Talented teenage age triathlete Luke Willian is hoping a kid who grew up in the wilds of Warialda will be running through the streets of London in September at this year’s ITU World Triathlon Championships in London.
The 17-year-old, who now lives and trains in Brisbane at Carina Leagues Triathlon Club, produced another an eye-catching win in driving rain to win today’s 17-18 years Australian Youth Triathlon Championships at Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast.
Willian is one of a host of talented Australian juniors chasing selection on the Australian team for this year’s World titles (September 11-15) with a record number of 150 of Australia’s emerging young Triathletes converging on the Sunshine Coast for the two-day meet.
That’s the next goal, to make the Australian team for the World Championships, said Willian, who earlier this year won silver behind Jacob Birtwhistle in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
The team should be known by the end of the month and hopefully I’ve done enough to gain selection, fingers crossed.
Although today’s result won’t have any bearing on selection it brings to an end, a successful season for Willian, who showed no matter what the weather it is certainly no hindrance.
Earlier in the year, he overcame the 37-degree temperatures at Penrith to win Round Two of the Scody Australian Junior Series, lowering Birtwhistle’s colours in an impressive AYOF Trial.
The rain didn’t worry me at all, said Willian, it actually kept me cool on the bike and the run.â€
But it was a fired up William who looked like he had steam coming from his years after being caught up in the 750m swim, which allowed fellow Queenslander Chris Wilson to get away.
But it didn’t take him long to get onto the lead pack on the bike and he was happy to ride through the 20km course in driving rain, knowing his run would be strong on the final five kilometres.
With 2.5km to run, Willian made his move and he strode away to record a comfortable victory in a time of 59 mins 17secs ahead of rapidly improving fellow Queenslander Daniel Coleman (59.30) with his fellow AYOF teammate Christian Wilson (59.41) third.
The women’s 17-18 years race saw Gold Coaster Breony Heaton hang on to win the gold medal in (1:07.52), with Queensland teammate Laura Dennis (1:07.58) a close-up second with Ayla Rudgley (ACT) taking the bronze.
Heaton admitted today’s win was the highlight of her career so far as she prepares for the National All Schools Championship in Penrith in two weeks.
It was very satisfying to hang on and win that race today. The swim seemed to go forever and I just felt strong on the bike in the early stages with Laura Cook and then Laura Dennis fought hard on run, said Heaton, a Year 11 student at the Emanuel College in Carrara.
In the 15-16 years age categories (600m swim, 16km bike, 4km run) the gold medals went to super-talented Queensland pair Sophie Malowiecki and Calvin Quirk, both outstanding runners.
Malowiecki, from the DAT Racing team under Dan Atkins in Brisbane produced an eye-catching four-kilometre run time of 16 minutes to seal the gold medal in a time of 51 mins 53 secs ahead of training partner Brittany Dutton (QLD) 52:26 with Kira Hedgeland (WA) third in 52.33.
Quirk, from Hope Island on the Gold Coast, posted a gold medal-winning time of 46 mins 52 seconds which featured a 4km run time of 14 minutes 09 seconds from Matt Hauser (QLD) 47:06 and Patrick Moore (NSW) 47.22.
In the 13-14 years boys it was another Gold Coaster Jace Grant who overcame a mishap in the bike transition to win the gold medal.
After coming out of the 400m swim in second place Grant lost both of his bike shoes and valuable time on his rivals.
“I had to go back and it cost me about 100 metres so I was forced to play catch up on the run,” said the All Saints student.
“But I worked hard and eventually caught and passed them.”
In a frantic finish, the Surfers Paradise Triathlon Club member surged across the line just 20 m ahead of Luke Bate from WA and 100m clear of Jeremy Shaw also from WA.
The 13-14 years girls featured a neck-and-neck battle for the gold medal before Redcliffe’s April Scurr (QLD) was crowned Australian champion in 42:45 from Samantha Whitting (QLD) 42:46 and Jessica Claxton (WA) in 42:55.
Scurr, who attends the Grace Lutheran College in Rothwell, celebrated her first season in triathlon with a spirited victory for the Queensland Talent Squad member, who looks to have a bright future.
AUSTRALIAN YOUTH TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS, Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast (QLD), Day One.
13-14 years (400m swim, 12km bike, 3km run):
GIRLS: A Scurr (QLD) 42:45 S Whitting (QLD) 42:46 J Claxton (WA) 42:55
BOYS: J Grant (QLD) 40.19 L Bate (QLD) 40.21 J Shaw (WA) 41:24
15-16 years (600m swim, 16 km bike, 4km run)
GIRLS: S Malowiecki (QLD) 51:53 B Dutton (QLD) 52:26 K Hedgeland (WA) 52.33
BOYS: C Quirk (QLD) 46:52 M Hauser (QLD) 47:06 P Moore (NSW) 47:22
17-18 years (750m swim 20km bike 5km run)
GIRLS: B Heaton (QLD) 1:07.52 L Dennis (QLD) 1:07.58 A Rudgley (ACT) 1:10.37
BOYS: L Willian (QLD) 59.17 D Coleman (QLD) 59.30 C Wilson (QLD) 59:41).