and closed the gap between second and third to 123 points. Ganjian clinched her crown by pulling away from the field in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.48. At this point, she led Comella by 346 points while Oknayan was only 134 points out of second. Ganjian chose to start the final 800-meter race and stepped off to rest for the relays knowing she did not need any more points. Comella won that race in 3:33.79 knowing that Oknayan could pass her for the silver.  

The men began in the discus circle where Tcholakian threw 108’9” which was over six feet better than Hamparian. Tcholakian also won the shot with a put of 41’8.5”over three feet farther than Hamparian. The lead at this time was 99 points with Avakian 276 points out of second. Tcholakian then long jumped 19’0.75” to win that event and build a 241-point lead. Tcholakian actually lost the fourth eventthe 200-meter dash where Avakian clocked in at 25.56 to beat him by 0.37 seconds. Going into the final 1500-meter event, the top three places had been decided, but there was a battle going on for fourth place. Antranig Douglas from Middlesex West had 1,130 points compared to 1,120 for Harry Kojoian. Aedan Escude, also from Providence, was even within range with 923 points. Knowing he had to win the event by about 70 seconds, Escude set a fast pace and ran the grueling race by himself in a time of 6:01.87. His effort came up about 10 seconds short as he finished 34 points behind his teammate Kojoian who beat Douglas by 14 points with a strong finish to place fourth.       

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian

Bob Tutunjian is president of Vivaproducts, a medical device company in Massachusetts. He has been actively involved with the AYF and the Olympics since 1967 and has written many articles covering this event.
Bob Tutunjian

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