Eric Chebi likes to run. He also likes to swim, and he likes to ride his bike.
Chebi, a 35-year-old software company accounts manager who lives in Scottsdale, is going a long way to satisfy his passion.
He’s off to Europe this week to participate in Ironman Austria on Sunday.
“I did my first marathon (January 2003) with my father-in-law at the time,” Chebi said. “He wanted to run a marathon for his 60th birthday. He trained . . . I didn’t. He beat me by an hour and a half (but) I knew I could do better, so I decided to train for my next one. I took over 2 hours off.”
Since then Chebi has run 12 more marathons and, “I love them now.”
He branched out, running his first triathlon in April 2004 (a half Ironman) and then did his first full Ironman in April 2005.
“Ironman Arizona this year was my second one, and Austria will be my third,” Chebi said.
He moved up to Ironmans after supporting friends who participated in triathlons as a spectator.
“I was hooked,” Chebi said. “I swam in high school and had been running again for about a year, so I decided to take the plunge. I had so much fun in that race that I decided to keep going. It is a healthy lifestyle, most of my friends swim, bike and run . . . so we have a lot in common . . . and being in great physical shape gives you more motivation and energy.”
Chebi has been busy already this summer.
As a member of the eight-man Team Donate Life-Primo, he competed in the Race Across America (RAAM) helping his squad finish in six days, 15 hours, 10 minutes in the 3,043-mile bike race which began June 10 in Oceanside, Calif., and ended in Atlantic City, N.J. His team was racing to raise funds and awareness for organ donations (www.DonateLifeAZ.org or (800) 943-6667).
“I’ve been training quite a bit this year with the Phoenix Triathlon Club, Tri Scottsdale and my RAAM team. Without these groups, I wouldn’t be in the shape I’m in now to compete in this race,” he said.
Chebi has goals for his venture in Klagenfurt, Austria.
“There are so many things that can go wrong in a 10- to 11-hour race, so I’m not setting my hopes too high, but I’d like to come across the finish line in close to 10 1/2 hours.”
A group of East Valley teenagers are celebrating the end to a very productive season.
The Argos Football Club came home winners of the eight-man title at the inaugural National Youth Sports championships, which were held June 22-24 in San Diego.
Comprised of 14- and 15-year-olds, the Argos boast alumni playing high school ball at Scottsdale Chaparral, Phoenix Pinnacle, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep, Phoenix Horizon, Phoenix Greenway, Paradise Valley, Phoenix Brophy and Phoenix North Point Prep.
“We fielded a team in the majors division which won the championship as well as a team in the minors division,” said coach Ricardo Baez, who merged his Northeast Warriors in 2002 with the Argos who were founded by Jason Mohns and Andy Johnson in 2002 as the Scottsdale Mustangs. The three men continue to coach the team, with Baez handling the offense, Mohns taking care of defense and Johnson in charge of special teams.
“It was a great experience for all of the boys, and they played great under pressure,” Baez added.
The Argos went undefeated, including handing the Mesa/Gilbert Dragonz a 6-0 loss (the Dragonz first of the season), a 30-0 thumping of the Las Vegas Renegades, who had not lost in two years and a 44-6 throttling of the Commandos to get to the semifinals. The last game marked the first time the Argos had allowed a touchdown in 14 games.
They then edged the unbeaten Wildcats of Phoenix 6-0. That set up a rematch in the championship game, and the result was the same.
“This game was electric,” Baez said of the contest played at Helix High School (prep home of New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush).
Blaze Almon, Ricardo Baez, Nick Cerimelli, Joe Distor, Jordan Gietz, Shawn Gleason, Tyler Grandinetti, Chris Griffin, Ryan Heath, Gerry Henshaw, Danny Ibanez, Marty Jones, Alex Lorenzo, Dylan Marks, Daniel Rempp and Bryce Warzyniak are the newly crowned national champions who completed their season 14-0.
For information on the Argos and their program visit www.argosfootball.com.
LITTLE LEAGUE UPDATE
The McDowell Mountain Little League’s 9- and 10-year-old All-Star team defeated the Arcadia All-Stars 9-2 on June 23 at Fountain Hills Park to win their first Scottsdale District VI Little League championship. The team scored 53 runs while giving up only seven during their 4-0 run in the eight-team tournament.
Team members are: Jack Baker, Jack Brancheau, Grant Dietz, Nick Hartson, Mickey Horn, Ethan Hyman, David Ksobiech, Michael Ksobiech, Drew LaSalle, Zack Marks, Creighton Morfitt, Tommy Olson and Drake Sadosky. Mark Sadosky is their manager and Scott Horn and Len Ksobiech are coaches.
McDowell Mountain next will play in the state tournament, which begins July 18 at McQueen Park in Gilbert.
Know someone who deserves mention in East Valley Victories? E-mail or call Billye Jill Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6862.
In the Spotlight
Gridiron tactics: Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep coach Scott Bemis, left, will probably get some help from senior quarterback Sean Renfree, right, when the Saints host a football camp from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., July 10-12 at the school for fifth through eighth graders who love football. Cost is $100. Call (480) 505-4043 or visit www.notredamepreparatory.org.
For the bigger guys: Former pro players and East Valley residents Robert Banks, D.B. Brooks and George Lafrance (the Arena Football League’s all-time leading receiver with Detroit and Tampa Bay) will host a camp for players ages 7-18, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 10-12 at the Snedigar Sportplex, 4500 S. Basha Road in Chandler. Athletes will receive a T-shirt as well as a full range of instruction from speed and agility to specific position coaching. Cost is $149. Register online at www.azfootballacademy.com, by mail (address is listed online) or call (480) 227-1649 or (480) 353-1073.