THERE were some sizzling success stories for the six Stratford Triathlon Club juniors who competed in scorching conditions at the iconic Eton Dorney lake in the Super Tri – the national qualifying race for the Inter-Regional Competition.
At Eton Dorney, the top three finishers from each region qualify to represent their region in the national Inter-Regional Competition – the thrilling finale to the triathlon season in September. The Stratford team were hopeful yet respectful of the quality competition surrounding them.
The open water swim took place in the same lake as the 2012 Olympic rowing and, clearly inspired by their surroundings, the youngsters put in efforts to make their home club proud.
Kicking things off for Stratford were Ellie Deaner and Charlotte Marshall in Tristar 3. The pair swam 300m, cycled 5.3km and ran 2.5km in temperatures hitting 32 degrees.
After a strong swim, Ellie was able to draft with a good cycle group and hold her position on the run. She finished 20th in a time of 26.18 – two minutes faster than last year. As the fourth girl to finish from the West Midlands, Ellie is the reserve for the IRC team and will take part in the relay event in September.
Charlotte produced a superb effort and finished in a time of 30.55 in 38th position and eighth for the West Midlands. She will have another opportunity in the same category next year.
Following his sister, Jake Deaner raced next alongside Theo Skirvin in Tristar 2. The boys had to complete a 200m swim, 5.3km cycle and 1.8km run. This was Jake’s first experience at Eton Dorney and he managed to finish 17th overall in a time of 22.20. Jake was the second boy from the West Midlands which secured his place in the IRC team – a great achievement in his junior year.
Theo finished 39th in a time of 24.31 – seventh for the West Midlands. This was a 1min, 20secs improvement on last year’s time in the same category.
Molly Bullock was racing in her senior year of Tristar 2 and she successfully lay to rest her demons from last year’s open water swim. This year, she had an excellent swim, starting the bike in a strong position which she maintained on the run.
Her time of 23.34 meant she was 17th overall and fourth from the West Midlands – a further reserve IRC team member – taking part in the relay event.
Too young to compete for a place in the IRC team, Charly’s younger sister Juliette made her Eton Dorney debut competing in the Tristar 1 category as she swam 100m, biked 3km and ran 1km.
Juliette finished 37th out of 57 in a time of 21.15, showing her usual grit and determination.
Three Stratford junior triathletes successfully made the West Midlands IRC squad – Jake alongside Ellie and Molly as reserves. All will train with the regional squad over the summer and can look forward to an exciting culmination to the triathlon season at Mallory Park in September.
Report by Kathryn Deaner.