Australian Junior Series leaders Matt Hauser and Sophie Malowiecki will only need to look over their shoulders to know they won’t be resting on their laurels in Penrith on Saturday.
The cream of Australia and New Zealand’s emerging triathlon talent will converge on the western Sydney venue on the Nepean River for the 2015 OTU Oceania Junior Triathlon Championships – round two of the Australian Junior Series.
And the Queensland pair, who both finished unbeaten in round one on the Gold Coast, will face a talented line up as the best-of-the-best eye places on their respective National Teams for this year’s ITU World Championships in Chicago.
Malowiecki, who will be looking to her third Australian Junior Team, will have the return of Edmonton teammate, WA’s Kira Hedgeland to contend with after she missed the opening round with injury,
Meanwhile, record entries have forced organisers to add a NSW Junior Cup race to the schedule.
Saturday’s race Schedule (Including the Trans Tasman Teams Challenge)
6:30 am - Youth Female
7:30am - Youth Male
8:30am - Junior Female – Oceania Championships
9:45am - Junior Male – Oceania Championships
11:00am - NSW Jnr Cup
Sunday: Oceania Mixed Teams Relay between Australia and New Zealand.
And in what will complete a full weekend’s opening to Triathlon Australia 2015 race calendar, Australia’s premier Paratriathletes will be out in force at Penrith on Sunday for the Oceania Paratriathlon Championships.
The Australian Junior Triathlon Series kicked off with the Super Sprint Race Weekend on the Gold Coast last month, where both Hauser and Malowiecki asserted their domination.
Hervey Bay’s favourite son, Hauser, will be joined by 2014 World Junior Championship bronze medallist Calvin Quirk, his Australian teammate and fellow Queenslander Matt Roberts and Kiwi stars Daniel Hoy and Tayler Reid.
Hoy figured prominently in a fighting sprint finish, before being awarded the silver medal in last year’s thrilling Youth Olympic Games sprint in Nanjing won by Great Britain’s Ben Dijkstra.
Hauser actually won Nanjing selection for Australia in this corresponding race in Penrith last year before a broken collarbone forced him out of the team so he will be aiming to continue his good form, with Chicago very much on his mind.
Quirk, who broke through for his spirited bronze medal at the ITU World’s in Edmonton, will also be aiming for a happier day in Penrith this year after struggling with a calf injury last year which cost him any chance of a Nanjing place.
Roberts showed he will certainly be one to be reckoned with after some sterling efforts on the Gold Coast.
The X-factor will surely come from 2013 Penrith winner and World Championship team member, Queensland’s Luke Willian, who missed the 2014 Series with a serious toe injury but bounced back with some outstanding end of year racing in the French Grand Prix.
And in an encouraging start to 2015, Willian has this week been added to Triathlon Australia’s National Talent Academy, joining Hauser, Quirk, Roberts, Malowiecki and Hedgeland.
Going into round two Hauser leads the Series from Roberts, Quirk, Reid, 2013 Youth champion Caleb Agostino-Morrow (NSW) and Brandon Copeland (QLD) while Malowiecki leads the girls from Jessica Claxton (WA), Grace Hoitink (ACT), Hayley Stanford (VIC), Laura May (NSW) and Jessica Hoskin (QLD).
Malowiecki was outstanding on the Gold Coast, showing her immense running talent and strong all-round abilities to dominate every facet of the Super Sprint format.
WA’s emerging young talent, Claxton, also showed shy she will be a force to be reckoned with as the Series progresses.
But the return of fellow WA star Hedgeland, who figured so prominently to finish second to sister Jaz Hedgeland in last year’s Series, will add another touch of class to the girl’s field.
In the Junior categories Newcastle’s Lorcan Redmond was the stand out on the Gold Coast and leads the category from Elliott Schultz (QLD) and Samuel Tierney (SA) while Sam Whitting (QLD) snatched the youth girls Super Sprint and leads the Series from Ellie Hoitink (ACT) and Bree Thistlewait (QLD).
Triathlon Australia’s National Manager for High Performance Pathway, Craig Redman, knows Australia will be brimful of talent on the road to Chicago.
“At full strength Australia will have a very exciting team for this year’s Junior Worlds and to see so much talent on display is testament to the dedication of these young athletes and the work from all of the States and the coaches,” said Redman.
“The standard and the depth of talent at the Super Sprint Weekend and at the Camp following showed you just how much talent we have in this sport at the moment.
“Apart from the individual races, to feature the Trans Tasman Teams Challenge in conjunction with the individual races and also showcase the Oceania Mixed Teams Relay gives the athletes a real sense of team.”