Matt Hauser arrived into Devonport in search of some redemption and Sophie Malowiecki was just relieved she had a trouble free day in the office as Tasmania’s most established triathlon turned on a red-letter day for the sport.
And two of Australia’s most exciting young talents will leave for Queensland tomorrow with well deserved Australian Junior Championships to their names and dreams of this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championships in Cozumel, Mexico in September.
Today’s Australian Championship, the third in the Scody Australian Junior Triathlon Series, was an automatic qualifier for the winner, who also had to meet individual qualifying standards in swimming and running.
Times that Hauser has already made and times Malowiecki has made in the run and says “I will make the swim time no problem.”
Hauser’s redemption search came after he snapped his bike chain in race two of the Series in Robina last month, forcing him out of the race even before he had completed one lap of the bike course.
“I was looking for a bit of redemption after the mishap in Robina and I really wanted to prove I was strong in all three legs,” said Hauser, the Harvey bay boy, who is now coached by Dan Atkins at the Gold Coast Performance Centre.
“I was second out of the swim, third off the bike as well as (being part of) the breakaway.
“It was important to swim my own race, with one of the boys (veering) well out to the left in the swim back to the beach.
“I wanted to see what I had in the end and T2 has always been one of my strength so coming off the bike and on to the run I just wanted to turn the legs over quite quick.
“It was great to see the boys working hard on the bike with Kurt McDonald, Kye Wylde and Jack Tierney towards the end there.
“I was surprised how I was running early on; I was pretty tired off the bike; it was quite solid with that break away with the boys but I just got into a rhythm and my legs felt fine and my breathing felt fine; I felt quite comfortable actually.
“I think I pretty well proved that to everyone else and also to myself, ahead of some Elite races coming on.
“I’ve got the Wollongong Continental Cup coming up in two weeks time against some of the elite boys so just wanted to test the legs out and to see what I’ve got against the other boys as well.”
Hauser said it was fantastic to consolidate the automatic spot for the World Championships in Cozumel.
“It’s all about the World’s now I guess. Once I have ticked off the domestic season with the Oceania Championships in Gisborne (with Hauser going for his third title) it’s all about the September race and hopefully I’ll be able to get on the podium there.”
In the end Hauser showed all of his class and his potential to race away from the field with Western Australian Liam McCoach coming in second, Victorian Kurt McDonald third, Hauser’s Gold Coast training partner Kye Wylde fourth, SA’s Jack Tierney fifth and the flying 15-year-old Lorcan Redmond sixth.
Meanwhile the Stephen Moss (QAS) coached Malowiecki, who last week ran a 5000m track qualifying time for the World Junior Athletics Championships, admitted she had come through two pretty tough years of crashes, mishaps and injuries and was “so relieved to win today and for nothing to go wrong.”
“It’s all about focusing on the process and taking it step by step and not so much focusing on the big picture, that will come through the processes,” said Malowiecki.
“The last race in Robina was about staying calm and dealing with any situation that arises and not worrying about whether I’m in the (first) or second pack.
“The 5000m run at the Queensland Track and Field Championships was phenomenal really; I wasn’t quite expecting to go that fast but it certainly helped today when I was on the bike, I was thinking I’ve still got the run to go!! You can do this.”
Malowiecki will now take her place in the Under 20 5000m field at the Australian Track and Field Championships in Adelaide on March 8.
If she wins she will again get automatic selection on the Australian team for the IAAF World Championships in Poland in July.
“It is certainly motivating and comforting that it’s just the start of the year and there’s plenty more to come, “ said Malowiecki.
“To make both the Track and Field and Triathlon teams in one year would be amazing.”
“Everything is coming together and going to plan; I was right up there at the start of the swim, I sat at the front, and basically dictated the race.”
It was also a successful day in the office for Moss and his assistant QAS coach Josh White whose squad filled the first four placings with Malowiecki followed by an invigorated Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Brittany Dutton and new girls, Goondiwindi twins Zoe and Elle Leahy.
Earlier in the day South Australian Charlotte Derbyshire, who only “got serious” about triathlon 12 months ago kept her Series record in tact, winning the Australian Youth Championship from Queensland duo Keely Whittaker and Abby Ouwendyk.
The Youth men’s race went to Kiwi star Dylan McCullough who also maintained his unbeaten record although first placed Australian Lachlan Sosinski from the Gold Coast who was crowned the Australian champion from Sam Tierney and Oscar Dart.
DEVONPORT TRIATHLON RESULTS
Australian Youth Triathlon Championships (13-15 years)
Women Charlotte Derbyshire (SA) 52.03 Keely Whittaker (QLD) 53.40 Abby Ouwendyk (QLD) 53.47
Men Dylan McCullough (NZL) 47.09 Liam Sosinski (QLD) 47.49 Sam Tierney (SA) 48.04
Australian Junior Triathlon Championships (16-18 years)
Women Sophie Malowiecki (QLD) 1:05.57 Brittany Dutton (QLD) 1:06.38 Zoe Leahy (QLD) 1:06.49
Men Matt Hauser (QLD) 56:28 Liam McCoach (WA) 57:21 Kurt McDonald (VIC) 57:28
Full results here