The week began with National Schools Triathlon Champs in Hervey Bay, on Saturday we had Xterra Asia Pacific Cross Triathlon Champs and ITU Oceania Sprint Triathlon Champs for the Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy / Hybrid Concepts AustraliaAthletes.
Firstly, National Schools Tri Champs where we had SCTA / HCAUS Junior Scholarship recipient Jake Hynes (8th place Senior Male), the current Qld Schools Champ Romy Wolstencroft (6th Place Senior Female) and Kaya Shults (8th Place Intermediate Female). Hervey Bay put on perfect weather for racing for all the athletes that travelled to the National Champs.
First to hit the water were the Senior Males with Jake Hynes having a cracker of a swim to be right in the mix up there in the draft legal format. Last year the bike leg was Jake’s downfall this year was the same but for totally different reasons. He was too aggressive on the bike and found himself doing too much work which therefore nullified his weapon which has been the run off the bike. The first lap off the bike he was trying to find his run legs which came in the second lap and ran himself into 8th place. Which was an improvement on his result from last year. It has been another massive learning year for Jake which will put him in good stead for next season. The plan from the start has always been 2 years since he started his triathlon career. That comes next season. Look out and watch this space…..
Next was the Senior Females with Romy Wolstencroft not having the greatest of swims to put her behind from the start. She was in chase mode from the start of the bike and got a group of girls to work with, but with the front 3 girls working very well together it was always going to be a tough ask coming from the 3rd pack. There were a lot of positives to come out of the race with Romy running 3rd fastest time not far off the eventual winner's run time. With Romy only being on the bike for short period and in her second only draft legal race she learnt some valuable lessons today that will make her a better athlete. Cornering and gear selection is a major area to work on over the off season as to her swim which will come back, especially having 6 weeks out with a broken wrist. 20 sec faster swim would have seen her in the 2nd pack where 2nd place came from. But that is draft legal racing and the need to be in contact on the bike. Watch out next year for this one.
Kaya Shults in the Intermediate Females was next to hit the line. Kaya dominated the swim leg to set herself up with a lead. Going into the race the pre-race chat was to listen to the instructions from Head Coach Toby Coote as to ascertain where the chase group were and if we could get a few up the road to join her and have a lead group away. She was told to sit up as two other Queenslanders were the next two on the road and a good chance for them to join forces and get away from the other athletes. It was going to plan and at the end of the 2nd lap they had a 30 sec lead but unfortunately one of them didn’t want to work and over the next 4km they were caught by the 2nd pack with a total of 13 in the front pack with one lap to go. It was always go to be tough to run with the top girls but Kaya put in a great run to finish 8th. A better result from last year’s race and at the bottom of the age group. The same thing as Romy if the lead pack stayed away the result would have been a better one but again hat is racing and the dynamics of draft legal racing.
So in a nutshell they did the best they could on the day and we got a 6th and 2 x 8th places. When developing athletes there are certain things that will go right and wrong, but it’s the learning experience from each of the races they gain that they can use in for future races that is invaluable. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are athletes. A very happy Coach!
Next was the ITU Oceania Sprint Championships where we saw Rachel James (PNG) line up in a very small but selective competitive field with two very strong swimmers. The aim with Rachel was to nullify the loss in the swim. Being at the Penrith Regatta Centre in fresh water the buoyancy is very limited and for a developing swimmer it wasn’t going to be ideal. Rachel exited the water 2min 30 sec behind (a little quicker than Mooloolaba World Cup) which made it a tough day with 3 away in the front pack riding strong. She nearly got to the end of the cycle leg this time, but under ITU Rule with First runner last cyclist scenario, Rachel was unfortunately lapped out. So there are improvements coming with a developing athlete and nation with the view of two years’ time with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. But as with all draft legal races 30 sec quicker swim today would have seen Rachel with two athletes to ride with. Small steps but it is coming and we have time before the Commonwealth Games. Watch this space
And finally we had Brodie Gardner line up in the Xterra Asia Pacific Cross Triathlon Champs at Callala Beach NSW. Going into the event Brodie was currently 2nd on the Asia Pacific Tour Point score with three podium finishes going into the event. As expected there was a red hot field chasing the title. Brodie had a solid swim coming out in 5th/6th place and the chase was on the bike. The week before at Tre-X he had the fastest bike leg but couldn’t replicate it this time. It took him awhile to get going and found it hard to stay in contact with the lead guys. The great thing to see was Brodie closed it out on the run and took a few scalps. It’s been a big block of racing and traveling and it took its toll today. No excuses that is racing. One race to go and then the season is finished and time to break and then prepare for the ITU World Cross Triathlon Champs on the course he raced today.
Xterra Asia Pacific Cross Triathlon Championships – 23/04/16 – 1.5/30/10 Brodie Gardner – 10th Place Professional Male
National School Triathlon Champs - Hervey Bay – 19-21/04/16 Romy Wolstencroft – 6th Place Senior Female Jake Hynes – 8th Place Senior Male Kaya Shults – 8th Place Intermediate Female
National schools Relay – Hervey Bay Jake Hynes – 3rd All Age Relay Kaya Shults – 4th Intermediate Mixed Relay Romy wolstencroft – 5th Senior Mixed Relay
Another big weekend with athletes competing at Port Macquarie Ironmanand 70.3 and Busselton 70.3. Good luck to all racing