With the SCODY Australian Junior Triathlon Series ready to wind up this weekend in Wellington we have a quick look at the point score table (see below) and see how the triathlon guns of the future are performing in the series.
At the top of the junior women’s table is WA’s Jaz Hedgeland. We interviewed Jaz recently on Trizone and she has sent through her race report from the recent round in Devonport. You can read it below.
In the men’s side Tasmania’s Jacob Birtwhistle is leading the series and he looks like a star of the future. This weekend in Wellington will be another solid test for him.
Hopefully Wellington turns on the weather for the triathletes. Two years ago current Wolrd U23 champ Aaron Royle pushed Kiwi Kris Gemmell all the way in this race to miss the win by six seconds.
Jaz Hedgeland’s race report from the Australian Junior Sprint Championship 2012/13 Devonport round…
Out of all my races for this season, this is the one I really wanted to take the title for. Not only would I be the Australian Junior Champion for the 2012/13 season, but it was a selection race for the Junior World Championships in London later this year, something I really want to be apart of.
It came to race day, and my preparation in the morning went smoothly. I rode down to the race site and I could feel the strong winds developing. Disc wheels werenÊ¼t allowed in the age group races in the morning, and we had to rack our bikes by the handle bars, to give you a bit of an idea of the winds. I could also see the rough water with a reasonably large swell. I havenÊ¼t raced a great amount in rough swim conditions like this, however I was still determined to take out this race.
All the athletes were lined up near transition, we were introduced, and we made our way to the start line. A few minutes later, the horn went off and we all started running furiously into the waves ahead of us. I could see a large group of swimmers off to my right, as I swam the 350 meters to the first swim buoy. Then I suddenly felt my timing chip come off my leg, this was a rough swim! Later as we made our way back to shore, I had no idea what placing I was. Every now and then between the waves I could see someone a bit further in front of me, but I couldnÊ¼t tell where I was in the field.
I got my wetsuit off quickly and made my way out of transition. Three of us formed a group however I was still unaware of where I was amongst the field. This bike course has a few twists and turns and you canÊ¼t see too far up the road. Coming up to the first turn on the bike I realised I was in the second pack, and it wasnÊ¼t where I wanted to be. I went round the corner and rode out hard, focussed on catching the first pack. This surge caused our group of three to become just two, myself and 2011 World Champion Mikala Nielson from New Zealand. ThatÊ¼s when I knew it was going to come down to a running race. The two of us worked well together and caught the first group on the third lap, with one lap to go.
I dismounted the bike first, and was able to run through transition in the lead of our group, whilst trying to stop the wind from blowing my bike over. I went out onto the run with Mikala, but Holly had a minute lead on us after breaking away on the bike before Mikala and I got to the first pack.
I stuck with Mikala as we ran the first lap of the two lap run course. Coming back towards the turn around to start the second lap, we came up to the penalty box. I looked at the numbers on the board, and kept running past, but then noticed Mikala stopped as she had a 10 second time penalty. That is when I turned the corner, started my second lap and went for it. This was my chance to get a break on Mikala.
As I came up to the turnaround before I started heading back to the finish, I could see Holly just up the road. I picked up the pace and passed her just after the turn. I was running back to the finish line, and I could hear people cheering. After having a terrible swim, riding in a pair to catch the first group on the bike, and making up a minute to catch the leader on the run, I was about to win the race.
I couldnÊ¼t have been happier! I crossed the finish line and it felt great to know I had just achieved one of my most important goals for the season. The London World Championships are looking pretty close now!