Orange’s Lauren Kerwick was forced to withdraw from last year’s NSW All Schools Triathlon after succumbing to heat-stroke when she was leading just 500 metres from the finish, so at this year’s titles, it’s not a surprise she was hell-bent on making up for that.
Make up for it she did, with a dominant showing and gold medal in the senior girls’ solo race to boot.
She defied a torn hamstring in the lead up to do so as well, signalling exactly what pushed her above her competition.
“You can have all the training under you belt you want, but sometimes your mindset and determination is enough to get you over the line,” Kerwick explained.
“I’m so stoked with the win. You always go into a race wanting to win and after last year I definitely wanted to, but I exceeded my expectations. I struggled with an injury, a torn hamstring, leading in.
“I came in wanting to do well obviously, but wanting to make the [NSW side for nationals] more than anything … they take the top three automatically but the team hasn’t been named yet.”
On top of that, 2017 was Kerwick’s last chance to compete at the All Schools titles because she’s in year 12 at Orange High School.
“It’s a pretty good way to finish,” she enthused.
Kerwick clocked one hour, nine minutes and 40 seconds to claim the gold, 24 seconds in front of Combined Independent Schools gun Emily Jamagotchian.
“I think she did start to catch me a little bit at one stage, but I pulled away in the last lap of the run,” Kerwick said.
Kerwick came out of the water first in 10.39, before clocking 34.51 in the cycle leg. Jamagotchian made up quite a bit of ground there, she was almost 30 seconds quicker.
But Kerwick powered through the run leg in 24.09 to claim a memorable gold medal.
She said her focus turns to her training for the national championship, along with a host of swimming events in the near future.
Kerwick was part of Orange High’s senior girls’ team which finished ninth overall and third of the Combined High Schools teams.
OHS’ junior boys’ team finished eighth overall and second in CHS, while the junior girls’ team finished 31st overall and fourth in CHS and the intermediate girls’ team came 66th overall.