THE Mornington Peninsula Triathlon Club is hoping to once again cement itself as one of the leading clubs in Victoria when it comes to junior triathlons.
The club, based at Long Island Drive in Frankston, had four members competing in South Australia at the national level earlier this month with MPTC’s triathlon mentor, Luke Burns and some of the club’s up and coming juniors competing at the Glenelg Triathlon on Saturday 3 February.
Burns, who trains out of Brisbane and competes internationally, ran against Australia and New Zealand’s best triathlon talent in the Oceania Cup where he finished in 15th position.
MPTC performance coach Kyle Burns said that his son, Luke, has gone through the same system as the current juniors and has been a great mentor for the team.
“He’s competed in about eight countries over the last year and three world cups so he’s really starting to find his feet internationally,” Burns said.
“He went through the same system as the current juniors up until he was about 19-years-old.”
Junior athletes, Lachie Watson, Oscar Riley and Lily Van Raay also competed in South Australia where they ran in the second race of the Australian Junior Triathlon Series.
Burns said that not all went to plan for the juniors as they didn’t have best of luck in their events after training so hard beforehand.
“The results didn’t really reflect how they had been training,” he said.
“Oscar copped a kick to the head in the swim and had to go to hospital afterwards with a mild concussion and Lachie fell off his bike and that was the end of his triathlon.
“They had been training well beforehand so it’s pretty unlucky for the boys but they’re alright now and are working towards the All Schools in 10 weeks.
“It was good to see Lily come back from a broken toe which she got at the start of the season and get through her race.”
Having been chosen by the state coaches, Oscar returned the following day to join the Victorian Mixed Relay team and finished runners-up in the relay championships to claim his first national medal.
Burns said it was a great result for Oscar with the event now being a major focus in Australia.
“There is now an Olympic medal for that event so that triathlon has become a big focus,” he said.
“Victoria has a really good team coming through and they only lost by nine seconds at the end. It’s really good and really encouraging going forwards.”
MPTC also had five members competing in Elwood on the Sunday with Harrison Bolton, Ella Humphreys and Tomm Jansen all winning their respected races while Grace Bunting finished in fifth position at the 15-19 World Championship Qualifiers.
Burns said it was great to see the juniors compete so well considering that they’re still developing this year and will be aiming to step up next year.
“They’re doing really well, some of them are fairly new and just learning at the moment,” he said.
“Grace is going well and will be aiming to qualify for the World’s this year.”
Burns said the results were a step in the right direction as the club has begun to put a greater focus on helping their juniors reach the podium.