Aussies Max Neumann and Kerry Morris have kicked started their year with dominant wins at the iconic Mooloolaba Triathlon. Recent additions to the Cam Watt stable at Ferny Hills, both have made significant progress in a very short period of time and with emphatic wins have declared themselves two athletes to watch in 2018.
Brisbane’s Max Neumann was delighted with his new found form, was full of praise for his new coach and training environment, and now has his eyes on qualifying for the Australian under 23 team for the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast in September.
“I went through a stage where I was thinking whether I should continue with the sport but I threw myself in with Cam at the start of the year and things are starting to come together. He is there every day, every session and his presence is the main contributor to his athlete’s success.”
“I have been struggling with my swim for a couple of years now and you never really know what you can do until you change your environment and your coach. Everything is ticking along well and he is changing a lot of things with my swim. I think today was my best ever swim, best I have ever had. I am absolutely stoked with how it is going and I hope I can kept it rolling.”
“This is my last year for under 23 Worlds selection so I will be trying out for the under 23 team for the ITU Worlds on the Gold Coast in September. The last chance for automatic selection is in Melbourne in four weeks so I will give that my best shot. Depends on how that goes but I will probably head to Switzerland and set myself up a base there and race in and out of there with European Cup and if I can get a start the World Cups as well. I don’t want to be there making up the numbers, so I want to make sure that when I rock up, I am ready to go.”
Neumann went into the race with a foot injury and limited running but it didn’t seem to bother him as he dominated all three legs and cruised to victory.
“I have had a toe injury and had two weeks off, so I have just started back running this week with some ten and fifteen-minute runs. But it felt good out there. Cam did say if it caused problems to play it smart, which I did. It didn’t play up too much. I am pretty happy with the whole race. The body is a weird thing, that run was also one of the most comfortable I have done. I will get back into running and work towards getting it down to 31 minutes off the bike, then I am in with a chance for Worlds,” he said.
Kerry Morris, the 29 year old Queensland based, a former swimmer, surfer, engineer and now triathlete, was a genuine surprise in the women’s race picking up the Mooloolaba title on debut. Kerry’s sporting career has taken a few turns over the years but she is delighted to have finally found triathlon and with the help of coach Cam Watt and a devoted husband, she is determined to give it a real crack.
“As a kid my mum got me into pool swimming and I swam with UNSW and I grew in the Coogee/Maroubra area. I am an all or nothing type of person and trained really hard but didn’t get the results and it was a frustrating career. I never regretted it but then went onto Uni and while I was there I had a couple of mates who were surfers living at Maroubra in Sydney. I caught the surfing bug really bad. We moved over from Sydney to Perth and were going to Bali all the time and we just surfing around the world.”
“I am an engineer and I went to work on Barrow Island and it was three weeks on and one week off and there were people there doing triathlon. The 12 hour days were getting me down and just working so I started doing triathlon there and caught the triathlon bug. I did a couple of local tris in WA and got some good results and it just snowballed from there.”
“I was doing pretty well in engineering but I thought my body is not going to be able to do this forever, whereas I can always go back to my career. I got my five years experience, so I can jump into a job if I need to. So I have just moved over from Western Australia to train with Cam’s squad that includes Sarah Crowley and a few other great athletes.”
“Cam is just dedicated to his job, he is more than a coach, I am very lucky. I have just given him my career and said ‘Do what you want’. He is doing a great job, so I am happy with my decision. But I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband, he is my rock and I call him my ‘Sugar Daddy’ as well. He got a job over here and relocated him and it all fell into place. So I am very lucky and feel very blessed.”
Kerry was delighted with her first up win in Mooloolaba and is determined to make every post a winner as she gains valuable race experience throughout 2018.
“I was struggling a bit in the swim but I have always been told to leave judgement until after the race, so it was a matter of putting it behind me and talk about it later. I had heaps of power on the bike and trying to take energy from everyone I was overtaking and just focusing on my own race. There was a headwind on the way back so I was definitely suffering but I pushed hard and gave it everything.”
“Whatever was left I was going to use on the run but the commentators were pumping me right up so I came out with a big smile on my face and I carried that positive energy right through the rest of the race. It is such a great course and the spectators on the run push you all the way. The volunteers are happy and lovely and cheering. It is an amazing race,” she said.