No bike, not built for running, dislikes water: how to build a winning triathlon team

FOR triathletes, Jordan Emerson, Jack Parr and Max Stewart make an interesting trio.

Emerson doesn’t own a bike, while Parr “isn’t built for running”.

Throw in Stewart, who’s not overly fond of water, and this James Sheahan Catholic High School bunch are happy to joke about their lack of ability, so much so they could well be the triathlon world’s version of stooges Larry, Curly and Moe.

But when teamed together in their preferred disciplines, all three shine.

Competing at the NSW All Schools triathlon at Penrith last week, Parr (swim), Stewart (bike) and Emerson (run) combined brilliantly to finish the junior boys’ relay triathlon ahead of every other competing school in the state.

Against 204 teams from across NSW, Parr completed the 400m swim in 32nd, while Stewart’s ride was something to savour.

The Year 8 student powered from 32nd to first to shoot the Sheahan team to the front following his 10 kilometre cycle leg, a lead Emerson didn’t relinquish throughout a nail-biting 3km run at the International Regatta Centre in Penrith.

The trio won All Schools gold as well as Combined Catholic Colleges gold for their phenomenal effort.

Teamed together after the school sent out an invitation to any interested participants in 2013, the trio’s method for success was blatantly simple.

“We picked out the best swimmer, rider and runner,” Parr said, with all three convinced they couldn’t have gone it alone.

“I’m not really built for running.”

Amongst the laughter, Stewart reveals he didn’t expect the group to do so well.

“We were versing Kinross, and they’d trained all year round,” he said. 

“We only trained once as a team.”

A strong run required for gold, Emerson said there was no way he was going to let his team’s lead slip on the final leg.

Sheahan also tasted success in the girls intermediate relay, with Marnie Lenehan, Tara Nagle and Kinisha Roweth taking home the CCC bronze medal. The girls placed 21st out of every school in the state.

Individually, Orange High School gun Lauren Kerwick finished the individual intermediate girls triathlon in third place.

Kerwick has now qualified for the nationals in Bendigo in April, where she’ll be joined by Kinross duo Luke Chalker and Connor Whiteley who also qualified from with strong performances in the All Schools championships.

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