After three huge days of events, the Australian Schools Triathlon Festival incorporating the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships, as well as the Australian Schools Open Triathlon, concluded on Friday at Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.
With State and Territory colours on show and pride on the line, fast and furious racing unfolded. Our juniors put it gave it their all – but the comradery and sportsmanship evident once they crossed the finish line.
The Australian Schools Open Triathlon gave athletes the opportunity to race in the Aquathlon on Wednesday, Triathlon events on Thursday and Team events on Friday.
In the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships, Queensland won its thirteenth straight Overall Trophy after adding the Relay title to its cabinet on Friday after also taking out the Individual Trophy on Thursday. This outstanding run began in 2006 when they tied with NSW at Redcliffe in Queensland.
Western Australia showed they are the State to keep an eye on in the junior rankings with strong individual and relay performances to take second in the Overall Trophy from NSW, followed by Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and ACT.
Rhianna Hepburn (WA) continued her dominance after winning the Youth B category in the Australian Triathlon Series this season, with a win in the Junior Championship event. Gabby Martin (QLD), who is due to move to USA with her family immediately after the event, came in second and Maisy Redden (WA) in third.
In the Junior Male individual event, Queensland took a clean sweep of the podium with Jackson Medway taking line honours from Thomas Feldmann and Flynn Pumpa.
Jasmyne Coventry had a convincing lead out of the swim in the Intermediate female division, although she opted to drop back to ride with a bunch in what was a draft legal race, so that she could save her legs for a fast run to finish the race the way she started – in front. It was fellow Queenslanders Tara Sosinski and Richelle Hill who joined her on the podium in second and third respectively.
New South Wales claimed their first, but not last, individual win of the day with Rory Thornhill taking out the Intermediate male title, holding off Queenslanders Matthew Moate and Lachlan Medway.
South Australia’s Emily Steven and Western Australia’s Jasmine Greaves and Rachel Edwards were able to ensure a Queensland-free podium in the Senior Female category, all three girls finding their legs for a strong 5km run to finish their sprint distance event.
The Senior Male event was thrilling to watch, with four Queensland athletes – Lachlan Jones, Charles Liebenberg, James Thomas and Lachlan Sosinski making a break on the 20km, four lap bike course, working together to hold off Lorcan Redmond who was left chasing on his own, finally falling back in the chase pack. With the 5km run leg ahead of him and knowing he was over a minute behind, the Newcastle Grammar School student gradually ran down the four Queenslanders, completing his 5km run leg in a time of 15:47 to win by 27 seconds to give Lorcan his fifth consecutive Triathlon Championship.
Redmond won his first title at the 2014 Championships in Bendigo in the Junior Boys Age Group. This was followed by intermediate age group wins in 2015 at the SIRC and Hervey Bay, Queensland in 2016; and in 2017 he won his first senior title.
The Mixed Team Relays on Friday were action packed, giving our Junior athletes a taste of the International Pathway opportunities available. No doubt being spurred on from watching the recent Commonwealth Games Gold Medal, the athletes didn’t let up.
Mixed Team Relay Results:
A massive thank you to everyone involved in the Festival: participants, parents, coaches, teachers, Triathlon Queensland, School Sport Australia, Triathlon New South Wales: Thank You for a superb three days of triathlon.