Australia’s finest young triathletes battled the humid Gold Coast conditions to survive the Super Sprint weekend, the opening round of the 2018-2019 Australia Junior and Youth Triathlon Series at Runaway Bay, in what Junior Female winner Emily Jamgotchian described as “survival of the fittest”.
The four-day race schedule tested the 260 youngsters in the Youth and Junior categories who battled through five and six rounds of hybrid triathlons in swim, bike and run formats as well as the Mixed Team Relays, which for the first time also provided points for the overall individual podium places.
The Junior Male category was hotly contested over the six events, with the final triathlon event determining the final podium positions, where the finish line order reciprocated the overall placings. Keeping close together on the swim and bike legs, Lachlan Jones (QLD), Oscar Dart (VIC) and Luke Harvey (QLD) were able to establish a break on their competition out of T2 and stayed in touch until the final lap of the run where Jones took the lead and was able to hold of the Victorian and fellow Queenslander to take the line honours, securing the win of the event and first series round.
Dart finished the six rounds on the same points as Jones (232.50); however, was awarded second place due to a lower overall time by 6 seconds. Dual 16-19-year-old Sprint World Champion, Harvey claimed third on 190.50 points.
“This year is a lot different to how I have gone into races in the past, especially here, this time I really tried to pace myself and sort of held back about 10% each race and save it for the final. I tried to stay up there as much I could as I didn’t want to fall too far behind but I knew that in this final there was a 15 point difference between 1st and 2nd so I tried to save it to give it everything for the final,” said Jones.
James Olson-Keating was also in contention for the podium but missed the final days event due to his family flying to Canada for Christmas but was still able to take fourth place overall.
Breaking Queensland’s winning streak was New South Wales’ Emily Jamgotchian who came into the Super Sprint Race Weekend not really knowing what to expect from her performances, and although she finished 10th and 11th in two of the six events, by taking first place in the final two triathlon events, took out the overall Junior category title for the weekend. 16-19 Sprint Female World Champion, Chloe McLennan (QLD) had a reasonably consistent event to take second place from New Zealand’s Brea Roderick in third. Jazi Coventry (QLD) displayed her excellent swim and running skills over the four day event to take fourth place.
“I think it really goes to show how important recovery is; after every race cooling down, nutrition at the end of the day it is sort of like survival of the fittest so you really have to take that into consideration,” said Jamgotchian when asked about the biggest lessons learnt whilst racing Australia’s best junior talent.
As to what is next on the to-do list for Jamgotchian after Christmas, it’s back to race mode with the remaining two Australian Junior series events.
“I’ve got the rest of series next year with Canberra and Devonport which I will be looking to go really well there as well.”
Jack Crome and Tara Sosinski continued Queensland’s dominance in the Youth A categories, with Jackson Medway (QLD) and Chloe Bateup (ACT) in second place. Darcy Williams (VIC) and Charlotte Thompson (WA) claimed third to round out the podium.
Host state Queensland took a clean sweep of the podium in the Youth B events, with Payton Craig and Tamsyn Hill taking the top spots. In second was Ethan Close and Leah Dargan joining Douglas Chapman and Kate Collins who earned bronze medals.
The next round of the Australian Junior and Youth Series will be held in the New Year at the Capital Trilogy Triathlon in Canberra on January 19-20.
Full results will be provided here.