One of the more unique triathlon events in the state had some of the state’s top athletes coming to Gosling Creek for the Triathlon NSW Super Sprint Juniors Championships on Saturday and Sunday.
There were some 90-odd competitors in the events, which included non-traditional triathlon events such as aquathons, super sprints and a mixed team relay.
Orange Triathlon Club president Phil Tudor said the “uniqueness” of Gosling Creek made the course perfect for the technical events, which include tighter tracks on the bike and tricky turns on the runs, as well as changing distances to shorter, punchier courses which often repeated legs.
The self-contained Gosling Creek meant no roads needed to be closed to host nearly 100 competitors on Saturday and 140 on Sunday.
Some of those competitors were the top of the class, including ITU world triathletes Josh Ferris and Emily Jamgotchian competing.
Former Australian Olympican Brendan Sexton was on hand with a host of NSW triathlon’s top brass to provide two hours of coaching to participants before events kicked off on Saturday.
“It’s unreal, it’s fantastic,” Tudor said of the opportunity for Orange triathletes, adding the weekend itself was “growing legs” across the state, with Triathlon NSW president Glenn Schwarzel fielding calls from interstate from clubs wanting to attend.
However, the event was kept as NSW only due to capacity and preparation for the inter-state Super Sprint Weekend at Runaway Bay from December 13.
Fifty triathletes from across NSW will be attending Runaway Bay, and 35 of those were in Orange for this weekend’s tournament – including our own Jessie Dean, Charlotte Simmons, Tom Tudor and Rory Thornhill.
Those four were part of a contingent of eight Orange competitors in the drafted events, which were the top tier events, and Tudor said the hosts were “unbelievable”.
The events mixed up the usual array of competition, with the aquathon a six leg race alternating between swimming and running while the super sprint was another six leg event swimming, biking and running twice each.
Rory Thornhill finished in second in the overall ITU Draft Legal Junior combined results with 35:53, a minute behind winner Toby Croudson and four seconds ahead of third-placed James Olson-Keating.
Lauren Kerwick was the only competitor in the U23 category and finished 23rd overall, with 39:13. She was the second-ranked female competitor behind Emily Jamgotchian, who finished in 37:56.
Orange were only three minutes behind Sydney club Atmosphere JPS in the Mixed Team Relay, which Tudor said was a “fantastic result” considering JPS’ side had overall winner Croudson as well as internationals Ferris and Jamgotchian in their squad.
JPS finished in one hour, 28 minutes 53 seconds in the four-person trek, while Orange Tiathlon Club finished just behind them in 1:31:55, with Lauren Kerwick, Rory Thornhill, Jessie Dean and Tom Tudor taking part for the hosts.
The event will be back next year with Gosling Creek as the perfect venue for the compact, short challenges like the Super Sprint.
Tudor lauded the effort of the club’s members and volunteers for hosting the weekend, as well as Triathlon NSW and Little Nippers for their help coordinating the event.
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